Debo Band

Concert and Discussion on Remixing African Music
(Rescheduled from February 8,

Danny Makonnen
Debo Band

Kay K. Shelemay
Harvard University

Followed by a performance by the Debo Band.

Tickets are free, and can be picked up at the Harvard Box Office beginning on April 23. Limit of 2 tickets per person. Tickets are also available by phone and internet for a fee (flat $5 per order fee via the web, or $4 per ticket over the phone). Call 617-496-2222 or reserve on line at

Debo Band is a 11-member group led by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and fronted by charismatic vocalist Bruck Tesfaye. Since their inception in 2006, the band has won raves for their groundbreaking take on Ethiopian pop music (think Ethiopiques), which incorporates traditional scales and vocal styles, alongside American soul and funk rhythms, and instrumentation reminiscent of Eastern European brass bands. Debo have toured Ethiopia twice, appearing at both the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa and Sauti Za Busara in Zanzibar, the largest music festival in East Africa. In North America, they’ve shared stages with Gogol Bordello, Amadou & Mariam, Grupo Fantasma, The Family Stone, and Ethiopian great Tilahun Gessesse. Recent and upcoming performances include the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Bumbershoot, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Kennedy Center, Montreal Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, South by Southwest, globalFEST 2012 at Webster Hall, Joe’s Pub, and World Music Festival: Chicago.

This event is organized by the African Musics Abroad seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, and cosponsored with the Harvard University Department of Music, Provostial Fund for the Arts and Humanities, Department of African and African American Studies, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, Committee on African Studies, and the Office for the Arts at Harvard.