August 26, 2018 – Dexter Story & Wondem Live @ Beat Tropíc – Ojai Rancho Inn, Ojai, CA

Dexter Story & Wondem band perform a live set at Beat Tropíc in Ojai on Sunday, August 26, 2018 along with Mark “DJ Frosty” McNeil of Dublab.

Beat Tropíc WondemWondem Beat TropicBeat Tropic Wondem DexBeat Tropic WondemJustin ThomasDublab Beat TropicFlyer Beat Tropic

Beat Tropíc
Co-presented by dublab

Sunday August 26th from 1-7pm, poolside at Ojai Rancho Inn *no cover*


w/ DJs Earthtones & John Ramar
& guest DJ Frosty

An afternoon of Ethiopian + East African
Jazz, Soul, Funk & Folk Rhythms

Commentary: What a pleasure it was performing the music of Dr. Mulatu Astatke and other Ethiopian luminaries live in such a peaceful setting. Much love and respect to the musicians Brandon, Carlos, Justin and Kibrom, Serge and his colleagues, Frosty, and everyone who came out. I don’t take your support for granted. Thank you. Ameseganelehu.

August 19, 2016 – Anne Litt + Edible Gardens LA Present ‘Music in the Garden’ featuring Dexter Story & Wondem Live – Natural History Museum, Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story and his East Africa-influenced group Wondem perform live at Music in the Garden at the Natural History Museum on Friday, August 19. KCRW’s Anne Litt and Edible Gardens curate this special event.NHM Garden WondemScreen Shot 2016-08-11 at 1.28.07 AM

The band includes:

Alan Lightner
Etsegenet Makonnen
Khalil Cummings
Kibrom Birhane
Michael McTaggart
Randal Fisher
Te’Amir Sweeney
Dexter Story

Dexter Story and Wondem Live
@ Anne Litt + Edible Gardens Present
Music in the Garden
(Summer Nights in the Garden)
Friday August 19, 2016
Natural History Museum


July 17, 2016 – Wondem Live @ Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – JACCC ‎Little Tokyo Concert Series, James Irvine Japanese Garden, Downtown LA, CA

Dexter Story and Wondem band perform at Japanese American Cultural & Community Center – JACCC ‎Little Tokyo Concert Series, James Irvine Japanese Garden on Sunday, July 17, 2016.13256117_10153945629802550_8652652627639686_n.jpg_ND32150……………………………………………………………………………………………..
This summer, JACCC presents four, intimate outdoor concerts inside downtown’s James Irvine Japanese Garden in Little Tokyo.



Tickets available here:

Returning for its second season, the Little Tokyo Concert Series honors the intimate, outdoor and natural setting as an ideal environment to experience good music up close. With a diverse lineup of LA’s hottest acts, each night will be a unique and exciting way to wrap your weekends. After selling out each concert last year, we are thrilled to bring this series back to Los Angeles with a fresh line-up, here in the heart of Little Tokyo.

Indulge in sake and soba bar for a taste of Little Tokyo. Visit and experience the magic hours of the summer in great company…


+ dublab DJ Frosty

On his debut Soundway Records release, Dexter Story distills his diverse background in soul, funk, jazz and folk idioms into his own unique and worldly voice. Borrowing from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya, this collection of East African-influenced music is a testament to Story’s decades of dedication to artistic excellence.



Tickets are $12 presale, $15 general admission, and are available at JACCC.ORG/littletokyoconcertseries


(Japanese American Cultural & Community Center)
244 S. San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012


The entrance to the garden is conveniently located on San Pedro Street between 2nd and 3rd streets. Look for the narrow walkway between the JACCC Center Building and the adjacent alley.


Joe’s Auto Parks/Sho Tokyo Garage
350 E 2nd St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

$10 parking. The entrance to Joe’s Auto Parks is on 2nd Street, walk across the JACCC plaza to the San Pedro Street garden entrance.

*Street parking in Little Tokyo is also free on Sundays.
Generous support from dublab, Amoeba Records, LA Downtowner, L.A. Record, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Aratani Foundation & Bloomberg Philanthropies

July 4, 2016 – Wondem Live @ Grand Park / Music Center’s 4th of July Block Party – Grand Park, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story & Wondem perform live at Grand Park and The Music Center presents 4th of July Block Party on July 4, 2016 from 6:30 to 7:30pm.




LOS ANGELES! #GO4THDTLA. Grand Park and The Music Center are where to celebrate together with music, food, and an incredible fireworks display launched from the civic center skyline. Grab the best friends, the whole family, and main squeezes and enjoy a bit of togetherness under the beautiful Angeleno sky. **Safety for everyone is número uno. Check back soon for more info on entrances, prohibited items, parking, etc.**


SCHEDULE: Doors open at 2pm. Fireworks show will create stunning backdrop for L.A.’s iconic City Hall. Event ends at 9:30pm

MUSIC and ARTISTS that call L.A. home:

THE FIREWORKS STAGE (on The Music Center Plaza):

YOUR HOST: Mario Hernandez

Kotolan (Indie Pop meets global, sung in English, Spanish and Japanese)

108Hill (project debut by Peter Madana, Aalok Mehta, and Anisha Nagarajan exploring stories and sounds from Bombay to L.A.)

