Debriano was raised in Brooklyn, having moved there with his family at age four. He studied composition at Union College in New York, then attended the New England Conservatory of Music and Wesleyan University. He worked with Archie Shepp in the late 70's and early 80's, then moved to Paris and played with Sam Rivers for three years. He returned to New York City and has since worked with Don Pullen, Pharoah Sanders, Sonny Fortune, Billy Hart, Larry Coryell, Chucho Valdés, Hank Jones, Cecil Taylor, Randy Weston, Freddie Hubbard, Kirk Lightsey, and Attila Zoller.
Debriano has led several of his own units, including small groups in the late 1980s and Circlechant, a world music-influenced ensemble which has had among its members Helio Alves, Will Calhoun, and Abraham Burton.
- Obeah (1987, Freelance Records)
- Soldiers of Fortune (Freelance, 1989)
- Panamaniacs (Evidence, 1997)
- Circlechant (HighNote Records, 1999)
- Artistic License (Savant Records, 2001)
- 3-Ololy (Bellaphon Records, 2006)
- Chico Freeman: Focus (Contemporary Records, 1994)
- Louis Hayes: Louis at Large (Sharp Nine, 1996)
- Oliver Lake: Compilation (Gramavision, 1982–86)
- Charles McPherson: Come Play with Me (Arabesque, 1995)
- David Murray: Black & Black (DIW Records, 1991)
- David Murray: Long Goodbye: A Tribute to Don Pullen (DIW Records, 1996)
- Jim Pepper: Dakota Sound (Enja, 1987)
- Louis Satchmo (1991)