Tag Archives: Los Angeles


For many of us, the Éthiopiques series served as our introduction to popular music from Ethiopia. At 28 volumes deep, it pulls from the catalogues of labels such as Amha Records, Kaifa Records, and Philips-Ethiopia, and represents an impressive archive of music from the Golden Age of Ethio Jazz.

On Friday, May 16th, we’ll perform two sets of music from the iconic Éthiopiques catalogue. Highlighting artists such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Alemayehu Eshete, Muluken Melesse, and Mulatu Astatke.

Join us as we honor the legacy of Swinging Addis!

+ dj sets by Radio Afrique


TODD SIMON – (trumpet, music director, arranging)
TRACY WANNOMAE – (sax, woodwinds)
RANDAL FISHER – (saxophone)
DEXTER STORY – (keys, arranging)
ALAN LIGHTNER – (steel pan, percussion)
DAMON AARON – (guitar)
STEVE HANEY – (percussion)
TE’AMIR YOHANNES SWEENEY – (drums, percussion)

Friday, May 16

$15 / 21+ / 8pm–12am

blue whale
123 Astronaut E S onizuka St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

East To West - Ethio-Cali Live At The Blue Whale

East To West – Ethio-Cali Live At The Blue Whale

Thank you to all of our friends and musical peers who have come out to support our residency at the Blue Whale. Each night has been special in its own way and we’re very grateful to have had this opportunity to expand the context for Ethio Jazz in Los Angeles.

For the final night of our residency on Sunday, December 15th, we will branch out beyond the musical terrain of Ethiopia by performing a special set of music from West Africa and other parts of the continent. We will reimagine selections from the catalogs of legendary groups such as Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo, Hugh Masekela & Hedzolleh Sounds, Fela Kuti, Les Ambassadeurs, amongst many others.

We’re excited to play this awe-inspiring music and hope that you’ll journey East to West with us for yet another magical night.




TODD SIMON – (trumpet, music director, arranging)
RANDAL FISHER – (saxophone)
MARK de CLIVE-LOWE – (piano)
ALAN LIGHTNER – (steel pan, percussion)
DAMON AARON – (guitar)
STEVE HANEY – (percussion)
TE’AMIR YOHANNES SWEENEY – (percussion, drums)
DEXTER STORY – (drums, percussion, arranging)

Sunday, December 15

$10 / 21+ / 8pm-12am

Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0908

Wax & Gold - Ethio Cali At The Blue Whale

Wax & Gold – Ethio Cali At The Blue Whale

Thank you to all our old and new friends who joined us last month for the first night of our monthly residency at the Blue Whale. It was a magical night performing the Mulatu of Ethiopia album with legendary saxophonist Justo Almario.

This month, Ethio Cali will invoke the spirit of ‘Semena Werq’ (aka Wax and Gold) and perform a new set of songs from the catalogues of Hailu Mergia & Walias, Alemayehu Eshete, The Police Orchestra, and other luminaries of Ethio Jazz. Semena Werq is a form of traditional Ethiopian poetry that has one surface meaning, known as wax, and multiple hidden meanings, known as gold. Musicians have used Semena Werk to explore topics such as spirituality, politics, and matters of the heart. We look forward to exploring the many layers of meaning contained within the music we will be performing.

For this performance, we’ll also be featuring an amazing string section for the first time. Please join us for what promises to be another special night.


Todd Simon – (trumpet, music director, arranging)
Randal Fisher – (saxophone)
Mark de Clive-Lowe – (piano)
Alan Lightner – (steel pan, percussion)
Damon Aaron – (guitar)
Patrick Bailey – (bass)
Steve Haney – (percussion)
Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney – (percussion, drums)
Dexter Story – (drums, percussion, arranging)

Special guests:
Thomas Lea – (viola)
Peter Jacobson – (cello)
Tylana Renga (violin)
Aron Tadesse – (kirar)

Curated by Sonny Abegaze

Sunday, November 17, 2013

$10 cover

Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 620-0908

Red Bull Music Academy and Dublab present "This City Belongs To Me"

Red Bull Music Academy and Dublab present “This City Belongs To Me”

Red Bull Music Academy presents This City Belongs to Me is a new monthly event series in 2013. Every month a different venue in Los Angeles will be taken over by artists comprised of Red Bull Music Academy alumni and lecturers. In collaboration with some of the finest record labels and creatives that Los Angeles has to offer, it will be a unique night of amazing music.

Join dublab and friends as they take over The Del Monte Speakeasy & The Townhouse in Venice on Thursday, November 14th.

9-10pm: dublab DJs
10-10:30pm: Moses Sumney (Live)
10:30-11pm: Mark de Clive-Lowe (Live)
11-12am: Ethio-Cali Ensemble (Live)
12-12:45am: Daedelus w/ Ben Wendel (Live)
12:45-1:30am: J.Rocc (DJ)

9-10pm: Danny Holloway (DJ)
10-11:30pm: Slayron of Peaking Lights (DJ)
11:30pm-1am: Suzanne Kraft (DJ)
1-2am: Zach Cowie (Turquoise Wisdom)

Live screen printing by HIT+RUN.

Doors at 9pm / 21+

Entrance with RSVP to eventbrite link only.
**Please note that RSVP does not guarantee entry, Arrive early**

dublab is a community supported, non-profit web radio station celebrating 14 years of elevated vibrations. We rely upon listener contributions to achieve our positive music mission. This installment of This City Belongs to me helps support dublab’s Fall 2013Proton Drive Fundraiser which is happening November 4-25. We are broadcasting live 8am-8pm PST each weekday to inspire your support. Visit dublab.com to listen to the live fundraiser broadcasts and give a generous tax-deductible donation.


Mulatu of Ethiopia performed live by Ethio Cali

Mulatu of Ethiopia performed live by Ethio Cali

Todd M. Simon’s Ethio Cali invites you to the blue whale this Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 8pm to its performance of the entire 1972 classic ‘Mulatu of Ethiopia’ by iconic Ethio Jazz composer and musician Mulatu Astatke. The concert features saxophonist Justo Almario, one of the original musicians on the album as well as an introduction by musicologist/producer DJ Carlos Niño. The band features Todd M. Simon, Randal Fisher, Alan Mark Lightner on vibraphones, Damon Aaron, Patrick Bailey, Steve Haney, Te’Amir Yohannes Sweeney, Mark Cross, Dexter Story and is co-curated by Sonny Abegaze. Doors open at 8pm. Cover is $10.