August 25-26, 2015 – Video Shoot: “Eastern Prayer” from Wondem Album – Los Angeles County

Shot video to “Eastern Prayer,” a track from the upcoming Wondem album release with director Anthony Valadez (KCRW) and director of photography Holly Port (Thundercat, J*Davey). The compelling video treatment features territory crossing from the Westside to the Eastside of a Los Angeles-esque Urban cityscape in search of someone to whom I can pass my coveted possession. I ultimately succeed when I encounter lead vocalist Nia Andrews who is willing to carry the torch. This is Anthony Valadez’s directorial debut.

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Artist: Dexter Story
Song: Eastern Prayer (Featuring Nia Andrews)
Album: Wondem
Label: Soundway Records
Video Director: Anthony Valadez
Director of Cinematography: Holly Port
Video Premiere: TBD

Album Release: October 23, 2015

Wondem.com

August 20, 2015 – Ethio Cali Live – The Blue Whale, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Playing with Ethio Cali at Joon Lee’s Blue Whale jazz nightclub & gallery on Thursday, August 20. Ethio Cali returns to its favorite venue in Los Angeles for 2 sets of spirited African music.The Blue Whale is Los Angeles’ premiere jazz concert venue and gallery in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles.

Ethio Cali GP

Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethio-Jazz ensemble, led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon.  The ensemble’s sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960’s and 70’s, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles.  Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-Jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Colombia..

Ethio Cali features:

Todd Simon – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Music Director
Kamasi Washington – Tenor Saxophone
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys
Alan Lightner – Steel Pan, Percussion
Damon Aaron – Guitar
Pat Bailey – Bass, Guitar
Steve Haney – Percussion
Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney – Drums, Percussion
Dexter Story – Multiple Instruments, Arrangements

Ethio Cali Live
Thursday, August 20, 2015
8pm
$15
The Blue Whale
Weller Court
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street, #301
Los Angeles, CA 900122

ethiocali.com

August 18, 2015 – “Lalibela” Single Premiere from Upcoming Wondem Album Release – WaxPoetics.com

Wax Poetics premieres “Lalibela,” the first single from the upcoming album release Wondem on Soundway Records. Click the image or here to listen.

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Wondem is a unique collection of songs inspired by my passion for and immersion into African music and culture over my career” says Los Angeles musician Dexter Story about his new album, set for release on October 23 on Soundway Records. The multi-instrumentalist and producer combined his diverse background in soul, funk, jazz, and folk into his own unique and worldly voice, with influences from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya.

“This body of work came about as I began to compose and arrange for Todd Simon’s Ethio Cali, an emerging Ethio-jazz ensemble in Los Angeles. Wondem means brother in Amharic, and I felt a strong brotherly connection to Ethiopia during the process.”

The album was written and recorded in Story’s studio in downtown Los Angeles, and coproduced by the talented Carlos Niño. In addition, Story worked with an array of collaborators on the record, including Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Nia Andrews, Alsarah Elgada, and Yared Teshale.

In anticipation of the record, Wax Poetics is premiering the lead track, “Lalibela,” featuring Yared Teshale.

“The song ‘Lalibela’ was composed in tribute to the eleven great rock churches and the holy city in the north of Ethiopia. My mind couldn’t (and can’t) comprehend how they were excavated with precision like that, and I sing praises to them,” says Story. “Lalibela is an important pilgrimage center for Ethiopians, and I hope to visit there soon. The layout of the churches is said to be a replica of Jerusalem commissioned by Emperor Saint Gebre Lalibela in the twelth century. The track features vocalist Yared Teshale from Addis Ababa.”

Dexter Story is a man with many talents—he was the product manager for Snoop Dogg, Meshell Ndegeocello’s day-to-day representative, and later performed with artists such as Dwight Trible, Madlib, Quadron, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Kelis, Kamasi Washington, and the Gaslamp Killer Experience.

http://waxpoetics.com/music/tracks/l-a-multi-instrumentalistproducer-dexter-story-premieres-new-ethiopia-influenced-song/

July 31, 2015 – Ethio Cali Live (Opening for Zongo Junction) – El Cid, Los Angeles, CA

Playing multiple instruments with Ethio Cali on their opening set supporting Brooklyn Afrobeat collective Zongo Junction on Friday, July 31. Generating a well-deserved buzz in NYC’s exploding afrobeat scene, Zongo Junction electrifies dance floors wherever they perform. The Village Voice describes their live show as “Sheer energy with the force of a tractor-trailer that roars with power and noise.” With five horns, and a six-piece rhythm section, audiences can’t help but move no matter where the band is playing.

