Grand Park Turns One!


This Thursday, October 10, the Grand Park turns ONE and the one year anniversary party will feature KCRW‘s Jeremy Sole, Ethio Cali, and a blues collaboration between Cedric Watson and Sidi Toure from Mali! When word started spreading about the grand opening of a huge park in downtown LA , we were as puzzled and unimpressed as anyone who’s walked all over downtown’s dense concrete, brick & glass jungle. What open green space are they talking about? Well, we were quickly won over by this beautification project tucked neatly (and almost secretly) between the Music Center and expanding downward level by level to the steps of City Hall. Here’s a video of the Grand Park Opening one year ago.

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Viver Brasil Celebrates 15th Anniversary with new show Intersections/Ajê July 27


Viver Brasil, the venerable LA Afro-Brazilian dance theater company, celebrates its 15th anniversary with a world premiere of its latest production, Intersections/Ajê, at the beautiful outdoor Ford Amphitheater on Saturday, July 27. I am a huge fan of Brazilian culture and a personal friend to many of the dedicated dancers, singers and musicians in this troupe. I can tell you they’ve been rehearsing their tails off for what promises to be a jubilant, thrilling celebration of the music and dance traditions of Salvador, Bahia! So don’t miss it…come be transported to Brazil and join the celebration under the stars! Tickets and Group Discounts are still available but will sell out! Here’s a sneak peak:

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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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Afro Funke 10 Year Anniversary featuring Ozomatli Thu June 27


The weekly world music night Afro Funke at Zanzibar, Santa Monica will be celebrating 10 years going strong this Thursday, June 27 with Ozomatli in the house! The people behind Afro Funke are Rocky Dawuni, Cary Sullivan and DJs Jeremy Sole (KCRW) and Glenn Red (Eclectica) and they have been faithfully bringing great global music and culture every week to the west side in Los Angeles.

I had an opportunity to ask them a few questions about the upcoming celebration: Continue reading

10 Years of Long Beach Park Jam! Help Keep It Going Strong!


I moved to Long Beach 2 years ago and one of the things that really personifies Long Beach is it’s diversity and community-driven events. We’ve got the great eats in Cambodia Town, free yoga on the bluff overlooking the ocean every morning, an annual funk fest and many other great events in the revitalized downtown area, the Retro Row with its independent stores, dive bars and Art Deco theater, and a great sense of community that has spawned groups like the Long Beach Time Exchange and Green Long Beach. My favorite yearly event in Long Beach is the one that attracted me to move to Long Beach in the first place: the Long Beach Park Jam. It’s a free community picnic, potluck and party every first Sunday during the summer months, that brings people together in the spirit of music, dance and art, and fun for the whole family. Continue reading

Subsuelo 2 Year Anniversary Wed May 15

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Yo don’t miss tomorrow’s 2 Year Anniversary of Subsuelo, LA’s best underground party. The Subsuelo crew are on the cutting edge of combining so many genres of music and collaborating with so many DJs and artists, far and wide, with their global bass nights. For a musicphile and dance-a-holic like myself, it is the stuff of pure bliss and the secret’s been out for a while now with rave reviews on the LA Times, LA Weekly, and ABC/Univision.

Tomorrow’s birthday bash features a crammed list of returning guest DJs who have contributed to Subsuelo’s hot sweaty nights the past 2 years, alongside the Subsuelo hosts, resident DJs and performers: DJ Gozar, DJ Ethos, Farah Stop, DJ Gazoo, La Tigresa, Juxli, Canyon Cody, Gerardo and Gabriel.  Subsuelo will also be releasing a 7″ record of original music produced by Gnotes and Canyon Cody, featuring a custom-made scratch pack by DJ Ethos. In keeping with the 7″ theme, all DJs will be spinning those little 7″ discs…No computers, no LPs, no 12″s. All 45s!

It’s $5, 21+ and back to basics where it all started: the intimate, small Eastside Luv Bar in Boyle Heights. Just judging by the roster of 20 DJs, I shouldn’t have to warn you to be there EARLY — or else be prepared to celebrate vicariously in the line outside!
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