Debo Band, a large ensemble led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and fronted by vocalist Bruck Tesfaye, has won rave reviews for its groundbreaking take on Ethiopian pop music, which incorporates traditional scales and vocals, alongside American soul and funk rhythms plus instrumentation reminiscent of Eastern European brass bands. With horns, electric and acoustic strings, percussion, and accordion, the group has been called "a psychedelic combination of spirited melodies and infectious funk rhythm."
Debo is on campus Saturday, Nov. 5, for two events: at 3 p.m. bandleader Mekonnen will lead a master class and workshop in the Arthur Zankel Music Center, room 117, and at 8 p.m. the full ensemble will perform in the Zankel's Ladd Concert Hall. Both are open to the public; the master class is free, while concert tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for students and children.
The Debo visit is connected to Prof. Liz Macy's music courses "Global Pop" and "Blues and African American Musical Heritage."