Press Room

See what they're saying about us.
Main Image for Press Room

The Fisher Center Presents an Evening of Ethiopian Pop Music with Debo Band

“A beguiling mix of riotous energy and sinuous swing” — NPR First Listen

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College presents Debo Band, bringing their unique take on 1960’s Ethiopian pop music to LUMA Theater on Thursday, November 19th. The performance is at 8 p.m. with a preconcert talk at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be ordered online at or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.
Since its inception in 2006, Debo has won raves for its groundbreaking take on the golden age of Ethiopian music, incorporating traditional scales and vocal styles alongside American soul and funk rhythms, with instrumentation reminiscent of Eastern European brass bands. The New York Times describes it as “fierce, jagged, complex and galvanizing music. With a beefy horn section, biting violins and a lead singer with a convincing Ethiopian quaver, the group brought back a live version of a style that was never recorded as vividly.”
“This is one of the best finds of the year, bar none. The Boston-based Debo Band takes traditional Ethiopian sounds and scales to a new place . . . a party where funk, soul and free jazz swirl together. . . . You’ve got to catch Debo Band live—that’s where the groove and sweat really kick in.” —NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012
About Debo Band
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.Their self-titled debut for Sub Pop / Next Ambiance was produced by Thomas “Tommy T” Gobena of Gogol Bordello and features album art by critically-renowned painter Julie Mehretu.
The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College
Named for the late Richard B. Fisher, the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, the Fisher Center has become an influential force in performing arts programming, earning critical acclaim for innovative productions of opera, orchestral, chamber, dance, and theater programs. The Center was designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry and distinguished acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, and has received international praise for its breathtaking architecture and superb sound.
Each summer the Fisher Center presents the Bard SummerScape festival, eight weeks of performing arts programs reflecting the life and times of the featured composer of the esteemed Bard Music Festival, now celebrating its 26th year. Fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-night-only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe.
The Fisher Center is home to the Bard College Theater & Performance and Dance Programs, providing students access to exceptional theater facilities and opportunities to work with professional directors and dramaturges on publicly attended productions throughout the year. The Bard College Conservatory of Music and Bard College Music Program stage regular orchestral and chamber concerts.
# # #
November 2, 2015


back to top



This event was last updated on 11-30-2015