Luna Lovers Premiere and 10 Reasons why I Love Las Cafeteras

rem
It was quite a party at Las Cafeteras Luna Lovers premiere party last week. La Santa Cecilia, Maria del Pilar, Irene Diaz and La Chamba Chicha Cumbia were in the house and big shout out to John Cantú and crew for their work on the gorgeous video and Mucho Musica and Vincent Price Art Musuem for hosting the event open to the community. It was great to see how far Las Cafeteras have come…it reminded me of the reasons I dig them so much, not just as a band but a fine group of decent, hardworking and dedicated people. Enjoy their Luna Lovers video at the end of the list!

rem

10 Reasons why I love Las Cafeteras Continue reading

New Music Video “La Ciudad” by Monsieur Periné


Here’s the latest music video from Monsieur Periné, a great Colombian neo-swing band I profiled recently. It’s a light-hearted video of a toy soldier making his way through “La Ciudad” to find his princess, the ever enthralling Catalina García, lead singer of the group. The video follows its characters through the gorgeous, historic parts of Mexico City while the band plays in bright, gaudy outfits, which Catalina designs for all their performances.

Mi Color: New Video from Jhomwua and Gula of Flow Mafia in Venezuela


I just saw this new video “Mi Color” posted on El Prieto‘s Facebook page today. The song by Jhomwua and Gula, his compatriots from the Flow Mafia collective, is from their Demasiado Criminal recording. Back in February, I had written about El Prieto’s powerfully raw hip hop from Venezuela and his social commentary on crime, poverty and war. This video is no less stirring and brutal as it takes us back in time to the 1700s and depicts the vicious cruelty and inhuman treatment the African slaves had to endure. As violent as the scenes are, the song’s message is about the strong will of the slaves and their descendents to ultimately overcome injustice and demand to be respected as equals. As Afro-Latino populations are often the most marginalized and poor and their history and contributions not widely acknowledged throughout Latin American societies, the song and video are important reminders of the African roots and values, the struggles the Afro-Latinos have had to endure, and the continuing fight to be treated with dignity today — Respecta Mi Color (Respect My Color).

My Love Affair with Colombia: Celebrating its Music and Independence

poster
I admit it — before I lost my job a few years ago in the bad economy and bought a one-way ticket to South America, there were only 2 things I knew about Colombian music: Shakira and salsa music. After backpacking for 5 months through the continent, ending in Colombia, I so fell in love with the country and the people that I returned a second time the same year. I not only came away with an appreciation for a beautiful country which has gotten an undeserved bad rap because of its history of civil war and drug violence, I also made wonderful new friends for life.

Colombia today is flourishing and it’s a land of great beauty, history, culture, fashion, art, music, dance and creativity and we are influenced by Colombia here. For example, CicLAvia, the quaterly event to reclaim LA’s streets from car traffic so people can enjoy the urban landscape on foot and bicycles, was started in Bogota.

posterColombianos are at the top of my list of the most warm, generous and friendly people I’ve ever met in my life. I traveled using the CouchSurfing online travel network and met and stayed with so many wonderful local people, who showed me a genuine experience of Colombia, not a touristy one. One in particular, Carol, is a graphic designer who works for the city government in Medellin. If  you travel there, the beautiful map of its brilliant metro system is her handiwork. I met Carol through the  and she took time out to take me on many tours of the ‘Eternal City of Spring’. After I returned to the US, being fellow music lovers, we’ve kept in touch on Facebook by sharing new music discoveries with each other and thanks to her, I’ve been so enriched with the diversity of Colombian music! Continue reading

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!

Continue reading

In The Congo by Rhyme Like A Girl Featuring Nasambu highlights Congo War over Minerals for our Mobile Phones and Electronics


Can you hear me now? That’s what Rhyme Like A Girl and my talented friend Nasambu are asking in their new video for In The Congo, to bring more awareness to the decades long conflict in eastern Congo that is fueled by the global demand for its minerals essential to our mobile phones, laptops and other electronics.

Continue reading

Amadou & Mariam: LA Show Wed Jul 10 and new EP Mali Meets Latin America


World music darlings Amadou & Mariam are returning to LA for a show at the Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Wednesday, July 10, and it’s a can’t miss show, people! The internationally acclaimed “Blind Couple from Mali” are well known for their infectious Malian blues, rock and pop, mostly sung in Bambara and French. You don’t have to understand their lyrics to be instantly moved by their catchy beats & rhythms and African drums & percussion. Amadou & Mariam instantly command your attention onstage and their live shows are nonstop dance and sweat-fests! I’ll never forget the ecstatic energy of my first Amadou & Mariam concert a few years back and last summer, they had the whole crowd, young and old alike, enthralled and in a dancing frenzy at the Twilight concert on the Santa Monica Pier.

Continue reading