(UPDATE 10/6/13: Next Cali Hustle is Tue Oct 8!)
Cali Hustle is a monthly free live music night, every 2nd Tuesday at The Virgil in Silverlake, featuring Quetzal Guerrero and his band and DJ Miss Sunny Z spinning the decks. Each month, they invite other wonderful emerging, independent bands and DJs to join them. It’s an eclectic night of music and dancing that I think is one of the best undiscovered secrets in LA!
They call it Cali Hustle for the eclectic blend of music being played, “California Soul, Samba, Reggae, Rock & More”, but I think the night is aptly named for another reason: we’re lucky so many talented musicians come here from all over the country and the world for the Cali dream and they hustle and work tirelessly at their craft and passion to bring us great music. I can’t think of an artist as talented and hard-working, yet as undiscovered as Quetzal Guerrero. Originally from Arizona and of American, Mexican and Brazilian heritage, Quetzal is a violin virtuoso, having studied since age 4, and combining that with his singing, songwriting and mastery of guitar and percussion, his music is a rich, unique blend of soul, funk, bossa nova, reggae and rock.
Describing himself as “Brazil meets Jimi Hendrix on an electric violin”, Quetzal also breathes new life into popular tunes and can jam and whip a crowd into a frenzy with his blue violin. Have you ever heard hiphop on violin? Nuff said!
LA is a global melting pot of musical experimentation and collaboration and with the support of Novena Carmel (gifted singer and Sly Stone‘s daughter) and The Virgil, Quetzal and Miss Sunny Z have been putting on Cali Hustle for the past 6 months and welcoming a wide range of LA musicians to their stage, many of whom he’s collaborated with, like Ryan Wink, MarBella, Oveous Maximus, Andree Belle, Zoom B and Gina Loring.
Each month, Cali Hustle puts a well-deserved spotlight on these artists and Miss Sunny Z keeps the dance floor hot in between acts. She’s featured great guest DJs like DJ Potira, DJ Jedi and DJ Lucha. It’s a labor of love among a musical community that continually inspires and supports each other and it’s in the kind of intimate venue where you can dance, mingle and have a drink with the musicians and make new friends in a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere.
This month on Tuesday, May 14, Cali Hustle will feature Dey & Nite and LightningCloud and DJ BNS. Dey& Nite are identical twins from New Mexico born to a Mexican American father and Spanish Arapaho Native American mother. Managing their own careers, they call their R&B “twin pop” and have supported artists like Paula DeAnda and Hilary Duff as well as supporting aboriginal people’s events throughout Canada. LightningCloud is an LA hip hop group, headed by Crystal Lightning, a Plains Cree/First Nations (Hobbem/Enoch) Indigenous woman of many talents, and MC RedCloud, a California native and Huichol Indian (Jalisco, Mexico). Completing the fearless team with DJ Hydroe, they fuse their own signature underground hip hop with electro-house and recently won a nationwide contest “Battle of the Best” at SXSW.
Did I mention there’s 2 sides to the newly redesigned Virgil (formerly Little Temple)? There’s the main performance side with the stage and dance floor and a smaller, quieter lounge side if you want to take a break from the action. Add no cover, free street parking, the Vermont Metro station a short few blocks away, a taco truck right outside and there’s no better place to be to discover new music every month!