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Debo Band Hits Ethiopian Groove08:15
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Debo Band performing with their Ethiopian dancers (Courtesy Debo Band)
Debo Band performing with their Ethiopian dancers (Courtesy Debo Band)

Debo Band calls itself a nod to the big bands of the 1930s-70s that flourished under Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

But then, Debo band goes several steps further.

Melding traditional East African polyrhythms, classic American soul and funk, and the layered instrumentation of Eastern European brass bands, to form a sound that is a jubilant reinvention of music that once rocked Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa.

Debo Band (Amael Tesfaye)
Debo Band (Amael Tesfaye)

I recently sat down with Debo Band's founder, Danny Mekonnen. We talked about how a band born in the loft spaces and church basements of Boston is making its way back to Africa.

Guest:

Performances:

This segment aired on July 21, 2011.

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