Dexter Story co-produces and music directs “Mothership Landing,” a concert celebrating 1977 cosmic funk album releases by Parliament-Funkadelic, Earth Wind & Fire, Bootsy’s Rubber Band and Sun Ra on Saturday, July 29.
Join us for FREE summer concerts in DTLA!
40 years ago, funk music hit critical mass with the release of groundbreaking Afrofurist-themed albums like Live P-Funk Earth Tour, Funkentelechy and All ‘N All that would ignite dance floors and shape R&B and hip-hop culture forever. Join us to celebrate the cosmic genius of George Clinton, Maurice White, William “Bootsy” Collins, Bernie Worrell, Junie Morrison, Sun Ra and more…
Dexter Story music directs and co-curates Soy Africano, a special Grand Performances concert on Saturday, June 18th celebrating the Latin influence on music of West Africa. In association with Grand Performances, Radio Afrique DJs/presenters/curators Sonny Abegaze and Rani de Leon partner with Story to bring a 15-piece orchestra to the California Plaza stage with visuals and stellar vocalists. Transportive, complex rhythms and lilting guitars —all West African trademarks —meld with familiar Latin sounds to bring you a spirited evening exploring new territory in diasporic connections. Soy Africano highlights the overlooked history and widespread influence of latin music in West Africa by showcasing the ways in which clave-based Cuban music and New York Salsa were embraced by Africans, and led to thriving “latin afro” scenes in countries like Senegal, Benin, Guinea and the Congo.
Featured vocalists include Afrisa International’s Wawali, Son Mayor’s Alfredo Ortiz, Chicano Batman’s Bardo Martinez, Brazilian songstress Thalma de Freitas and the legendary Lazaro Gallaraga among other surprise guests.
Produced for Grand Performances by Radio Afrique and Dexter Story (Music Director/Conductor)
Saturday, June 18, 2016
300 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts
Evolución L.A.tino series explores Latino and Chicano culture, power, influence and experiences from a local and global perspective through music, theater, film, culinary arts, and expert panel/lectures. This series is supported in part by Sony Pictures Entertainment.
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.
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.
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.
Co-producing and music-directing Wattstax: Revisited on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Grand Performances.
WATTSTAX: REVISTED presented by grand performances
Produced by Dexter Story, Jonathan Rudnick and Rocío Wyldeflower Contreras (producers of Minnie Riperton, People Get Ready, Nina Simone and Gil Scott-Heron tributes)
Music Director: Dexter Story | Vocalists: Jimetta Rose, Nia Andrews, Kahdja Bonet, Anderson .Paak, N’Dambi, John Bigham, Godfrey at Large, Loren Oden and Chris Pierce | Percussion: Allakoi Peete | Drums: Ronald Bruner | Bass: Brandon Eugene Owens | Guitar: John Bigham | Keys: Brandon Coleman | Hammond B3 Organ: Kenneth Crouch | Tenor Saxophone: Kamasi Washington | Trombone: Elizabeth Lea | Trumpet: Christopher Gray | DJ: Jeremy Sole (KCRW) | Visuals: Steve Nalepa | MC: Jimetta Rose | Music Consultant & Guest of Honor: Mr. Reggie Andrews
Taking place on the 50th Anniversary of the historic South Central protest events which inspired the original festival, WATTSTAX ‘REVISITED’ revives the funk, soul, dancing, and comedic fun of the 1972 concert and 1973 documentary with a signature array of dynamic performers, musicians, striking visuals and very special guests.
Playing percussion with The Gaslamp Killer Experience at Grand Performances on Friday, June 19, 2015. Hot on the heels of a historic Coachella double weekend, the L.A.-based DJ and producer’s signature dubstep, world music, left-field hip-hop, and psychedelic sound is accompanied by a crushing 10-piece band for a free show.
The Gaslamp Killer Experience Live
Friday, June 19, 2015
350 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Playing drum set with Todd Simon’s Ethio Cali Ensemble featuring Sydney-based vocalist Dereb Desalegn (aka Dereb The Ambassador) live at Grand Performances on Friday, July 26. This show is sponsored by KCRW and also features The University of Gnawa.
About Todd Simon’s Ethio-Cali Ensemble:
Ethio Cali is a Los Angeles-based Ethiopian jazz ensemble led by trumpeter/arranger/composer Todd Simon and featuring a cast of the finest musicians from Southern California. 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 and roots-inspired. Acknowledging the diverse musical foundations of Ethio-jazz, the ensemble also draws inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures of Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, and Columbia.
Commentary: What’s so special about this show is that this will be the first time that Ethio Cali has performed with international superstar Dereb The Ambassador. We have also wanted to perform with him and we feel like this is the right opportunity to collaborate with such an amazing vocalist. I look forward to it. The set list is fire.
Music directing Young Gifted and Nina at Grand Performances on Friday, July 5, 2013.
We are particularly honored in this 80th birthday year of The High Priestess of Soul, to celebrate one of the most extraordinary artists and icons of American music, the inimitable Nina Simone. A fiery, passionate, revolutionary and uncompromising artist and storyteller who used her remarkable talent to create a legacy of liberation, empowerment, and love throughout her magnificent body of work.
Young, Gifted, and Nina is a must-see tribute to one of the most distinguished and beloved artist of our time featuring a powerful and dynamic lineup of:
Georgia Anne Muldrow
Alan Lightner – percussion & steel pan
Carlos Niño – percussion
JP Maramba – acoustic & electric bass
Jacques Lesure – guitar
Jamire Williams – drums
Joey Dosik – wurlitzer, organ, alto saxophone
Steve Nalepa – visual narrative
Vardan Ovsepian – piano, synthesizer
Special Guest: Ron Bishop – piano
+ Jeremy Sole KCRW – special invocation DJ set
and surprise guests
Music directed by multi-instrumentalist Dexter Story and curated by producer Jonathan Rudnick.
*Complimentary bike valet will be available on the Upper Plaza
Music directing this celebration of Gil Scott-Heron’s legacy that explores the soul, vitality, power, humor, social activism, humanity, and dynamic messages of the late artist through his words, music, poetry, and an enthralling visual and interactive art journey. Performers include Gil’s long time collaborator and friend Brian Jackson; Rich Medina; Mark de Clive Lowe; and Miguel Atwood Ferguson, with special guests and surprises. Produced by Jonathan Rudnick, co-founder of Giant Step, and creative mind behind projects like SCORED music in film and theLIFT. Grand Performances is a free outdoor Summer concert series in Downtown Los Angeles’ California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071. 4th Street / Olive. 8-10pm. For more information: (213) 687-2190 or http://www.grandperformances.org/en/events/Peace-Go-With-You-Gil.html. More updates and information to come.