John Carlos De Luna: Life Lessons of Boyle Heights Artist on Dressing Well and Staying True to Yourself

© Farah Sosa
If you’ve been to Eastside Luv Bar in Boyle Heights for Subsuelo, Ecléctica, or any of the nightly libations there, you will no doubt have been greeted by a dapper, finely dressed gentleman by the name of John Carlos de Luna. It wasn’t until I’d been coming to ESL for a while that I started to strike up conversations with John and realized there was a lot more to John than just being the door guy at one of my favorite joints.

Besides our mutual experiences of escaping the corporate rat race and our dislike for pretentious hipsters who find their way to East LA, there are many reasons why John thinks you should always look your best and other inspirational thoughts about his upbringing and pursuing his artistic endeavors to both sustain himself and his community in Boyle Heights. Watch the photo essay on him by Rafael Cardenas, another talented Eastside denizen you probably have seen at ESL, and enjoy my interview with John.

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Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events July 22-28

weekly list

Another beautiful July week! Here are the week’s highlights I recommend: there’s usually one night that’s more jam-packed than the rest and this week, it’s Thursday! It’s the opening night of the 4th Annual Awareness Film Festival that runs thru Sunday. If you want to dance, there’s plenty to choose from: Con Todo at La Cita in downtown features Bajofloja and DJ Ethos of Subsuelo among others! Canyon Cody of Subsuelo is spinning at the new monthly Cloud City in Santa Monica along with the weekly Afro Funke featuring my friend Sista Adama Jewel’s singing debut with African Soul International. She just danced the hell out of Sunday’s Fela Kuti Celebration this past Sunday. Also on the Westside is Mandeep Sethi at the RG, a great MC who’s knocked em dead with his powerful lyrical style at many Subsuelos. And if you’re in Pasadena, you can miss Bachaco, an Afro-Caribbean band at the Levitt Pavilion.

Friday, I’ll be at Grand Performances for University of Gnawa and Ethio Cali and nearby is Buyepongo at Levitt Pavilion, MacArthur Park. Saturday, Grand Performances knocks it out of the park again with Chico Trujillo from Chile and my LA favorite, Las Cafeteras. Viver Brasilia will be celebrating their 15 years of Afro-Brazilian music and dance performances at the Ford Amphitheater and the 18th Annual Central Park Jazz Festival runs thru Sunday. I always end my Sundays at my friend DJ Potira’s weekly bunda-shaking Brasilia night in Long Beach with baile funke dance lessons!

Don’t forget there are tons of free summer concerts and activities each week, so check out the full schedule of summer goodness here:
https://enclavela.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/free-outdoor-summer-concerts-activities-all-over-la/

This week’s list is always a work-in-progress (still many more events I have to post when I get back to the computer, as well as new ones I learn about as the week goes along!). So keep checking back! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know!

Have a great week, Angelenos…will leave you with this song by Mandeep Sethi.

MON 7/22 TUE 7/23 WED 7/24 THU 7/25 FRI 7/26 SAT 7/27 SUN 7/28

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Tara Priya: Exclusive Interview


I’ve been pretty crazy about Tara Priya since discovering her music on Facebook. She’s very active there and on Twitter and Youtube, where she was unbelievably responding to every user comment until her most recent video Who You Do hit a million views! Now there’s no going back…Tara is on a hot trajectory with her retro-soul feistiness and is busy as ever, but she still found some time to grant me an interview. Thank you, Tara, for sharing such a personal, candid side of you with your fans!

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Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events Jun 10-16

weekly list

Here are just some of the very many awesome events happening around LA! Took me forever to do this week’s list! That can only mean there is too much to do and that usually signals the start of a lot of free outdoor concerts and activities this summer! Both Levitt Pavilions are starting their summer music festivals this weekend and KCRW is having their first Summer Nights in Chinatown. They had their first Summer Nights event this past weekend in Pasadena. The LA Film Fest starts this week too. So there’s plenty to do this week leading into Father’s Day weekend.

This week’s list is always a work-in-progress (still many more events I have to post when I get back to the computer, as well as new ones I learn about as the week goes along!). So keep checking back! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know!

Have a great week, Angelenos…I’ll leave you with this song from my lovely talented friend Wangari Fahari who’s performing this Thursday in Venice. She’s amazing — come see her!

MON 6/10 TUE 6/11 WED 6/12 THU 6/13 FRI 6/14 SAT 6/15 SUN 6/16

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Pravini US Tour and Exclusive Interview

Pravini_cover
Pravini, soul singer and songwriter from Netherlands, will be touring the US from April 19th to May 4th with 4 stops in the LA area. I was intrigued by Pravini’s eclectic fusion of soul, hiphop, Indian and South American rhythms and in researching her diverse heritage, I learned that there has been a strong, thriving East Indian community in Suriname, a former Dutch colony in South America, since the 1800s. Many emigrated to Netherlands, where Pravini was born, and she has really broken boundaries there and put a spotlight on the rich, diverse talent of the Dutch-Indian-Surinamese community. Pravini is excited to be performing her new music in the US and was gracious enough to grant me an interview, so enjoy her new single Move Me to Tears and read on! Continue reading