||On his debut Soundway Records release, multi-instrumentalist Dexter Story distills his diverse background in soul, funk, jazz and folk idioms into his own unique and worldly voice.
Borrowing from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, and Kenya, this collection of East African-influenced music is a testament to Story's decades of dedication to artistic excellence.
"Wondem is a unique collection of songs inspired by my passion for and immersion into African music and culture over my career" says Story. "This body of work came about as I began to compose and arrange for Todd Simon's Ethio Cali, an emerging ethio-jazz ensemble in Los Angeles.
Wondem means brother in Amharic and I felt a strong brotherly connection to Ethiopia during the process".
"Wondem' was written and recorded in Story's personal studio in downtown Los Angeles and one of his closest associates, producer, composer and musician, Carlos Niño co-produced the record. It was mixed at Niño's home studio.
In addition Story worked with an array of collaborators on the record. Renowned multi-instrumentalist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson featured on the percussive track 'Mowa' and international producer and artist Mark de Clive-Lowe plays piano and synthesizer on a number of songs, in particular on 'Yene Konjo', where his acoustic piano playing there was originally inside of the main section of the song but Story felt it was so beautiful that he moved it to its own highlighted place.
"Dexter Story is a man with many talents" Wax Poetics
"so talented it's unfair" Ransome Note