Danny Mekonnen

Danny Mekonnen

2020

Collaboration with Silkroad

Danny Mekonnen is a Boston-based musician and the Founder of the Debo Band.  His ArtLab residency supported research and development of Emergence; a new work that illuminates the “spiritual jazz” developed by pianist, harpist, singer, and composer Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.

Danny has a M.A. in ethnomusicology from Harvard University where he researched Ethiopian popular music of the 1960s-1970s. In 2007, he taught a UNESCO course in musical ethnography at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Addis Ababa University. Danny also served as the director of the Nile Project, an ensemble comprised of musicians from the eleven countries of the Nile Basin, including Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, each a major stakeholder in the region’s political, environmental, and cultural stability.

Danny Mekonnen’s residency at the ArtLab was in collaboration with Allston-based nonprofit Silkroad. The residency supported research and development of Emergence; a new work that illuminates the “spiritual jazz” developed by pianist, harpist, singer, and composer Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda. Emergence has been commissioned by Silkroad from Ethiopian-American composer and saxophonist Danny Mekonnen and will premier in 2021.

The ArtLab residency included Silkroad Artists: Danny Mekonnen, composer, saxophone with Edward Perez, bass; Shane Shanahan, percussion; Mazz Swift, violin; Preeti Vasudevan, dancer with guests: Amirtha Kidambi, vocals and synthesizer; Nicole Mitchell, flute; Brandee Younger, harp; Ceren Turkmenoglu, violin 

Presentation associated with this residency: Work in progress: Emergence