Top Cultural Events in Los Angeles: March 22-28

by Tom Nguyen

Eclectic week of music, friends: JAIN from France and Princess Nokia* play sold-out shows. BIA and Los Rakas in town too. So much beautiful fusion of jazz, ambient, soul, blues and world music: Josef Leimberg & The Astral Progressions, Low Leaf & Mia Doi Todd, José James*, Dexter Story and Marcel Camargo leading a whole cast of talents in Celebrating African Heritage, Yemen Blues and CharlElie Couture*. East LA’s Quetzal album release show at JACCC and Buyepongo, 4th Annual Mariachi Women’s Festival, La Chamba, and a new favorite, El Santo Golpe, bring tropical heat to the IE. Aloe Blacc, Cambalache & Jornaleros Del Norte will sing to show support for Pasadena voting to become a sanctuary city, Ron Finley aka the Gangsta Gardener will talk about activism at California African American Museum, the Hammer Museum hosts Her Dream Deferred: On the Status of Black Women. Hollywood Carnival celebrating Caribbean music & dance launches this Friday and much, much more happening all across SoCal this week! *Enter our ticket giveaways!


Troubadour (West Hollywood)
Wed. Mar. 23, 9pm, $15-$18, All ages
The French singer with Madagascan roots, who grew up in UAE and the Congo, plays a sold out show at the Troubadour.

Princess Nokia
Globe Theatre (Downtown)
Fri. Mar. 24, 10pm, $25, 21+
“Her full length debut project Metallic Butterfly, saw Frasqueri shape shift into the artist we now know as Princess Nokia. Heavily influenced by DrumNBass and NYC house, Butterfly was an ode to Afro-futurism, anime, comic books, love and Frasqueri’s now signature afro-indigenous urban feminism….It’s the ease with which Frasqueri slips in and out of identities and musical influences that makes her so interesting. She leaves nothing at the door and no label is sufficient: Nuyorican, African, Taina, Bruja, Queer, The Supreme, Ghetto, Tomboy, Bronx Bred, Harlemite, Santera, Goth, Bitch, Nerd, Rapper, Singer, Punk, House, Hip-Hop, Funk, Soul, Trap, Drum-n-Bass; Frasqueri proudly and defiantly embodies all of these simultaneously, while giving a middle finger to anyone who tries to put her or her music in a box.” – Mayda del Valle, EnClave.LA

Metro Art Presents: Josef Leimberg & The Astral Progressions
Union Station (Downtown)
Fri. Mar. 24, 8:30pm, Free, All ages
Trumpeter and composer Leimberg gained a unique level of traction with his work on the multiple Grammy Award winning Kendrick Lamar LP To Pimp A Butterfly and his collaborative resume over the decades consists of producing, writing and feature credits with Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Funkadelic, Dr. Dre and others. Leimberg released his debut full-length album Astral Progressions in October 2016. Influenced by his mother, father and communities of musicians around him, Astral Progressions summarizes the long lasting power of love through sound. Leimberg is part of the movement that’s creating new standards in the exploration of jazz and fusion.

Buyepongo with La Chamba & El Santo Golpe
The Concert Lounge (Riverside)
Fri. Mar. 24, 8pm, $12, 21+
An evening of Cumbia, Chicha, & Afro Latin grooves.

Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours
Music Center (Downtown)
Fri. Mar. 24, 11:30pm-3am, $20, All ages
Emerge anew from winter hibernation into a springtime Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours. Drawing inspiration from renewal, migration, change, and growth, The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion blossoms into lush ground for nighttime exploration and discovery. Shake off the winter season and awaken the senses at the ultimate after-hours experience. With sets by Low Leaf, Mia Doi Todd and Gabby Hernandez.

CharlElie Couture
Theatre Raymond Kabbaz (Century City)
Fri. Mar. 24-Sat. Mar. 25, 7:30pm, $25-$35, All ages
Theatre Raymond Kabbaz is pleased to welcome French singer and songwriter CharlElie Couture, for the Los Angeles premiere concert of his newest release, Lafayette, on Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25, 2017. The rock poet and musical painter went to the heart of the Louisiana bayou to record his twentieth studio album. The raw, festive album wonderfully sums up the essence of the music he has been making for nearly four decades: an intense, profound, hot, sultry blues, swampy rock, but tinged with poetry. This event is part of TRK’s monthlong local 2017 Celebration of La Francophonie (French Language).

Quetzal: “The Eternal Getdown”, L.A. Album Release Concert
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (Little Tokyo)
Sat. Mar. 25, 7pm, $20-$35, All ages
Grammy Award-winning East LA [email protected] rock group Quetzal returns to the Aratani with special guests to launch their newest album in their hometown. Quetzal summons a powerful panoply of sounds from its urban palette – rock, R&B, Mexican son jarocho, Japanese taiko, Afro-Cuban batá, and more – to create an ambitious, artful album with a social point of view. The Eternal Getdown, their seventh album, taps Quetzal’s extended family of artists to affirm the power of music and people to get down together in creative harmony.

Yemen Blues with special guest Chloe Pourmorady
Pico Union Project
Sat. Mar. 25, 7:30pm, $20, All ages
Hear original sounds of contemporary music performed world renowned artist Yemen Blues.

4th Annual Mariachi Women’s Festival ¡Viva Veracruz!
San Gabriel Playhouse
Sat. Mar. 25, 7:30pm, $25-$55, All ages
Feel your heart beat with excitement as this year’s festival opens with traditional interpretations of these and other regional classics by Mexico’s female Jarocho ensemble Caña Dulce y Caña Brava. Las Alteñas, the finest all-female mariachi group in San Antonio, Texas and the two-time Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea from Los Angeles will follow with mariachi renditions of popular songs from the Mexican state of Veracruz and will also perform your favorite mariachi songs. Special Guests include Jarocho musicians, Libby and Cindy Harding, and Japanese Mariachi Singer, Junko Seki. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience a musical journey that will take you from jarocho fandango to mariachi fiesta by women cultural artists in celebration of women’s history month.

Pasadena Welcomes Immigrants Concert
All Saints Church (Pasadena)
Mon. Mar. 27, 4pm-8pm, Free, All ages
Join NDLON and Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP!) for a concert and City Council Hearing! Last month we marched and demanded Pasadena become a Sancturary City for all immigrants! The City Council heard our request lour and clear and they are set to take up the issue on Monday, March 27th. We need your support to make sure the City Council adopts a strong policy that protects all immigrants. A policy that makes sure that the Pasadena City Police will not carry out Trump’s mass deportation plans by collaborating with ICE. Come enjoy great music by: ALOE BLACC, CAMBALACHE, LOS JORNALEROS DEL NORTE & SunWHOAlove

Celebrating African Heritage
Blue Whale (Little Tokyo)
Sun. Mar. 26, 8pm, $15, 21+
It’s hard to talk about African culture because it’s not one, but so many cultures and because this side of our history is largely untold (at least here in the West). In terms of modern music, the influence Africa and the African diaspora have had in the world is arguably unparalleled and yet, for all this importance and wide reach, these cultures are not recognized and celebrated as they should be. As a small token of our love for this heritage we’re putting together a show to play music that makes us feel like we’re home, weather it comes from Africa, Brazil, the French Caribbean or even from right here in LA – made by us. In our group: Dexter Story and Marcel Camargo – show creators (we’ll be playing a varitety of instruments too), Thalma de Freitas, Jessica Vautor, Loren Battley – voices, André de Santanna – bass, Léo Costa, Kahlil Cummings, Alberto Lopez, Gibi dos Santos- percussion

Red Bull Sound Select Presents: BIA, Antwon, Los Rakas, Cam & China
Echoplex (Echo Park)
Tue. Mar. 28, 8pm, $3 w RSVP, 21+
Hip-hop artist, emcee, and television personality, BiA (aka Perico Princess) incorporates Latin and trap music into her brand of rap. Last year she released a mix-tape called #CHOLASEASON which debuted on She has a debut album executive produced by Pharrell Williams on the way.

José James’ “Love In A Time of Madness” featuring Nate Smith
The Echo (Echo Park)
Tue. Mar. 28, 8pm, $21.75-$26.75, 21+
“Love in a Time of Madness” is José James’ forthcoming album and 4th for the world-famous Blue Note label. Featuring a live band, José James presents a stripped down, intimate view of the album. With Takeshi Ohbayashi on keys, Solomon Dorsey on bass and vocals, and Nate Smith on drums, James combines the fluidity of jazz with sensual R&B songwriting, stretching over hip hop beats.