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Ethio Cali opening for
Zongo Junction
Also featuring Quita Peñas
Friday, July 31, 2015
9pm
$15
El Cid
4212 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA, 90029
http://www.elcidla.com/

July 25, 2015 – Grand Performances Presents 65 to 92: The Rhythm Changes but The Struggle Remains (Produced and Music Directed by Kamasi Washington) – Grand Performances, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Co-produced Kamasi Washington’s acclaimed event 65 to 92: The Rhythm Changes but The Struggle Remains at Grand Performances on Saturday, July 25, 2015.

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65-92: THE RHYTHM CHANGES BUT THE STRUGGLE REMAINS

Kamasi Washington makes the 1965 and 1992 socio-political conversations musical using the potent jazz and hip hop voices of Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Billy Higgins, 2Pac, Snoop, and Cypress Hill. Two bands. Two musical eras. One ongoing struggle.

This event is part of our LOS ANGELES AFTERSHOCKS series, which focuses on the cultural aftershocks of the pivotal events in 1965 and 1992, and exemplifies how music, dialogue, and community celebration help us address racism in our city and nation. This series is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Sony Pictures Entertainment. 

Bike valet sponsored by AARP in Los Angeles.

This series presented in partnership with KPCC.

Commentary: This is a post-event post. I had the privilege of working with Kamasi Washington, Leigh Ann Hahn, Banch Abegaze, Janice Wong and Sonny Abegaze to bring Kamasi Washington and ensemble to the Grand Performances stage on Saturday, July 25th. Kamasi is on his way to becoming the international icon he deserves to be. I was amazed at how each of the musicians brought their AAA game to the offering. I am grateful to have been a part of it and look forward to working with Kamasi and crew again soon. Don’t miss Kamasi Washington and The West Coast Get Down on their upcoming domestic and international tour.

July 19, 2015 – JACCC Presents Twilight In The Garden Little Tokyo Concert Series Featuring Ethio Cali Live – James Irvine Japanese Garden, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Playing with Ethio Cali at Japanese American Culture & Community Center Presents Twilight In The Garden Little Tokyo Concert Series on July 19. Other guests artists include Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s Quartetto Fantastico on July 5, Buyepongo on July 12 and Shafiq Husayn & Dove Society on July 26.Twilight in the Garden JACCCJapanese American Culture & Community Center Presents
Twilight In The Garden
Little Tokyo Concert Series
Featuring Ethio Cali
July 19, 2015
5-9pm
$10
James Irvine Japanese Garden
244 S. San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

http://www.jaccc.org/littletokyoconcertseries

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Japanese-American-Cultural-Community-Center-JACCC/108520352549?fref=photo

July 11, 2015 – Artist For Charity’s Art Auction Fundraiser featuring Ethio Cali and JP Saxe – Voila! Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Playing bass with Ethio Cali at Arts For Charity’s first Los Angeles fundraiser on Saturday, July 11 at Voila! Gallery. AFC uses the power of art to create hope for orphaned children with HIV and other illnesses in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The proceeds benefit orphaned children living with HIV.
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Over the past 9 years, AFC’s efforts have been supported by our fabulous art auction benefit events in Washington, D.C., and New York City. We are now coming to Los Angeles for the first time on Saturday, July 11th, at the beautiful Voila! Gallery.

Our exciting live auction provides a unique opportunity for participants to bid on art from all over the world.  Come enjoy an evening in which you can bring home beautiful artwork by both well-known and up-and-coming artists, and also make a profound difference, creating hope for the children of AFC.

We will also feature:

– Band members from EthioCali playing afro-jazz, and other talented entertainers.

– A taste of Ethiopia, brought to you by Azla Vegan.

– Sipping on an assortment of drinks.

– Mixing and mingling with our amazing family of supporters and volunteers!

There are a limited number of tickets available, so don’t delay in snagging your seat! On behalf of the children, and all of us at AFC, we extend our warmest appreciation for your generosity. We look forward to seeing you there!

Ethio Cali Live @
Artists For Charity’s Art Auction Fundraiser
Saturday, July 11, 2015
6pm
Voila! Gallery
518 N. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036Tickets available at http://www.artistsforcharity.org

ethiocali.com