November 6, 2016 – Kamasi Washington Orchestra and Choir Live – Walt Disney Concert Hall, Downtown LA, CA

Dexter Story sings tenor / baritone in the orchestra & choir for Kamasi Washington’s Disney Concert Hall debut on Sunday, November 6, 2016. The show features new orchestral works conducted by Geoff “Double G” Gallegos. The opening ensemble is The Ron McCurdy Quartet performing Ask Your Mama a multimedia performance of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic 12-part jazz poem about the struggle for freedom in the early ’60s.
kamasiwashington-950At the age of 13, KAMASI WASHINGTON started a lifelong quest discovering the many wonders of music. One night, his father left his soprano saxophone lying on the piano. Kamasi, filled with curiosity for all the beauty he heard from the instrument, picked up his father’s horn. Even though he didn’t know anything about the saxophone – in fact, never even touched one – he played Wayne Shorter’s composition “Sleeping Dancer Sleep On,” his favorite song at the time.

At the prestigious Hamilton High School Music Academy, within two years, Kamasi earned the lead tenor saxophone chair in the top jazz ensemble. At the same time, Kamasi joined the Multi School Jazz Band (MSJB) where he reunited with several childhood friends who were pursuing their passion for music. During his senior year of high school, Kamasi formed his first band, “The Young Jazz Giants,” with childhood friends including Ronald Bruner, Stephen Bruner and Cameron Graves. After high school, Kamasi received a full scholarship to study ethnomusicology at UCLA, where he explored many of the non-western musical cultures around the world. During the summer after his freshman year, Kamasi recorded his first album with “The Young Jazz Giants” to spread new sounds of jazz all around the country. In his second year at UCLA, Kamasi went on his first national tour with the west coast hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. Later that year, Kamasi joined the orchestra of one of his biggest heroes, Gerald Wilson, and later went on his first international tour with R&B legend Raphael Saadiq.

Over the years, Kamasi has performed and recorded with many of his musical heroes from various genres, including Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, Quincy Jones, Stanley Clark, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. Kamasi’s own band “The Next Step” is a modern spin on a big band, which includes two drummers, two upright bass players, keyboard players, three horns players, a pianist, and a vocalist. In addition, Kamasi is part of a west coast musical collective called the “West Coast Get Down.”

Most recently, Kamasi worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album “To Pimp A Butterfly.” On May 5th, Kamasi released his groundbreaking solo album “The Epic” on the trend-setting record label Brainfeeder. “The Epic” is a 172-minute, triple-disc masterpiece, featuring Kamasi’s ten-piece band “The Next Step” along with a full string orchestra and full choir. “The Epic” debuted #1 on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and UK.

ABOUT THIS PERFORMANCE

Celebrated for such projects as his ambitious 172-minute masterpiece The Epic, young L.A. jazz giant Kamasi Washington combines influences like Coltrane along with soul, classical, hip-hop and gospel for a decidedly contemporary jazz perspective.

http://www.laphil.com/philpedia/kamasi-washington

http://www.laphil.com/tickets/kamasi-washington-langston-hughes-project-ask-your-mama-12-moods-for-jazz-feat-ron-mccurdy-0

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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.