January 13, 2016 – Guest Lecturer: UCLA Ethnomusicology Course: Music From Around The World – Jan Popper Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Lectured on Ethiopian music and culture in UCLA Professor Jesse Ruskin’s ‘Music From Around The World’ undergraduate ethnomusicology course on Wednesday, January 13. Kibrom Birhane assisted me on vocals and massinqo.

Dex and Kibrom UCLA
One of the highlights of 2016 for me thus far was lecturing on Ethiopian music and culture in Dr. Jesse Ruskin’s “Music From Around The World” course at UCLA. I had never spoken publicly on Ethiopia outside of the music club or band stage and was honored by the invitation. Professor Ruskin started with a broad overview of the music of East Africa including a recap of his prior lectures, examples of regional migration patterns, musicians, traditional instruments, and then handed it off to me. I covered the origins of music from the Axumite kingdom and the beginnings of the Solomonic dynasty through the Christianization of Ethiopia and through the Swinging Addis modern music period of the 1960’s and 1970’s to the present techno-indigenous artistry of 2016. As an example of the liturgical language of the tewahedo orthodox church, I invited my friend Kibrom to sing in Ge’ez. His voice was incredibly beautiful. I shared with the students about my early encounters with Ethiopian culture during my undergraduate years at U.C. Berkeley, about the making of my new record #Wondem and about my recent 2-week explorational trip to Ethiopia. My presentation also included sheet music examples of the modes and rhythms as well as audio material. I look forward to doing it again soon and would like to thank Dr. Jesse Ruskin and the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA for allowing me to participate in the course. A final note: The irony of this lecture opportunity is that it happened as I am awaiting word about my application to the UCLA African Studies M.A. program.

Dr. Jesse D. Ruskin Bio:

Ruskin’s writing has appeared in the Journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Black Music Research Journal, Ethnomusicology Review, and most recently the Los Angeles Times. Forthcoming work will appear in the Yearbook for Traditional Music, the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World, and A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Emeritus J. H. Kwabena Nketia. He was Editor-in-Chief of the online academic journal Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology from 2006-2008.

LinkedIn Profile:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jesse-ruskin/8a/294/83a/

Academia.edu Profile:  https://ucla.academia.edu/JesseRuskin

Specialty: Musical creativity and cultural entrepreneurship among Yorùbá musicians in Nigeria and the United States; audiovisual archiving; biographical methods in ethnomusicology; Cambodian American popular music.

Ph.D., Ethnomusicology, UCLA 2013; M.A., Ethnomusicology, UCLA 2006; B.A., Sociology/Music, Tufts University 1996


January 30, 2016 – Dexter Story & Wondem Live @ Goldenvoice Presents Buyepongo Album Release – The El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story & Wondem band perform live in support of Buyepongo’s Todo Mundo album release event at The El Rey on Saturday, January 30, 2016.
Buyepongo Flyer

Goldenvoice Presents

Buyepongo Record Release Party

Special guest Cut Chemist, Jeremy Sole, Dexter Story & Changüí Majadero
Sat, Jan 30, 2016 – 9:00PM

Event Info

Ages: All Ages
Doors Open: 8:30PM
Price: $15.00 – $15.00
Onsale: Fri, Dec 4, 2015 – 10:00AM PST


January 28, 2016 – Dexter Story & Wondem Live – Del Monte Speakeasy, Venice, CA

Dexter Story and Wondem band perform live in Venice at the Del Monte Speakeasy on Thursday, January 28, 2016. The repertoire will be music from the recently released Soundway Records album #Wondem.

Thursday, January 28

The band:

Drums: Te’Amir Sweeney
Percussion: Kahlil Cummings
Percussion: Carlos Niño
Bass: Brandon Eugene Owens
Guitar: Michael McTaggart
Keys: Mark de Clive-Lowe
Tenor Saxophone: Randal Fisher
Trumpet: Todd M. Simon
Vocals: Dustin Warren


Join us for a special 2016 Westside live performance at the Del Monte Speakeasy featuring music from the Soundway Records album inspired by East African sounds. With a special opening set by Ras G (The Afrikan Space Program / Brainfeeder)

Plus DJ sets by Mathieu “Mr. French” Schreyer (KCRW)

9pm / 21+ / $10

The Del Monte Speakeasy
@ The Townhouse
52 Windward Ave, Venice, CA 90291
*Celebrating Timkat and Aquarians worldwide

Like the Facebook page for more information and updates: https://www.facebook.com/wondemmusic/

November 24, 2015 – Radio Afrique Presents Dexter Story & Wondem Live – General Lee’s, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

Presenting an encore performance of #Wondem at General Lee’s on Tuesday, November 24.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 1.53.48 PM


Band includes:

Carlos Niño – Percussion
Te’Amir Sweeney – Drums
Patrick Bailey – Bass
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys
Michael McTaggart – Guitar
Tenor Saxophone and Flute – Randal Fisher
Trumpet – Todd Simon
Vocals – Dustin Warren (Godfrey at Large)
Misc – Dexter Story

Radio Afrique Presents
Dexter Story & Wondem Live
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
General Lee’s
475 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012


November 21, 2015 – California Love: A Benefit for Global Music Education – Wilshire Ebell Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Playing percussion with the live 30-piece orchestra at California Love: A Benefit for Global Music Education on Saturday, November 21 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. The event celebrates the music of Dr. Dre with music arranged and composed by Sly5thAve.

California Love: A Benefit for Global Music Education
Music Directed by Sly5thAve
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Wilshire Ebell Theatre
4401 W. 8th Street
Los Angeles, CA


November 17, 2015 – Atwater Deluxe Presents A Tribute to Blondie – The Satellite, Los Angeles, CA

Playing percussion with an amazing group of musicians and vocalists in tribute to Blondie on Tuesday, November 17 at The Satellite. The event organizers are brilliant singer Laura Mace and bassist JP Maramba.

Atwater Deluxe Presents

A tribute to BLONDIE, Laura Mace, Rachel Fannan, Brett Farkas, Jerry Borgé, Theo Katzman, Leo Paparella, Jessie Payo, Todd Morse, Shoshanna Sterling backed by Jonny Flaugher, Freddy Bokkenheuser, JP Maramba, Josh Lopez, Christian Wunderlich, & many more..

Tue, November 17, 2015
Doors: 8:30 pm / Show: 9:00 pm(event ends at 2:00 am)
The Satellite
1717 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026


This event is 21 and over