The Cleveland Museum of Art bills its annual Solstice concert as “Cleveland’s signature summer event,” and this year’s gala, which crammed some 5,000 people into the museum’s courtyard where food trucks and satellite bars awaited, certainly lived up to the hype. Last night’s concert featured an eclectic mix of bands that you could loosely describe as world beat. But that certainly doesn’t do the complexity of their music justice.
The evening began with Debo Band, a Boston-based ensemble that plays old school Ethiopian funk. The band featured a vibrant horn section that was more than capable of playing both obscure covers and originals – the guys promoted the forthcoming release of their debut for Seattle-based Sub Pop Records, the label most famous for delivering grunge rockers Nirvana. The Debo Band’s smooth polyrhythms and good vibes provided the perfect beginning to the concert that would slowly evolve into a dance party.