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
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.

April 23, 2016 – Radio Afrique Presents Imarhan with DJs Rani D, Son Zoo & Dexter Story – The Del Monte Speakeasy, Venice, CA

Dexter Story DJs and co-presents the Algerian group IMARHAN with the Radio Afrique collective at The Del Monte Speakeasy on Saturday, April 23. Imarhan, meaning ‘the ones I care about,’ started out around 2008, a loose collection of friends who began to play togetherTheir reflects their cultural and generational background; dry guitar riffs, pop melodies and pan-African rhythms which draw on traditional Tuareg music, African ballads and the modern pop and rock the band heard growing up. Radio Afrique are Los Angeles-based arts presenters Rani de Leon and Sonny Abegaze.
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Radio Afrique Presents IMARHAN
with DJs Rani D, Son Zoo and Dexter Story
$10.00 Presale Tickets
8:00pm, 21+
The Del Monte Speakeasy

52 Windward Avenue

Venice, California 90291


8:00pm Doors / Radio Afrique DJs

9:00pm IMARHAN

10:00pm Radio Afrique DJs

10:30pm DJ Jedi


Additional Promotion by Temple Bar Concepts and Moon Block Party

Presale Ticket Link Coming Soon


Girma Yifrashewa – “The Shepherd with the Flute” Video Launch on Vimeo

Dexter Story with partners Radio Afrique and Azla Vegan launch video of Girma Yifrashewa performing “The  Shepherd with the Flute” live in South Pasadena, CA on March 25.

GIRMA YIFRASHEWA – “The Shepherd with the Flute”

Recorded March 25, 2015, live at The Carriage House in South Pasadena, CA.

Presented by Radio Afrique, Azla Vegan & Dexter Story.

Video by Mike Park & Maya Santos.

“This short piece is composed in such a way as to reflect the serene, simple rural life in Ethiopia. It also reflects my personal wishes for love, hope and understanding in our world. The theme is taken from a very popular and beloved composition “The Shepherd Flutist,” by the late Professor Ashenafi Kebede (1938-1998). The piano piece is dedicated to Prof. Ashenafi Kebede who has made an immense contribution to the growth of Ethiopian music.” – Girma Yifrashewa

Born in Addis Ababa in 1967, Girma Yifrashewa’s life in music began with the Kirar, a harp-like traditional Ethiopian string instrument, at a tender age. He was introduced to piano at the age of 16 when he joined the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa, and continued his studies at the Sofia State Conservatory of Music in Bulgaria with the support of the Ethiopian government. Despite losing his scholarship after only three years due to the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, Yifrashewa emigrated to Italy where, while under the care of Caritas, his talent and desire to return to his studies in Bulgaria was discovered by the Christian Brothers. Through their support he was able to return to the Sofia Conservatory in 1991, where he graduated with a Masters in Piano under Professor Atanas Kurtev.

Yifrashewa returned to Ethiopia in 1995, teaching piano at the Yared School of Music until 2001. He received scholarships for short-term specialization courses from the British and German Governments, at the Royal Academy of Music in London (1997) and at the Hochschule fur Music Und Theater in Leipzig (1999). Currently Yifrashewa works to promote Ethiopian and Classical Music throughout the continent and beyond.

girmayifrashewa.com | rafrique.com | azlavegan.com | dexterstory.com

mike-park.com | mayasantos.com


November 24, 2015 – Radio Afrique Presents Dexter Story & Wondem Live – General Lee’s, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA

Dexter Story & Wondem, in association with the Los Angles-based DJ collective Radio Afrique, present an encore performance of his Soundway Records body of work #Wondem at General Lee’s on Tuesday, November 24.

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Band includes:

Carlos Niño – Percussion
Te’Amir Sweeney – Drums
Patrick Bailey – Bass
Mark de Clive-Lowe – Keys
Michael McTaggart – Guitar
Tenor Saxophone and Flute – Randal Fisher
Trumpet – Todd Simon
Vocals – Dustin Warren (Godfrey at Large)
Misc – Dexter Story

Radio Afrique Presents
Dexter Story & Wondem Live
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
General Lee’s
475 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012


May 12, 2015 – Radio Afrique Monthly – Hyperion Tavern, Los Angeles, CA

DJ set with Jesse Peterson at Rani de Leon and Sonny Abegaze’s monthly gathering at Hyperion Tavern in Silverlake on Tuesday, May 12.

