Tag Archives: LA

TWO NIGHTS OF FUN!

Happy 2016! It’s already started off brilliantly and next week is going to be special with these two events going down:

 

HODGEPODGE at GENERAL LEE’S w/ Todd Simon, GLK, Jeremy Sole, Computer Jay, Carlos Nino, Te’amir Sweeney + very special guests!

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HODGEPODGE at GENERAL LEE’S – FREE
DJ’s playing instruments/Musicians spinning records
mixing it all up into one big music celebration!
w/ Todd Simon, GLK, Jeremy Sole, Computer Jay, Carlos Nino, Te’Amir Sweeney + very special guests

9pm – 2am

General Lee’s 475 Gin Ling Way Chinatown 90012

Our 1st HODGEPODGE was insane (see pic below)!

Don’t miss the 2nd installment featuring some exciting special guests who happen to be in town!

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NuTropic w/ Chico Mann, Todd Simon, Ohmega Watts + Mano, Maple Syrup, Seano

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I’m excited to spin an all-45 set of mainly African Funk w/ friends Chico Mann and Ohmega Watts on the decks as well!

The 4th installment of NuTropic comes correct in 2016 – residents Mano, Maple Syrup and Seano

continue to take you on a new tropical journey….respect to Charlie B Wilder aka Captain Planet,

CanyonazoLa JuntaTyson NewLifeGazoo, and TheFunky Brewsterz for holding us down in 2015

The Short Stop | Echo Park, LA, CA | 9pm | GRATIS

January guests:
// Chico Mann (Antibalas)
// Todd M. Simon – Trumpeter/Arranger (Ethio Cali)
// Ohmega Watts (Mellow Orange Music / Ubiquity Records)

foto: Eric Coleman / Mochilla

 

NOVEMBER!!!

Thank you for visiting my site.

I’ve been blessed with a musically-rich life! The past few years have been unreal: working with the likes of Kelis, Blur, Quantic, my Ethiopian-Jazz ensemble Ethio Cali, and so much more.

This month I’m celebrating two musician friends who are very dear to me. The first is the young arranger/woodwind master, Sly 5th Ave. I’m fortunate to co-produce an exciting tribute to Dr. Dre, assembling a 30-piece orchestra for Sly.

LA has been proud of a recent release from our brother, Dexter Story, called Wondem on Soundway Records. We have an exciting intimate performance of music from this incredible record.

Here are some special events coming up:

Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:30pm-11pm
CALIFORNIA LOVE- A 30-Piece Orchestral Tribute
Celebrating the music DR. DRE @EbellTheatre
Wilshire Ebell Theatre 4401 W 8th St, Los Angeles, CA 90005
#CalifoniaLoveLA #CaliLove
Tickets: californialove.brownpapertickets.com
Link to Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1217518684931743/CaliLove

 

 

Tuesday, Nov. 24, 10pm

Radio Afrique returns with a special live performance by Dexter Story & Wondem. Presenting new music from the recent Soundway Records release.

Happening upstairs at General Lee’s in Chinatown.

Yene Konjo.

Percussion: Carlos Niño
Drums: Te’Amir Sweeney
Bass: Patrick Bailey
Guitar: Michael McTaggart
Keys: Mark de Clive-Lowe
Tenor Saxophone: Randal Fisher
Trumpet: Todd Simon
Keys / Guitar: Dexter Story
Vocals: Dustin Warren (Godfrey at Large)
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TUESDAY, November 24

DJ’s: RANI D & SON ZOO

FREE / 10pm-2am

General Lee’s
475 Gin Ling Way
Los Angeles, CA 90012

www.wondem.bandcamp.com
www.rafrique.com
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Radio Afrique hosts sublime gatherings 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 amplified on these special nights.

dial in.

https://www.facebook.com/events/179959985679314/
wondem

ethio cali blue whale residency dec 7

Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Spiritual/Political Jazz & Ethio Cali

Greetings!

It’s been quite some time since I’ve last posted on my website.

As usual, life has been busy and filled with so much incredible music happenings. Immense, uplifting, magical and fun times with Ethio Cali, Quantic, Solange Knowles, Dave Sitek, and so much more.

Ethio Cali is finishing up the last installment of a residency at the Blue Whale (Little Tokyo/DTLA) on December 7th. We are changing up the scene and focusing on more music from the US. We’ll be playing some Spiritual Jazz gems by Horace Silver, Chico Hamilton, Sun Ra, Pharaoh Sanders, Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus. This will be an event not to miss. The musicality within Ethio Cali is a force not to be messed with. Our saxophonists, Kamasi Washington and Randal Fisher, are freakishly destroying things and will blow everyone away on this hit.

