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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Celebration of Fela Kuti with Afrobeat Pioneer Tony Allen and Najite & Olokun Prophecy July 21


ArtDontSleep is bringing yet another musically spellbinding event to Los Angeles on Sunday, July 21: A Celebration of Fela Kuti at The Mayan Theatre in downtown LA! This can’t miss event will feature legendary Tony Allen, the Nigerian master drummer who founded Afrobeat with the late Fela Kuti, who once said, “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat.” Described by many as the greatest drummer on the planet, Allen is renowned for being able to drum in different signatures in each of his 4 limbs. Fela recognized Allen’s talent and unique ability immediately and as the drummer and musical director of Fela’s band, Africa 70 from 1968-1979, Allen helped invent the richly woven percussion and rhythm of Afrobeat.

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Eric Garcetti Inauguration Block Party with Moby and More! Sunday June 30!


Instead of ringing in his new administration on the traditional July 1 inauguration date with some stuffy fancy gala, Eric Garcetti, the mayoral elect, is choosing to make the celebration a big free public block party this Sunday, June 30, 6-9pm, featuring food, music and fun for the whole family! Moby will be performing (check out Garcetti jamming with him below) along with 3 or 4 other acts…not yet publicly announced but a little birdy has leaked that they are Buyepongo and Jungle Fire, 2 of my favorite LA bands, and DJs Raul Campos (KCRW) and Canyon Cody (Subsuelo). There will be food trucks galore and it’s going to be a hot, sunny weekend…perfect weather for an outdoor evening party, so get yourself to City Hall to meet the new Mayor and celebrate! If we’re lucky, we might even get a taste of Garcetti’s break-dancing skills! If you get there early, you can enjoy Grand Park‘s monthly Sunday Sessions right across the street too!

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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

Cambalache Fiesta with Grammy winning Quetzal Sunday April 21

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Just got back from Quetzal‘s performance at the Central American Resource Center and Cesar Castro of Cambalache was playing with them. Son Jarocho is traditional folk music from Veracruz, Mexico combining elements of indigenous,  African and Spanish influence and there is a big camaraderie and collaboration within the thriving Son Jarocho scene in Los Angeles as well as with Veracruz, where Cesar Castro is from. Today, Quetzal will join them at their celebration of reaching their Kickstarter goal to crowd fund their first and long awaited album! They will also be joined by Banda de Santa Ana and other special guests. It’s fun and free for the whole family and will be at the new Floricanto Center in East LA (4232 Whiteside St., Los Angeles, 90063). Continue reading