Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events Apr. 29 – May 5

weekly list
Happy Brit Week! Actually the event already started last week and the British invasion continues with so many awesome events this week plus the not-to-miss event: sensational soul singer Alice Russell on her LA stops, touring for her new album! As we spring into May, there will be many May Day protest marches throughout the Downtown LA area. And as always, a bizillion film festivals this week. And to end it all is Cinco de Mayo on Sunday (with plenty of pre-parties on Saturday for those who can’t be having hangovers on Monday morning)!

Here are just some of the very many awesome events happening around LA! Check back to this post often, as I always add more events as I hear about them! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know! Have a great week, Angelenos…dedicating this song to you all!


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Grand Performances: Summer 2013 Lineup of Global Music & Culture!

grand perf
Hot off the (Internet) Press! Grand Performances just announced their Summer lineup of free summer concerts by amazing artists from around the world! I haven’t had a chance to read up on the artists yet but I already recognize my favorites Novalima from Peru and our very own beloved Las Cafeteras from East LA! Continue reading

Alice Russell with Shafiq Husayn Saturday May 4

(Update 4/25/13: Here are other opportunities to see or hear Alice Russell:
Wed May 1: US TV Debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Thu May 2: Free in-store performance at Amoeba Records in Hollywood
Fri May 3: Live on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic on 89.9FM or stream online. You can also preview her new 5th album To Dust now here. She’s starting her US and Europe tour for the new album and here are her other show dates.)
LA, you don’t want to miss Alice Russell‘s show in LA on Saturday, May 4! I saw her the first time at ArtDontSleep‘s That 70s Soul show and they are partnering with Spaceland for this show to be held at the First Unitarian Church, which is a very fitting venue for this spectacular UK soul singer who grew up singing in gospel choirs. There will be an opening performance by Shafiq Husayn featuring The Dove Society and Dj sets by Seano. Get your tickets now! You can also catch Shafiq Husayn this Saturday, April 28, at the monthly THIS event at NOLA’s in downtown.

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Newport Beach Film Festival Film Showcases & Galas April 25-May 2

Having grown up in Orange County, I’m proud to say one of the most dynamic and well-run film festivals in Southern California and OC’s largest one is the Newport Beach Film Festival and this year’s 14th annual festival runs Thursday, April 25 – May 2. They screen an enormous amount of films in a week in many categories: Features, Documentaries, Action Sports, Shorts, Art, Architecture and Design (AA+D), Environmental, Music, Family, Youth and Collegiate. This year, they’re also partnering with the OC Music Awards to feature music videos. My favorite of the festival are the Showcases spotlighting films from different regions of the world, followed by a gala parties in the beautiful outdoor courtyard of Fashion Island in Newport Beach. These after-parties offer hordoevers  from select area restaurants, drinks by Absolut and Stella Artois, and live entertainment and are well worth the additional ticket (Discount tickets for some of them available below!). The OC Weekly has a good run-down on this year’s festival and here are the showcases: Continue reading

Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events Apr. 22 – Apr. 28

weekly list
Happy Earth Day! There are Earth Day events all month into May but really…every day should be Earth Day! And there are a bizillion film festivals this week. Another gorgeous sunny Spring week with so going on! Here are just some of the very many awesome events happening around LA! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know! Have a great week, Angelenos…dedicating this song to you all! Continue reading

G-Dog opens Docurama Film Festival on April 22 – 7 films in 7 weeks

Docurama Films has been presenting compelling documentaries since 1999 in a vast array of subjects, from arts, history, politics to social, ethnic and gender issues. On April 22, they present a national film festival that will feature 7 documentaries in 7 weeks, starting with G-Dog, about Father Greg Boyle, a white Jesuit priest who’s spent 25 years in East LA helping gang members turn a new path with counseling, job training, education and tattoo removal through his non profit organization Homeboy Industries. His motto is “Nothing Stops a Bullet like a Job”  and his vision of providing hope and real opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty and violence has become a global model for social reform. Continue reading

Cambalache Fiesta with Grammy winning Quetzal Sunday April 21

Just got back from Quetzal‘s performance at the Central American Resource Center and Cesar Castro of Cambalache was playing with them. Son Jarocho is traditional folk music from Veracruz, Mexico combining elements of indigenous,  African and Spanish influence and there is a big camaraderie and collaboration within the thriving Son Jarocho scene in Los Angeles as well as with Veracruz, where Cesar Castro is from. Today, Quetzal will join them at their celebration of reaching their Kickstarter goal to crowd fund their first and long awaited album! They will also be joined by Banda de Santa Ana and other special guests. It’s fun and free for the whole family and will be at the new Floricanto Center in East LA (4232 Whiteside St., Los Angeles, 90063). Continue reading

420 Day Events and Music

April 20 is the unofficial global day of celebration for cannabis aficionados. I don’t use marijuana but I recognize its benefits and I support its legality. If you’re a music fan, you already know it’s an important source of creativity and comfort for so many talented musicians and there is no lack of musical homage to it throughout the years! Here’s a list of some 420 events throughout LA today and some music, from well-known US hits to some songs from around the world. Much of the list is from Latin America, our southern neighbors. I love discovering new music and would love to find more music about marijuana from Africa, Asia and Europe! If you know any, post them in the comments! As marijuana and music are synonymous, it’s also Record Store Day today too! You can find celebrating venues here. Continue reading

An Evening of Dignified Work: Fundraiser with Quetzal and Maya Jupiter for Safer Conditions

quetzal dignified
Every year, hundreds of families lose loved ones in the workplace. Tens of thousands more get injured, sick, or develop chronic illnesses disease just because they go to work… we are standing up and saying #NOT1MORE!

Join SoCalCOSH and their Activist Network for the opening of our Workers’ Memorial Week of Action with an evening of celebration and commemoration.

More info on the 2013 Workers’ Memorial Week of Action at

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES BY QUETZAL, Maya Jupiter & Bulevar Descarga Continue reading

Viento Callejero with former La Santa Cecilia guitarist playing MBar Boyle Heights April 19

viento callejero
(Update 04/19/13: Eddika of El Haru Kuroi and Zoom B will be guest vocalist tonight!)
When I ran into Gloria Estrada a couple of months ago at Tumbe’ in downtown LA, I was shocked to learn she had left La Santa Cecilia. Every member of that band is a virtuoso of their craft and I was always in awe of her electrifying guitar riffs and solos. My curiosity where she will take her music next will be answered this Friday, April 19, when she performs with her new group, Viento Callejero, at the weekly Cumbia Fridays at MBar in Boyle Heights. The one thing I love about LA’s diverse, hard-working independent music scene is the cross-pollination between bands and members who are often playing in 2 or 3 other bands and Viento Callejero is no exception, with Gloria joined by Gabriel Villa of Chicano Batman and Federico Zuniga Jr. of Sistema Bomb. There’s a great writeup about the band on Here’s a sneak preview of the band’s electro-cumbia sound and more info here on their Facebook event. Continue reading