I’ve been deep in the arrangements for the December 7th show. The music of Charles Mingus is mighty dear to me, especially the material he prepared for his mighty 1964 sextet featuring:
Jakie Byard – piano
Charles Mingus – bass/direction
Dannie Richmond – drums
Johnny Coles – trumpet
Eric Dolphy – alto sax/bass clarinet/flute
Clifford Jordan – tenor sax
Although the mainstream jazz world likes to focus on the eccentric side of Mingus, I like to focus on his virtuosic approach towards the bass, his HIGHLY-artistic composition and arranging sensibilities which evoke spirituality and politics via the means of music and improvisation. Mingus had a deep adoration for Duke Ellington and although the ’64 ensemble consists of only six musicians, it feels like a jazz orchestra.

Luckily, many of the ’64 sextet concerts were recorded and filmed. My favorite concert featuring this ensemble is the Town Hall Concert that features a composition titled “Praying With Eric” which is also known as “Meditations on Integration (Or For a Pair of Wire-Cutters)”. Mingus composed “Meditations…” to raise awareness of the internment of Japanese-Americans From 1942 to 1946, the US government confined over 100,000 Japanese-Americans into concentration camps in response to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. “Meditations…” is a dense piece of art, music, protest and love all jammed together. “Meditations…” was a difficult song of the sextet to perform correctly (to Mingus’ standards). The Town Hall version is the most complete (according to Mingus and many jazz scholars). Please check the link above to hear it. I’ve included the best filmed version here:

Go directly to 1:35:00 (two other concerts featuring the sextet are included in the youtube link as well. all amazing. Oslo, Norway is out of this world) to get to the beginning of “Meditations…” You will catch some banter between Mingus and Dolphy. Mingus and Dolphy grew up together in Watts, California and you can hear their string connection throughout all of these recordings. During the 1964 Europe tour, Eric Dolphy told Mingus that he would not be returning to the US with the band and will stay in Europe for an extended amount of time to focus on his solo career. Mingus did not appreciate this news and became very upset and gave Dolphy a very rough time about even going to the extent to talk trash about Dolphy publicly at some concerts. (little did Mingus know that these would be his last moments with Dolphy. Dolphy died later that year in Europe due to a supposedly coma induced by undiagnosed diabetic problems) Once the banter ends, watch Mingus as he counts off the sextet with his bow. The band explodes with passion! Enjoy the many sections, solos and dialogue going on between the musicians.

Ethio Cali will perform “Meditations on Integration (Or For a Pair of Wire-Cutters)” on December 7th featuring the unsung LA jazz hero Tracy Wannomae on bass clarinet. The fervor found in the Charles Mingus Sextet is one of the core feelings you will hear from Ethio Cali. I hope to see you there.

ethio cali blue whale residency dec 7

ethio cali blue whale residency dec 7

FREE Summer Concerts in LA

FREE SUMMER CONCERTS in LA

FREE Summer Concerts in LA

FREE Summer Concerts in LA

Once again, Los Angeles is blessed with a slew of amazing FREE concerts. I’m proud to be a part of many. Here’s what’s on the books. I hope to see you there:

June 12 – Angel City All-Star Brass Band/Zoom B @ Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park | 8:00pm FREE
http://www.levittla.org/2014-concert-calendar/

July 9 – ETHIO CALI @ Wells Fargo Center |12:00 – 1:15 PM FREE
http://artsbrookfield.com/event/ethio-cali/#.U3pLLl7jKNs

July 12 – The Decoders: Minnie Riperton Tribute Concert @ Grand Performances |8:00pm FREE
http://www.grandperformances.org/events/adventures-from-paradise-a-tribute-to-minnie-riperton-2/

July 18 – Chop and Quench (FELA! Band) performing Fela Kuti’s influential “69 Los Angeles Sessions” in its entirety @
Grand Performances |2 shows: 12:00pm & 8:00pm FREE
http://www.grandperformances.org/events/chop-and-quench-2/
http://www.grandperformances.org/events/chop-and-quench-3/

August 7 – Wondem (Dexter Story’s modern-east african project) @ Levitt Pavilion MacArthur Park | 8:00pm FREE
http://www.levittla.org/myron-e-and-wondem-band/

 

horns arranged/recorded by Todd M. Simon

Ziggy Marley

Ziggy Marley -Fly Rasta Horns arranged/recorded by Todd M. Simon

horns arranged/recorded by Todd M. Simon

2014 continues to be magical with the upcoming release of Ziggy Marley’s new album Fly Rasta. I was enlisted to assemble a horn section featuring Geoff Gallegos, Tracy Wannomae and Fabio Santana de Souza and bring Ziggy Marley’s brilliant horn lines to life. You can check out the first single, featuring the one and only U-Roy, here:

 

We tracked the horns at the legendary Village Studios in West Los Angeles.

It was a true honor to work on this project. I cannot wait to share more of the music from these sessions.

 

~ Todd

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New Quadron Video

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Long-time collaborators Quadron just released a new video for the track “Favorite Star” off of their recent album Avalanche featuring my Brassive Attack horn section: Tracy Wannomae (winds), Elizabeth Lea (trombone) and Pablo Calogeo (winds). Avalanche is a special album with lush vocals, grooves, and textures. Coco O and Robin Hannibal are musical geniuses. Peep this sexy clip courtesy of  OkayPlayer.com: