February 12, 2015 – Radio Afrique Presents Dexter Story and Wondem Live – Blue Whale, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA

Performing music from the upcoming Soundway Recording inspired by Ethiopian, Somalian, Eritrean, Sudanese and Kenyan sounds, and featuring members of Ethio Cali and friends.
wondem_image2 wondem_cardRadio Afrique Presents
Dexter Story & Wondem (Live)
Thursday, February 12, 2015
8pm | $15 | 21+ |
Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Little Tokyo Los Angeles


December 27, 2014 – Ethio Cali Live @ World Stage Kwanzaa Festival – World Stage, Los Angeles, CA

Playing multiple instruments with Ethio Cali at the World Stage’s 2014 Kwanzaa Music Festival on Saturday, December 27. Ethio Cali will play a variety of songs from their 2014 repertoire honoring the spirit of the World Stage.

Ethio Cali Live
The World Stage Kwanzaa Music Festival
December 27, 2014
The World Stage Performance Gallery
(Leimert Park)
4344 Degnan Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90008


December 12, 2014 – Ethio Cali Plays Latin Africa Live (Reprise) – Figat7th, Downtown LA, CA

Playing guitar and keys with Ethio Cali live at Fig at 7th on Friday, December 12. The band will revisit the Latin African music we performed in November at the Blue Whale.
Ethio Cali Fig at 7th Dec 12
Ethio Cali Plays Latin Africa Live (Reprise)
Todd M. Simon – Trumpet
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Damon Aaron – Guitar
Brandon Eugen Owens – Bass Guitar
Te’Amir Sweeney – Drums
Richi Panta – Percussion
Dexter Story – Guitar, Keys
Sonny Abegaze – Curation

Friday, December 12, 2014
735 S Figueroa St
Los Angeles, California

Commentary: Figat7th is a wonderful place to play and I was grateful to Oscar and the curators for booking Ethio Cali. Once we started performing, I forgot we were in a mall. Please support Figat7th. They treated us well.

December 7, 2014 – Ethio Cali Plays Spiritual Jazz Live – Blue Whale, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Playing drum set with Ethio Cali for the third and last in the Blue Whale 2014 residency on Sunday, December 7. Repertoire includes songs from icons Horace Parlan, Sun Ra and Ornette Coleman to Hugh Masekela, Segun Bucknor and Charles Mingus.

Ethio Cali Dec 7 Blue Whale
Ethio Cali Plays Spiritual Jazz
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Blue Whale
Weller Court, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street #301
Los Angeles, CA 90012
$15 | 21+

Todd Simon – Trumpet / Arranger / Bandleader
Kamasi Washington – Tenor Saxophone
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Tracy Wannomae – Flute, Alto Saxophone
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Piano
Patrick Bailey – Guitar
Brandon Eugene Owens – Acoustic Bass
Dexter Story – Drums, Co-Arranger
Alan Lightner – Percussion
Te’Amir Sweeney – Percussion
Sonny Abegaze – Curation

Commentary: This is a late calendar entry but I want to stress how amazing this show was to play. Todd Simon masterfully arranged the bulk of the spiritual jazz repertoire and lifted our spirits.  The highlight for me was performing a challenging Charles Mingus tune.

November 2, 2014 – Ethio Cali Plays Tezeta – Blue Whale, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Playing aux keys, guitar and arranging with Ethio Cali live at Blue Whale playing the nostalgic Tezeta music of Ethiopia on Sunday, November 2.
ethio cali_2_4X6-1
On Sunday, November 2nd, Ethio Cali will play two sets of music inspired by the concept of Tezeta.

Tezeta, an Amharic word from Ethiopia, loosely translates to nostalgia or longing. Tezeta is also one of the popular musical scales found in Ethiopia. Typically, Tezeta is associated with the memory of love lost, or the longing one feels when living far from home or their place of birth. It triggers emotions similar to that of saudade in Portuguese music, duende in flamenco, or the blues in America.

We hope you’ll join us for this special night of Tezeta at the blue whale.


TODD SIMON – (trumpet, music director, arranging)
RANDAL FISHER – (saxophone)
DAMON AARON – (guitar)
ALAN LIGHTNER – (steel pan / percussion)
STEVE HANEY – (percussion)
DEXTER STORY – (keys, guitar, arranging)
TE’AMIR YOHANNES SWEENEY – (drums, percussion)

special guests:

YARED TESHALE – (vocals)

+ Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony by AZLA VEGAN

Sunday, November 2, 2014

$15 cover

Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0908

October 15, 2014 – Westside Story Trio Live featuring Kenneth Crouch and Jon Flaugher – Casa Del Mar Hotel, Santa Monica, CA

Playing a jazz set at Casa Del Mar with two friends (from last Summer’s People Get Ready event at Grand Performances) on Wednesday, October 15: Pianist Kenneth Crouch and bassist Jon Flaugher.

Westside Trio Live
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Kenneth Crouch – Piano
Jon Flaugher – Bass
Dexter Story – Drums
Casa Del Mar
1910 Ocean Way
Santa Monica, CA 90405


October 5, 2014 – Ethio Cali Live – Blue Whale, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Playing multiple instruments with Ethio Cali for the first of three monthly residency concerts at The Blue Whale on Sunday, October 5. The band will tackle music Latin-influenced music of Africa.

ethio cali poster_v01 11x17

We’re excited to be back playing in one of our favorite rooms in the city as we kick off our residency at the Blue Whale. On Sunday, October 5th, we’ll be highlighting the history and widespread influence of latin music on the African continent, more specifically, the ways in which clave-based Cuban music and New York Salsa led to the development of vibrant local scenes in countries like the Congo, Senegal, Benin, and Ethiopia.

Amara Toure, Gnonnas Pedro, El Rego, and Orchestra Baobab are some of the luminaries of this genre that we’ll be paying tribute to on this night.  we will also have some special guests featured in the rhythm and horn sections.


TODD SIMON – (trumpet, music director, arranging)
RANDAL FISHER – (saxophone)
DEXTER STORY – (guitar, keys, arranging)
DAMON AARON – (guitar)
ALAN LIGHTNER – (steel pan / percussion)
TE’AMIR YOHANNES SWEENEY – (drums, percussion)

 special guests:

JOSIEL PEREZ – (trumpet)
RICHI PANTA – (percussion)


$15 / 21+ / 8pm–12am

Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0908