Timezones #2
The Lash (Downtown)
Thu. Mar. 23, 9pm, Free, 21+
Fresh off some dope adventures down at SXSW and WMC, the LAG fam is bringing it all home to our TIMEZONE for the 2nd edition of our FREE CLUB NIGHT at THE LASH. We’re super hyped on all the linking we did with our global bass fam on our travels and to celebrate we’re bringing some of our local faves to decompress and vibe out to some wavey club rhythms!

March’s Forró Party + Pé de Forró
Tropico de Nopal (Historic Filipinotown)
Fri. Mar. 24, 9pm, $10, All ages
A whole night of forró with live band Pé de Forró and Reyes both playing the best of forró. A demo class with Fabio and Andrea from Forró in L.A. to get everyone on the groove. Join in the forró fun!!! Come hungry, delicious Brazilian finger food by Tati Marques Salgadinhos Brasil

Hollywood Carnival 2017: The Launch
The Belasco (Downtown)
Fri. Mar. 24, 9pm, $35, 21+
Hollywood Carnival is pleased to announce its first event for 2017: THE LAUNCH! Each year we continue to elevate and in our 6th year there’s no exception as we take you to The Belasco in the heart of the Entertainment District in Downtown LA. Come out to see and support the various cultures and mas band designs for the 2017 presentation.

The Continental Club (Downtown)
Fri. Mar. 24, 9pm, $10-$15, 21+
Best Latin Party in LA! – A sexy Latin rhythm dance party at The Continental Club in downtown LA. It’s good vibes and a community of friends from all over the world united to dance. Come and experience a journey through Latin America while dancing to the most awesome music. Wepaa

Dot Dot Dot w/ Canyon Cody
Townhouse Del Monte (Venice)
Sat. Mar. 25, 9pm, Free, 21+
Dot Dot Dot is an intentional omission of a complete genre description — you can fill in the blanks — which includes but is not limited to … hip-hop, funk, house … reggaeton, cumbia, salsa … trap, twerk, juke … classics, throwbacks, jams … it’s a dance party on a saturday night for you … and you … and you too.

The Free Movement Festival 2017 Orange County
Academy of International Dance (Santa Ana)
Tue. Mar. 28-Sun. Apr. 2, $30+, All ages
The Southern California and Global Movement Communities are realizing that the walls between movement styles are disappearing day by day. This is not a dilution of the roots, but an appreciation of the common ground we have. An appreciation of the things that we can teach to and learn from each other. Capoeira Batuque Santa Ana, Loftoeira, Firestorm Free Running, Strength Project, Academy of International Dance, and our partners are taking this opportunity to bring the various movement communities together to celebrate and learn from one another.


Frida – Courage, Identity and Imaginacíon
Casa 0101 (Boyle Heights)
Thu. Mar. 23, 7pm-9pm, Free, All ages
This exhibition presents eleven artists from all walks of life whom explore the multiple aspects of Frida Kahlo from her social concerns to identity and her passion for life.

Fairly Traceable (World Premiere and Closing Weekend)
The Autry (Griffith Park)
Thu. Mar. 23-Sun. Mar. 26, $10-$25, All ages
The only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to developing and producing new work by Native American artists, Native Voices presents the world premiere of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Fairly Traceable. Set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Fairly Traceable follows the journeys of a young Ponca man and Chitimacha woman as they balance personal and career ambitions with advocacy for the environment and the people they love. In this romantic dramedy, Nagle reveals the culpability of big oil, corporate polluters, and climate change deniers in environmental disasters.

Alivio Presents Boconas y Revolucionarias: Celebrating Muxeres
Alivio Open Mic (Bell)
Fri. Mar. 24, 7:45pm, Free, All ages
Celebrating womxn’s herstory month. Come celebrate with us the beauty that is the energy of being a Muxer, being a BOCONA Y REVOLUCIONARIA! Forever Muxeres have been told that calladitx te ve más bonitx. How about creating change, being the future, and fighting for what we believe in. Muxeres have always been at the forefront of every struggle and continue to be the the fire starters and keepers in every movement around the world. This month at Alivio a long with the sisters of Proyecto Vecindad we honor those Muxeres as well as our own. -Xitlalic, PV Member. Special guest: Cyn Da’ Poet, Lady Basco

PROUD Story Slam
Grand Park (Downtown)
Sat. Mar. 25, 12pm-4pm, Free, All ages
Part of Grand Park’s ongoing PROUD Series celebrating LGBTQ L.A., the PROUD Story Slam presents narratives about how Los Angeles connects us no matter who we are or whom we love. From L.A. gay rights pioneers to Angeleno trans comedians, hear amazing stories that transcend geography, generation, gender, race and background. Be prepared to laugh and perhaps even shed a tear.