Jenny O. (L.A. based pop Singer-Songwriter)

Dexter Story (Wondem) (Soul, Funk, Jazz and Folk music with musical elements from East Africa)

The Echo Park Project and the dancers from the World Salsa Congress (legendary Salsa sounds with a twist)

THE BACKYARD STAGE (Grand Park near Hill St):

YOUR HOST: Kristin Rand

La Junta (DJ collective spinning tropical sounds of Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Africa, Cuba, Puerto Rico, India and Mexico)

Afro Funke’ with Rocky Dawuni, DJ Jeremy Sole, DJ Glenn Red(blends of African, Global, Hip-Hop, Jazz/Funk, Dub Reggae, Afro Beat and remixes)

EVENT LAWN: Dedicated space for play for children 4-14

Got Game Sports leading tag, soccer and other games thru 8:30pm // Tunes spun by DJ Francesca Harding and Ericalandia // Chris Douridas


GETTING THROUGH BAG CHECK: All bags will be checked upon entry to event space.

FOOD + DRINK POLICY: PICNICS/OUTSIDE FOOD is welcome in totes and backpacks – NO COOLERS. SIZE OF BAGS AND BACKPACKS/TOTES must be standard backpack size or smaller (16.75 inches x 13 inches x 8.5 inches). NO OUTSIDE BEVERAGES including juice and soda (sealed juice boxes is the only exception). ONLY EMPTY (non glass) WATER BOTTLES allowed. PARK WATER FOUNTAINS and WATER FOR PURCHASE BOOTHS will be available in the event space. FOOD VENDORS BOOTHS will be available throughout event space. This is and alchohol-free event, NO ALCOHOL permitted.

THE FOLLOWING IS PROHIBITED: Bags and backpacks measuring larger than standard backpack size (16.75 inches x 13 inches x 8.5 inches), coolers, chairs, outside alcoholic beverages, sealed or open beverage bottles with liquid including water (fountains and water for purchase will be available), selfie sticks, glass, smartboards, projection devices, narcotics, tents, firecrackers, explosives, sparklers, firearms/weapons, identity-covering costumes, confetti cannons, generators, drones, printed signage measuring larger than 8.5 inches b x 11 inches, props, flag poles and sticks, public intoxication, rollerblading, skateboarding, smoking, vaping, unauthorized vending, unleashed animals, smart boarding, outside solicitation, staking objects to ground, drone operation, amplified noise and bicycles (may be parked outside of event at 1st and Hill streets).

ALLOWED: Snacks, food, sealed juice boxes, small bags, strollers, handheld umbrellas and empty reusable non-glass water containers.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES ARE PROHIBITED: Public Intoxication / Rollerblading / Skateboarding / Smoking / Vaping / Unauthorized Vending / Aggressive Solicitation / Staking Objects to Ground


FOOD FOR SALE: Food vendors will be onsite.


STREET CLOSURE INFO: Details on scheduled event street closures in the 4th of July Block Party Community Letter.


BIKE PARKING: Bike valet available at 1st and Hill. FREE

METRO RECOMMENDATION: Take Metro Red/Purple lines to CIVIC CENTER/GRAND PARK STATION (use 1st St exit; Temple St exit is only open for ADA/elevator access). Gold Line to UNION STATION or LITTLE TOKYO/ARTS DISTRICT STATION, then 7-12 min walk towards The Music Center


Summer at The Music Center: Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles + Grand Park: Free events for all, because everything is better together.

May 28, 2016 – Dexter Story and Wondem Live In-Store Performance – Record Surplus, Santa Monica, CA

Dexter Story performs an in-store with his Wondem group at Record Surplus in Santa Monica, CA on Saturday, May 28. Record Surplus is a longtime music store specializing in buying & selling used records, CDs, books, DVDs & memorabilia.
Wondem Union Station Filter

Dexter Story & Wondem Live
Live In-Store Performance
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Record Surplus
12436 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

April 28, 2016 – Ethio Cali Presents New Offerings – Blue Whale, Downtown LA, CA

Dexter Story performs guitar, bass and organ with Todd Simon’s Ethio Cali at the Blue Whale on Thursday, April 28, 2016.Ethio Cali Blue WhaleSpringtime is here and Ethio Cali has curated an eveing of NEW OFFERINGS featuring new compositions and arrangements to be premiered at one of our favorite LA venues, the Blue Whale.

We will also take a moment to pay tribute to Prince and Getatchew Mekurya, the pioneer of Ethiopian-Jazz tenor saxophone, who have recently passed away.

Todd Simon – trumpet/flügelhorn
Randal Fisher – tenor saxophone/flute
Tylana Renga – violin
Dexter Story – guitar/organ
Patrick Bailey -bass/guitar
Kibrom Birhane – piano
Alan Lightner – steel drums
Te’Amir Sweeney – drums
Steve Haney & Kahlil Cummings – percussion

Special guest DJ MZA providing selections throughout the night

Ethio Cali Presents New Offerings
Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka
Little Tokyo
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Doors: 8pm
Cover: $15

February 26, 2016 – Metro Arts Presents Dexter Story & Wondem Live – Waiting Room, Union Station, Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story & Wondem perform live in the beautiful waiting room of Los Angeles’ Union Station on Friday, February 26. The free late afternoon concert will feature selections from Dexter Story’s recent Soundway Records release ‪#‎Wondem‬ as well as new original compositions.Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.51.24 AM
On Friday, February 26, the Wondem ensemble will proudly feature the following musicians in the Union Station main waiting room:

Etsegenet Mekonnen – Bass, Vocals
Kibrom Birhane – Keys, Vocals, Massinqo
Mike McTaggart – Guitar 
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone, Flute
Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney – Drums, Percussion
Dexter Story – Keys, Guitar, Vocals

Metro Arts Presents Dexter Story & Wondem Live
Friday, February 26, 2016
2 sets
Union Station Los Angeles
800 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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

Dexter Story lectures 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.

jesse-ayansola-lrg 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: Profile:

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