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Debo Band collaborates with traditional Ethiopian musicians to bring Ethiopian music for the first time to East Africa's largest music festival. Read more

Boston, MA World Music
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This project was successfully funded on January 14, 2010.

Debo Band collaborates with traditional Ethiopian musicians to bring Ethiopian music for the first time to East Africa's largest music festival.

Boston, MA World Music
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Debo Band
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Debo Band

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About this project

AFRICAN TOUR - FEBRUARY 2010

Debo Band has been given the incredible opportunity to bring Ethiopian music for the first time to East Africa’s largest music festival: Sauti za Busara on the island of Zanzibar, February 11th-16th, 2010. The festival, now in its 7th year, draws over 18,000 attendees and showcases 30 performing groups from Africa and 10 groups from the rest of the world. This is a major opportunity for us to reach a wider audience and make further connections and collaborations with music in Ethiopia and East Africa, while presenting Ethiopian music for the first time to this festival. Debo Band has received a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International which only covers some of the cost, so we are now seeking donations to complete the budget and make this journey possible. We hope you can help, and please spread the word!

TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS Our fiscal sponsor is the 501-c3 nonprofit Great Small Works. All donations through this campaign will be tax deductible.

ABOUT US & OUR ETHIOPIAN PARTNERS

Debo Band is an 11-piece Ethiopian music collective based in Boston, joined by 4 musicians and dancers living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Debo has made one previous visit to Africa, to perform at the Festival of Ethiopian Music in Addis Ababa in May of 2009. It was during that festival that we made a connection with native Ethiopian artists Selamnesh Zemene (vocalist), Melaku Belay (dancer), Zinash Tsegaye (dancer), and Asrat Ayalew (drummer) who joined Debo in performances. On this trip, we will travel first to Addis Ababa to rehearse and then perform 2 shows as our fully collaborative group. We then travel to Zanzibar to play the big show in front of thousands of people! With your funding help, we will be able to deepen our connection and collaboration with these amazing people and pay the expense of bringing them to Zanzibar to present Ethiopian music for the first time to East Africa's largest music festival. You'll also be helping further the careers of these Ethiopian artists.

Debo Band's members in the USA are Bruck Tesfaye (vocals & percussion), Kaethe Hostetter (5-string violin), Jonah Rapino (electric violin), Stacey Cordeiro (accordion), Abye Osman (alto saxophone), Danny Mekonnen (tenor & baritone saxophone), David Harris (trombone), Arik Grier (sousaphone), PJ Goodwin (electric bass & sound tech), Brendon Wood (electric guitar), Keith Waters (drumset).

DOCUMENTARY FILM

We are also raising money to bring Ashley Hodson (videographer) to document our trip and performances in Ethiopia and Zanzibar with the end result being a fully realized documentary, shot in professional quality HD video, which we'd love you to see when it is finished! We expect to produce a film product which will further the career of Debo Band, creating new opportunities in the future.

We have a working relationship with Zeleman Productions which began with our work on director Zelalem Woldemariam's short film “Lezare” for which we composed and recorded the musical score. This 15-minute stunningly visual film, in the form of a fable, deals with a community’s response to poverty and the encroaching desert, and it is currently in submission to Sundance, Cannes, and other major film festivals. This February trip will also give us the opportunity to perform at the premiere of this film in Addis Ababa. All these amazing opportunities are coming together in this return trip to Africa with the potential to lead to so much more, and now we just need to finish gathering the monetary support to make the trip a reality!

BUDGET

The primary expenses are airline flights: roughly $1,300 each for our 11 band members to fly to Ethiopia and Zanzibar, and $800 each for the flights of our 4 Ethiopian members to fly Addis Ababa to Zanzibar. Additional expenses we have to cover are air cargo, visas, ground transportation, lodging, food, and recording and film expenses. In addition to covering some expenses on the ground in Zanzibar, the festival pays us a total of only $1,000 for our performance - this we will simply pass on as part of our payment to our Ethiopian collaborators for their time and efforts. The USArtists International grant ends up as only the equivalent of the travel costs for 6 of our members from the US. We're counting on your donations on this Kickstarter campaign to complete the budget and make this journey possible!

MORE INFO, LINKS, PRESS & MEDIA

* Sauti za Busara video from the 2009 festival - get an inside look at what this festival is really about!

* Sauti za Busara festival website lists info on performing groups for February 2010.

* Debo Band's website

* Debo Band on Myspace information, music and photos

* Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation announces grant winners (Debo Band in the 2nd paragraph)

* Boston Music Awards Debo wins “Best International Music Act of the Year” for 2009

* Tadias TV – video interview with Debo Band founder Danny Mekonnen, posted on YouTube

* Jamaica Plain Gazette article

* Boston Herald -article

* Ampeater review

* Tadias Magazine article

* Abesha.com article – Ethiopian online arts, culture and discourse journal

PERFORMANCES OF NOTE

* December 2006: Opening band for Tilahun Gessesse, "THE voice" of Ethiopian popular music since the 1960s. Watertown, MA. A video of this show aired repeatedly on the African Television Network and Abugida, Boston’s two Ethiopian television stations.

• June 28, 2008: Ethiopian Culture Camp, a family-oriented, adoption education program. We played a dance party for children – primarily new Ethiopian adoptees and some of their non-Ethiopian siblings.

* August 2008: Opening band for Getatchew Mekuria, “the king of Ethiopian sax,” with The Ex from Holland, at the Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA.

* September 11th, 2008: New Year Celebration, Ethiopian Community of Cambridge and Boston.

* April 2009: East Coast Tour, with performances in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC

* May 2009: 8th Ethiopian Music Festival, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

* August 2009: soundtrack for the film Lezare. This 12 minute visual tour de force is the second film by the director Zelelam Woldemariam and was completed in August 2009, currently in submission to Cannes, Sundance, and other film festivals. Debo Band's soundtrack features original compositions and combines traditional Ethiopian modes with an orchestral backdrop in a Western style.

* September 5th and 6th, 2009: 25th Anniversary of the Ethiopian Community in Dallas, performing at the 8th Annual Ethiopian Day, Dallas TX.

* September 12th, 2009: Ethiopian New Year Concert, opening band for major pop singers Gossaye and Ephraim, both from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge, MA.

YOU CAN HELP MAKE THIS HAPPEN!

We greatly appreciate your support!

Thank you!
Debo Band

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    25 backers

    You receive 2 Songs recorded live during this upcoming trip to Africa, Digital Download

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    31 backers

    You receive 4 Songs recorded live during this upcoming trip to Africa, Digital Download

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    54 backers

    You receive a Special Edition Debo CD with bonus tracks of our field recordings of African musicians - Request as CD or by download. Plus all above.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    22 backers

    You receive a Video Sampler of trip performances and footage, Request DVD or download. Plus all above.

  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    You receive an invitation to an Ethiopian dinner made by the Debo Band! Plus all above.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    Debo quartet plays your event! (Within the Boston area, or beyond if travel expenses are covered) Plus all above.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    Debo Band plays your event! (Within the Boston area, or beyond if travel expenses are covered) Plus the first 5 tiers.

Funding period

- (31 days)