My friends, entertainer Daniela Brazil and DJ Chris Brazil, are hosting Party Like a Brazilian, this Thursday, June 27, at Level 3 nightclub at the Hollywood and Highland Center. If you’ve never been to Brazil nor any of the many great events in the large Brazilian community here in LA, you’re in for a treat. Both Chris and Daniela organize fun events featuring the best music, dance and entertainment that Brazilian culture has to offer and all the fun and festivities are for a special cause. The night is a fundraiser for AfroLatinos: La Historia Que Nunca Nos Contaron (AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story) documentary series. The series by Alicia Anabel Santos, an Afro-Dominican screenwriter, and Renzo Devia, a Colombian filmmaker, sheds light on Afro-Latinos, the descendants of the enslaved Africans who were forcibly taken from their land and dispersed throughout Latin America. Known as the “Third Root” after indigenous and European roots of Latino populations, the histories, stories and contributions of African descendents to Latino culture and society are often lost or unacknowledged, and their communities today are still the most marginalized, impoverished and invisible in their societies.
The two spent 5 years traveling extensively throughout Latin America to document the plight of the 150 million Afro-Latinos today. Over 90% of them live in extreme poverty and the majority of those suffering are women and children. The documentary series is the culmination of their years of hard work and their continuing mission to bring greater awareness to the social injustices the Afro-Latino communities suffer. They greatly need funding to complete production of the series and get these important stories told on the air to start garnering more attention and help for these communities. Here is the official documentary trailer:
Through my travels and interest in world culture, I’ve been exposed to so much Latino music, food, dance, culture and traditions that originally came from the African slaves. There is so much rich tradition from Afro-Latinos that’s been adopted by Latino societies while their descendents continue to live in the margins of those societies. One of my favorite bands, Las Cafeteras, often reminds audiences that the traditional folk music and dance of son jarocho comes from African descendents in Veracruz, Mexico. I’ve also learned a lot about the Afro-Latino history through Black in Latin America, a great PBS series. At Party Like a Brazilian, there will be a samba show among many Brazilian entertainments and many of the cultural traditions we associate with Brazil, like samba, capoeira, carnival festivals and costumes and its national dish, feijoada, came from the African community.
So this Thursday, come celebrate and enjoy the music and dance of the Brazilian culture and help support the communities we have to thank for so much of these rich cultural traditions so well known around the world. The event will feature live performances by Oya Brazil Samba Show, DJ MAX Maxwell, DJ Chris Brazil, Afro-Brazilian band BatukAxé with special guest vocalist, PILY from Bachata Real, and international rapper LP Offishal. They’ll be playing everything from salsa, merengue, cumbia, samba, reggae, forro, funk and axe. It’s 21+, doors open at 10pm with a $10 cover and first 100 people get in free. If you cannot attend and would like to support the fundraiser, you can also donate online on Alicia Anabel Santos’ website, help spread the word and keep up to date on their Facebook page.