May 31, 2017 – Guest DJ Session: Dexter Story –

Dexter Story guests on with a 2-hour DJ set of African music on May 31, 2017.

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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
The Blue Whale
Weller Court
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street, #301
Los Angeles, CA 900122

April 8, 2014 – Radio Afrique Presents Ethio Cali Live – Hyperion Tavern, Silverlake, CA

Playing various instruments with Ethio Cali at DJs Rani D and Son Zoo’s monthly event Radio Afrique at Hyperion Tavern on Tuesday, April 8. This monthly features classics and obscurities from the African music diaspora. DJ Son Zoo is a member of Ethio Cali.


The band features:

Todd M. Simon
Kamasi Washington
Alan Lightner
Te’Amir Sweeney
Damon Aaron
Patrick Bailey
Dexter Story

Radio Afrique Presents Ethio Cali
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone:(323) 665-1941

Commentary: I arrived late to this show with my brothers and walked into an electric small band show featuring Todd M. Simon on trumpet, Randal Fisher on tenor, Alan Lightner on percussion, Damon Aaron on guitar, Pat Bailey on bass and Te’Amir Sweeney on fiery drums. Whew! It was great to watch EC tear it up. They jammed hard and improvised on Ethio jazz and funk classics and I was blown away. After playing 2 songs on drums (Mowa and Ethio Cali), I retreated to watch them blow through 2 more one of which was a tune I wrote called Azmar. The most heart-warming thing about it was sitting next to Semere-Ab Etmet Yohannes and hearing stories about the azmar region and his grandfather while the band played. Hats off to Sonny and Rani D for a cool night.