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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Afro DZ ak LA Show Sat June 29 and Latest Video against LGBTQ Bullying & Suicide

Afro DZ ak is a a multi-instrumentalist MC and trumpet maestro from Boston who uses music, hip-hop and spoken-word poetry to promote positive social change. He’ll be playing a special free show in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 29, at the weekly Planet Rock hosted by Subsuelo DJ Canyon Cody and Captain Planet at The Virgil in Silverlake. Planet Rock is one of my favorite Saturday night events for great music and dancing with no cover and this special edition is not to be missed…it’s the only place in LA he is appearing! Check out his music below including his latest video and song Memories Live On, a poignant story of a gay teen driven to suicide. It’s a very appropriate topic today as I head to West Hollywood to celebrate today’s historic Supreme Court decisions in favor of LGBTQ rights to marriage equality. More love, less hate – let’s come together this Saturday and groove to the man’s positive messages and musical vibes.

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Seu Jorge at The Fonda Theatre Sat July 13


(UPDATE 7/6/13: The LA show on July 13 has been canceled. I couldn’t find out any more information other than the San Francisco show on July 12 also being canceled. So I guess if you really want to see him, you’ll have to travel to the East Coast where he’ll be playing as part of the Brasil Summerfest in NYC from July 17-24 and a free show in Miami July 27.)
If the Brazilian Nites Summer Series featuring a bevy of great Brazilian artists like Ana Carolina wasn’t already enough to get you excited for the summer, Brazilian international star Seu Jorge will be performing at The Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday, July 13! Tickets for the all ages show are on sale Friday, June 14 at 10am for $35 and $45 on Ticketmaster. Seu Jorge was one of the top draws for me at That 70s Soul on December 16, 2012, and I had to be content with just the 2 songs he played as a special guest: the classic 70s hit Everybody Loves The Sunshine and the iconic Brazilian song Mas Que Nada. I’m definitely not missing a chance to see this legend play a full show!

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Hola Mexico Film Festival: Film + Food + Music! May 15-22


Last night was the opening night of the 5th Annual Hola Mexico Film Festival and it’s the most ambitious to date! Here are the details from their site:

For the first time, in addition to celebrated and award-winning films, Hola Mexico will include food and music festivals, bringing together some of the best chefs and musical performances from Mexico. Continue reading

Gas Station Karaoke turns Couple into Internet Sensation!

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This week’s internet viral pick-me-up! A man gets startled the gas pump is speaking to him and he and his wife aren’t shy to break out into spontaneous song and dance! Thank you, Will and Monifa Sims! My hope in people is restored…so wherever you are this weekend, sing and dance like no one’s watching (or not care if you’re being broadcast to millions on TV)! If you couldn’t get enough of this irresistibly happy couple, catch their encore below on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Apparently the most interesting people in LA are in Burbank — if you thought the Sims were hilarious, check out Goorgen and learn how to shift it! Continue reading

Music, Dance, Film, Art & Cultural events Apr. 22 – Apr. 28

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Happy Earth Day! There are Earth Day events all month into May but really…every day should be Earth Day! And there are a bizillion film festivals this week. Another gorgeous sunny Spring week with so going on! Here are just some of the very many awesome events happening around LA! Do you have an LA hidden treasure or great cause people should know about? Let me know! Have a great week, Angelenos…dedicating this song to you all! Continue reading

La Santa Cecilia’s New Video for El Hielo a Powerful Statement against Immigration Policy & Deportation

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(Update 4/29/13:  La Santa Cecilia will be performing a free in-store show celebrating their new album Treinta Dias at Amoeba Records on Tuesday, April 30. Judging by the RSVPs on the Facebook event, get there EARLY and get your exclusive FIRST listen of their new songs at Remezcla.com!

I just learned that the video was produced in partnership with both the National Day Laborer Organization and the abc* Foundation’s “Healing Power of Music Initiative”. In conjunction with the video’s release, the band will appear at immigration reform rallies April 9th in Phoenix, Arizona, and April 10th at The U.S. Capitol Building In Washington D.C. The National Day Laborer Organizing Network is made up of more than 40 organizations across the country working to improve the lives of day laborers. The Healing Power of Music is an initiative of the Americas Business Council (abc*) Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports high-impact, innovative, social and environmental organizations working to sustainably advance the Americas.)

When La Santa Cecilia released the song El Hielo in March, it was quickly picked up by mainstream media for the band’s open criticism of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements) and their sympathy for undocumented immigrants. The band, who are all from immigrant families, have always lent their support to immigration rights groups and the DREAM act, and their new video for the song, released today, continues the band’s efforts to highlight the daily plight of undocumented families under the constant threat of discovery and deportation by immigration authorities. Most of the actors in the video are themselves undocumented and you can read their poignant stories at notonemoredeportation.com. Continue reading