June 1, 2018 – Higher! The Psychedelic Soul and Genius of Sly and The Family Stone, 1966 – 1983 – Grand Performances, Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story music-directs and co-produces Higher! The Psychedelic Soul and Genius of Sly and The Family Stone on Friday, June 1 at Grand Performances. The tribute features a who’s who of talent celebrating the timeless music classics from the expansive mind of Sylvester Stewart.

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Commentary: Thank you to everyone who attended this show on June 1. I appreciate you very much. Sly’s songs are the most intensely beautiful I’ve ever arranged. They play themselves but are not to be underestimated. This is gospel, funk, blues, rock, soul, and folk at its finest. I am grateful.

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June 18, 2016 – Grand Performances Presents Soy Africano – Grand Performances, Downtown LA, CA

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.
GrandPerformances_1_photobyShawnAhmed.jpgTransportive, 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)

Soy Africano
Saturday, June 18, 2016
8pm
Free
Grand Performances
300 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071

Supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts

Evolucn 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.

October 28, 2015 – PolicyLink Presents Sounds of LA: A Celebratory Reception – California Ballroom, Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story music-directs and conducts a reprise of Grand Performances’ Wattstax Revisited at Policy Link’s Equity Summit 2015 on Wednesday, October 28. Grand Performances was the original presenter and also curated this second presentation at the Westin Bonaventure. Wattstax Revisited is a tribute to the soul, artistry and social relevance of the 1972 Memorial Coliseum concert featuring Stax artists and its 1973 companion documentary directed by Mel Stuart. The original Wattstax concert was an extension of the Watts Summer Festival and commemorated the 1965 Watts Revolt. Consequently, this Summer’s event and its reprise take place on the 50th anniversary of the revolt.IMG_0746-960
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The Wattstax Revisited band featured:

Chris Pierce – Vocals
Dustin Warren – Vocals
Jimetta Rose – Vocals
John Bigham – Vocals
N’Dambi – Vocals
Nia Andrews – Vocals

Allakoi Peete – Percussion
Brandon Eugene Owens – Bass
Brandyn Phillips – Trumpet
Geoff “Double G” Gallegos – Baritone Saxophone
Iajhi Hampden – Drums
John Bigham – Guitar
Kenneth Crouch – Keyboards
Randal Fisher – Tenor Saxophone

Steve Nalepa – Visuals

Wattstax Revisited (Reprise)
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
8pm
Westin Bonaventure Hotel
Downtown Los Angeles
as part of
PolicyLink’s Sounds of LA
@ Equity Summit 2015

Produced by http://www.BigBowlofIdeas.com

http://www.policylink.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.

June 20, 2015 – Grand Performances Presents Wattstax Revisited – Grand Performances, California Plaza, Los Angeles, CA

Co-producing and music-directing Wattstax: Revisited on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Grand Performances.

Wattstax Revisited FrontWattstax Revisited Back

WATTSTAX: REVISTED
presented by grand performances

Produced by Dexter StoryJonathan 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.

Saturday, June 20, 2015 / 8pm / Free

-RSVP on Facebook

Grand Performances / California Plaza
350 S Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90071

grandperformances.org