Outstanding Ethiopian-Pop Debo Band makes an appearance in Santa Cruz tonight, Tuesday July 16, 2013 at Moe’s Alley. This large 11-member group includes musicians and dancers from Addis and Boston, plus local fiddler Kaethe Hostetter formerly of Bonny Doon. They’ve received raves for pushing the envelope of traditional Ethiopian music by incorporating funk, soul, jazz and Eastern European influences into their dance music using a varied assortment of instruments that includes sousaphone, accordion, and electric and acoustic violins. Debo’s most recent CD release was on NPR Music’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012 and is available streamed in its entirety here. Sun Hop Fat, another group playing Ethiopian dance music opens.
Through ATO Records, Italian singer-songwriter and rapper Lorenzo Cherubini, better known as Jovanotti, has finally issued his first U.S. release after over two decades of being in the business. This compilation album that includes the greatest hits of his career so far, aptly titled “Italia 1988-2012″. Initial tracks like “Con La Luce Negli Occhi” and “Sulla Frontiera” are very energetic and contribute to the album’s generally light-hearted feel. Meanwhile, other tracks like “Mi Fido Di Te” and “La Porta É Aperta” take it down a notch and show Jovanotti’s softer side, complete with acoustic guitars and even some backing vocals. With Jovanotti’s own nonchalant and distinct style of rapping in just about every track, this quasi-greatest-hits-collection is not to be missed.