Concert Preview: Habesha Roxbury! at Hibernian Hall
Photo by Gary Eckstein
Though we’ve fallen behind such hipster heavens as Brooklyn and Silver Lake when it comes to generating and fostering cool rock bands, Boston remains one of the most vibrant musical cities in the country. And it’s not just because we’ve got Berklee and the New England Conservatory, or because we have classical musicians galore. It’s because we generate a wonderful amount of music that explores cultures from around the world, thanks to groups like the 11-person Debo Band, that plays massively danceable Ethiopian music. On Tuesday, it’ll be hosting what promises to be an exciting event called “Habesha Roxbury! A Celebration of Ethiopian Dance, Music, and Culture” at Hibernian Hall.
If you haven’t checked out Debo Band yet, they’re from J.P., and their debut album just came out this summer, garnering them justly universal plaudits. And they not only play global music events but some of the biggest rock festivals in the country, like Bonnaroo. However, they’ve also played in Africa, with two tours of Ethiopia under their belt. It was there where Debo Band hooked up with Fendika, an Addis Ababa band, and they’ve been collaborators ever since. They’ve toured together here in the States, even performing together at the Kennedy Center in D.C. However, the Habesha show is the one show they’ll have performed together this year.
Debo Band plays Ethiopian music with the swagger and power of a big funk and jazz band, and though Fendika is a smaller group, its members not only play but dance. If you haven’t heard Ethiopian music in general, there’s no time to waste. Check it out by buying any number of the famous Ethiopiques CDs that compile the jazz and soul from 1970s Addis, or check it out by listening to current Ethiopian music webcasts, but most of all, check it out by seeing these two bands. A rich culture awaits you, and your booty will thank you.
Habesha Roxbury! will be at Hibernian Hall, 184 Dudley St., Roxbury, on Tuesday, October 9, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $15, $10 for students.