Kudos to Crossroads Music for booking veteran Philadelphia vibraphonist Khan Jamal and the Debo Band, the first American-based band ever to be invited to play at the Ethiopian Music Festival in Addis Ababa–and for putting them on the same bill. It’s the kind of bold programming that should be much more common.
The vibraphone seems to be an instrument that lots of listeners are drawn to, and Jamal plays with a rare combination of technique and creativity. He’ll be joined on Saturday by drummer Lenny Belasco and a bassist, probably Fahir Kendall.
The Boston-based Debo Band was founded by Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen in 2006 as a way of exploring the unique funk- and jazz-influenced sounds that filled the dance clubs of “Swinging Addis” in the 1960s and “Ã‹Å“70s. Its a unique and catchy style of music that has become more well-known to American audiences in recent years, due in part to the Ehtiopiques series of CD reissues.
Belasco/Jamal Trio and the Debo Band at Crossroads Music
Saturday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.
Crossroads Music @ Calvary United Methodist Church
801 S. 48th St, Philadelphia, PA