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.

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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.

October 20, 2013 – Ethio Cali Ensemble Performs “Mulatu of Ethiopia” Live – Blue Whale, Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Playing drum set with Todd Simon’s Ethio Cali Ensemble performing the entire Mulatu Astatke album “Mulatu of Ethiopia” on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at the Blue Whale (DTLA). This special concert is the first of a three-month residency and features saxophonist Justo Almario who performed on the 1972 recording. Also featured will be steel pan master Alan Lightner on vibraphones for the first time with the group.

MoE Show Flyer Update

Todd Simon and Blue Whale Present
Ethio Cali Ensemble Performs “Mulatu of Ethiopia” Live
Featuring Justo Almario
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Commentary: My favorite group Ethio Cali Ensemble kicks off a monthly residency at the Blue Whale by tackling the “Mulatu of Ethiopia” album live. I am beyond excited playing this classic Ethio Jazz recording with the guys featuring legendary saxophonist Justo Almario. It has always been my dream to mount a live album series at a club like The Blue Whale. The icing on the cake will be pan player Alan Lightner on vibraphone doing the Mulatu Astatke parts. This show is a must-see!

October 10, 2012 – Todd Simon Presents Ethio Cali Ensemble Live – Blue Whale, Los Angeles, CA

Playing drums with Todd Simon’s Ethio Cali Ensemble on Wednesday, October 10 at the Blue Whale club in Downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo quarter. Ethio Cali Ensemble puts a new spin on the music of legendary composer/musician Mulatu Astatqe and other great Ethiopian composers. The band also plays original material and finds trumpeter/bandleader Todd Simon leading an all-star cast of musicians including steel pan player Alan Lightner, bassist/guitarist Patrick Bailey, bassist/guitarist Itai Shapira, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, percussionist/bandleader Steve Haney and drummer/arranger, yours truly, Dexter Story.

Commentary: I play in many bands but very few move and inspire me like this one. Ethiopian music is my obsession and I feel at home in this ensemble. Todd brings amazing leadership and arrangements to the group and I will be showcasing a few of my own arrangements and compositions. Don’t miss this particular show that follows a performance at the Abbot Kinney Festival in Venice 3 days prior. We will be well-oiled and in a venue that “gets it.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
2 sets: 8:30pm and 10:30pm.
Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0908

September 9, 2012 – Ethiopian New Year at Little Ethiopia Festival with Ethio-Cali Ensemble – Little Ethiopia, Los Angeles, CA

Playing drum set with Ethio-Cali Ensemble at the Ethiopian New Year celebration taking place at Little Ethiopia Festival on September 9, 2012. Todd Simon’s Ethio-Cali Ensemble features Simon on trumpet, flugelhorn and arrangements, Kamasi Washington or Tracy Wannomae on saxophone, Alan Lightner on steel pan, Steve Haney on percussion, Itai Shapira on guitar and Patrick Bailey on bass guitar. The group plays original roots Ethiopian music including the music of Mulatu Astatke. Little Ethiopia refers to the stretch of Fairfax Avenue in the Carthay district of Los Angeles, California between Olympic and Pico Boulevards. Showtime: TBD.