The Debo Band Live @ The Triple Door
Friday, July 19, 2013
By Jay Gorham
Stopping for coffee on my way to Bumbershoot 2012, I was urged to check out “an Ethiopian jazz band who was performing on the Sub Pop Records stage. I was curious but had no idea of what to expect.
Debo Band, an eleven-piece ensemble from Boston serve up an infectious groove reminiscent of the so-called “Golden Age of Ethiopian jazz.” But labels do little justice to the music and the energy that is Debo Band. Led by Ethiopian-American Danny Mekonnen and fronted by the remarkably charismatic Bruck Tesfaye, the band grabs you with their first notes and gently shakes loose any inhibitions you may have to dance.
Then there is Bruck, charming, warm, and singing in Amhaic. If this doesn’t sound like a recipe for some of the funkiest sounds you have ever heard, just listen. Rich horns, a bass line carried by the tuba, accordion, violins, and psychedelic guitar riffs lay a thick foundation for Bruck’s vocals and a groove begging for dance. And how he dances!
From dancing on the edge of the stage, to skipping through the audience, to appearing to defy gravity, Bruck seduces the audience with Pied Piper prowess.
To see is to believe, and you can see Debo Band live tonight in the intimacy of the Triple Door. It will be no small challenge to stay in your seat.