Sensus began in 2008 when Tom Terrell was awarded the UCIRA Grant (with help from mentor Peter Sellars) for transforming his senior music recital at UCLA into an art initiative. He enlisted help from a catering chef, a live painter, and several student musicians, dancers and poets to collaborate in a project that encapsulated his diversified college experience. Helped by the advertised free 8-course dinner, the 140-seat theater was filled with friends, family, faculty, and Slow Food LA members.

Years later, the concept has been adapted to fit the intimate setting of the Terrells' backyard garden in Long Beach, CA. Guests dine and enjoy music amongst flowing vegetation and seasonal crops (many of which find their way onto the plates of the diners). In total, Sensus has created and hosted nine original projects to date.

Tom Terrell

Executive Producer

Tom plays the trumpet and cooks food. He is dedicated to extracting the beauty in everything. He plays with hip-hop legend Nas, the broadway magic show The Illusionists, and leads his own jazz group, the Tom Terrell Trio. He is now the instrumental music director at Long Beach Jordan High School, allowing him vacation time to be spent cooking and exploring other sensory curiosities around the great wide cultural landscape of California.

His online interview with Curensea can be read here.

Nick DePinna

Nick co-manages all production and business operations. Additionally, he plays trombone and composes commissioned music for select projects. Nick is an extremely in demand professional composer, musician, and now father.


Richard Vi

Richard supervises menu creation and runs the kitchen at select events.

He has worked in the esteemed kitchens of Coi and Bird Dog restaurants in San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA. Richard is a talented badminton player, and maintains a fond passion and skill for clay throwing.


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 Brian Cramer


Brian helps menu planning and is the Head Chef on select projects.

He graduated from the Long Beach City College Culinary Arts program, and teaches full-time culinary arts

at Leuzinger High School in Hawthorne, CA.

Eddie Cole

Chef, Vocalist

Eddie is a unique asset to Sensus. As a vocalist akin to his great-uncle Nat 'King' Cole, he provides immaculate and versatile performance pedigree. Additionally, he is a passionate chef with a list of impressive catering clients. His newfound catering service is called Chuck's Pull Up.

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Cindy Bambam

Pastry Chef

Cindy has delivered heroic performances at events as the Pastry Chef and Cook. Cindy runs her own private catering operation, serving clients on Naples island in Long Beach, as well as professional sailing crews during the transpacific Congressional Cup.

Laura Cavanaugh

Maître d'Hôtel

Laura is an integral part of Sensus as head of service. She has ample experience all over the service industry. She currently designs wedding floral arrangements, and is the drummer and singer of a neighborhood garage band, the Heather Road Trio.

Neil Belen

Sound, DJ

Neil '4000' Belen is a gifted sonic healer. He is the recipient of multiple grants from California Mental Health Services, and performs sound bath meditations regularly across Southern California.

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Hitomi Oba

Saxophone, Design

Sensus is very lucky to have Hitomi. She is a decorated and accomplished jazz musician and composer. Her work in genre-diverse ensembles include opera, small- and big-band jazz, Japanese Taiko, symphony orchestra, and Indian classical music. She co-founded the new music collective LA Signal Lab, and currently teaches saxophone and music theory at UCLA. 

Naten René François


Ankhnaten has his hand (and mind) in many aspects of production. He has studied a diverse array of art forms and cultural practices. Ankhnaten persists in learning in any and all areas he can.

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Noel Belen

Stage Manager

Noel 'Nativity' Belen remains an active DJ in the Los Angeles area. He directs an FM radio show, Dank Radio, on 90.7 KPFK on Saturday mornings, and co-heads a music label in Long Beach under the same name.

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Adam Edwards

Adam Edwards serves as a cook, server, and resident trombonist. He and Nick enjoy engaging in trombone battles to stir up the energy in the Sensus garden. Adam is currently a tenth grade chemistry teacher at Long Beach Wilson High School. He is extremely curious, active, and spirited.

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Derek Baldridge

Derek is also a multi-tool asset to Sensus, providing table service as well as trumpet playing. Derek and Tom have played together for 20 years and have become valuable friends. Derek enjoys cycling, gaming, and raising the cutest child in Long Beach, Kendrick.

Hossien Lavashak


Hossien is one-half of our video/photography team. He is also our resident fútbol expert. Hossien founded the record label Mango Disco Records, in which he manages several artists and bands.

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Sasha Esfahani


Sasha also helps capture and create content for Sensus. He also knows a lot about soccer. Sasha works on a plethora of projects, and in 2014 edited a documentary about Atari.

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Waltz for Maya - Artyom Manukyan