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Radio Afrique is a sublime monthly gathering celebrating the diversity and richness of music found in the various regions of Africa. desert blues, angola soul, ethio jazz, and nigerian disco are some of the genres we amplify on this special night.

dial in.




FREE / 10pm-2am

Hyperion Tavern
1941 Hyperion Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027


Commentary: This event happened and I note that it was extraordinary. I am honored to be a part of a community of music connoisseurs and musicologists. Keep abreast of Radio Afrique’s events at http://www.rafrique.com.

March 25, 2015 – Radio Afrique, Azla Vegan and Dexter Story Present Girma Yifrashewa in Concert – The Carriage House, South Pasadena, CA

Co-presenting (with Radio Afrique and Azla Vegan) an evening of Ethiopian Classical Music featuring renowned pianist Girma Yifrashewa at South Pasadena’s Carriage House on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.


Girma Yifrashewa Flyer


A rare Los Angeles solo performance by Ethiopia’s renowned pianist and composer, Girma Yifrashewa.

Born in 1967 in Addis Ababa, Girma Yifrashewa combines the ecstasy of Ethiopian harmony with the grandeur of virtuoso piano technique. Yifrashewa has trained at renowned institutions including the Yared School of Music in Ethiopia, Sofia State Conservatory in Bulgaria, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Hochschule fur Music Und Theater in Germany. A highly accomplished performer of classical repertoire, Yifrashewa has chosen to remain in Ethiopia, helping to forge a classical tradition for his country.

Currently, Yifrashewa works to promote Ethiopian and Classical Music through cultural commissions and tours throughout Africa, Europe and beyond.

This intimate performance hosted at The Carriage House will be Yifrashewa’s only Los Angeles appearance on this tour.

We invite you to join us for this truly special occasion.

An Evening of Ethiopian Classical Music with

7pm / 2 Sets / $20

The Carriage House
1215 Garfield Ave.
South Pasadena, CA 91030

Tickets available at rafrique.com

Light fare & coffee ceremony by Azla Vegan

Presented by Radio Afrique, Dexter Story & Azla Vegan
Photo by Victor G. Jeffreys II

Born in Addis Ababa in 1967, Girma Yifrashewa’s life in music began with the Kirar, a traditional Ethiopian harp. Introduced to piano at the age of 16 at the Yared School of Music in Addis Ababa, he later studied at the Sofia State Conservatory of Music in Bulgaria. When the fall of the Communist regime in 1989 ended his scholarship, he emigrated to Italy, returning to the Sofia Conservatory in 1991 to earn a Masters in Piano under Professor Atanas Kurtev. In Bulgaria he made an impact as a solo pianist, performing the works of Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, and Debussy until his return to Ethiopia in 1995.

After returning to Ethiopia in 1995, Yifrashewa taught piano at the Yared School of Music until 2001. Following the passing of Ethiopian composer Ashenafi Kebede in 1998, Yifrashewa moved beyond his conservatory repertoire and began his career as a composer, penning the composition “The Shepherd With The Flute” – an homage to Kebede’s most famous work, “The Shepherd Flutist.”

Since then, Yifrashewa has established himself a pre-eminent composer of Ethiopia, touring Africa and Europe extensively. His first US release, Love and Peace (Unseen Worlds), was released in 2014.


February 12, 2015 – Radio Afrique Presents Dexter Story and Wondem Live – Blue Whale, Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, CA

Performing music from the upcoming Soundway Recording inspired by Ethiopian, Somalian, Eritrean, Sudanese and Kenyan sounds, and featuring members of Ethio Cali and friends.
wondem_image2 wondem_cardRadio Afrique Presents
Dexter Story & Wondem (Live)
Thursday, February 12, 2015
8pm | $15 | 21+ |
Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Little Tokyo Los Angeles


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.