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PHS Students to Enjoy Ethiopian Music ‘Informance’ Opportunity

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PHS Students to Enjoy Ethiopian Music ‘Informance’ Opportunity
Posted on 10/20/2015
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Portland High School students will get a unique musical learning experience this week from the leader of the Debo Band, an 11-piece ensemble that has won raves for its groundbreaking take on Ethiopian pop and funk music.

On Thursday morning, Oct. 22, Ethiopian-American saxophonist Danny Mekonnen, who leads the Debo Band, will present an "informance" to students in teacher Jayne Sawtelle’s piano music class. The “informance” will be a combination performance and information session.

Mekonnen is taking the time to hold the learning and demonstration session with students before the Debo Band gives a performance at SPACE Gallery in the evening of Oct. 22. The performance begins at 8 p.m. at SPACE, which is located at 538 Congress St. The performance is co-presented by SPACE Gallery and Portland Ovations – which is also making the “informance” possible – with generous support from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA).

SPACE Gallery describes the Boston-based Debo Band as combining “the best of 1970's Ethiopian music, jagged and complex with its traditional scales and vocal styles, with the brassy punch of Klezmer and Roma music, the sheer force of psychedelic rock, and an accordion and rhythm section that strut like a New Orleans marching band.” SPACE says the band, which has been written about by media outlets that range from Rolling Stone to The New York Times, has “stunning live shows” and “creates brave, beautiful music that appeals to just about everybody.”