All Ages Womxn’s Month Show: Herbal Distro Project Fundraiser
Eastside Cafe (El Sereno)
Sat. Mar. 25, 7pm, $5, All ages
Join us for a night of poetry, music and raffles! All extra proceeds will go towards covering the cost of making herbal medicines for our first community distro. Cover is $5 at the door with no one turned away for lack of funds. Performances by: Irene Diaz, ESC Son Jarocho collective, Seek the Freek, Oscura Luna

Antonio Pelayo retrospective Solo Show
Plaza de la Raza (Lincoln Heights)
Sat. Mar. 25, 7pm-1am, $20-$25, 21+
A retrospective solo show by Artist Antonio Pelayo curated by James Panozzo. Book release & signing, birthday celebration, concert & exhibit benefiting Plaza de la Raza. Hosted by Patricia Lopez. Headlining LA SONORA DINAMITA. With performances by Casa de Calacas, EV DUB, Alien Dance Band. DJs Sloe Poke & Gargamel. Car show by Imperials, Bike show by Ted Alva.

The Power of the Woman in the Art
MCAU (Echo Park)
Sat. Mar. 25, 7pm-9pm, Free, All ages
MCAU will honoring the International Women’s Month with Art & Music every one is welcome to join us this Saturday, March 25th to our opening reception. feel free to invite family and friends. Thanks alot for supporting our females artists. This art event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC but your donation will be appreciated for us to keep moving forward with our art projects

Eman El Husseini & Jess Salomon, Palestinian + Jewish Comedy
Pico Union Project
Sun. Mar. 26, 7pm-9pm, $15, All ages
Comedian Eman El Husseini is the bomb—and that’s not just because she’s Palestinian, Muslim and queer. Her Jewish wife, Jess Salomon describes herself as a “comedian, writer and family disappointment.” She’s a former U.N. human rights/war crimes lawyer turned stand-up comedian. The Markaz is pleased to present this very special comedy show starring Eman El Husseini & Jess Salomon from New York City, one night only, hosted & introduced by Sultans of Satire and New York Arab American Comedy Festival regular, Noël Elgrably. Don’t miss this very funny, one-night-only show!

An Evening with Cheech Marin
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (Little Tokyo)
Tue. Mar. 28, 7:30pm, $25-$45, All ages
Did you know that Cheech—which is not his real name—is also the owner of the most renowned collection of Chicano art in the world? He also grew up the son of a cop. He even crushed Anderson Cooper on Celebrity Jeopardy! In his long-awaited memoir, this counterculture legend writes candidly about coming-of-age as the wisecracking kid in 1960s Los Angeles, resisting the draft as a young man, and many other surprising journeys along the way of creating one of the most successful comedy acts of all time. Join us for a spirited evening as Cheech reflects on his incredible career in conversation with L.A.’s own Marisol Hernandez, lead singer of the GRAMMY award-winning La Santa Cecilia. Special musical performance with Cheech Marin & La Santa Cecilia will follow the conversation!


Smash the Cis-stem: Addressing Queer and Trans Womxn’s Health
Espacio 1839 (Boyle Heights)
Wed. Mar. 22, 6pm-9pm, Free, All ages
Join The Wall Las Memorias Project in commemoration by learning about the health disparities LGBTQ women face when it comes to their health care.

Parlay Live
Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Thu. Mar. 23, 6pm, Free, All ages
Parlay Think Tank is a collective of change-agents committed to the social, economic and political advancement of marginalized and vulnerable communities. Parlay Think Tank is endeavoring to reframe narratives around civic engagement in the Black community.

Activism Now: Ron Finley
California African American Museum (Exposition Park)
Thu. Mar. 23, 7pm-9pm, Free, All ages
As a community activist and self-sustainability advocate—and widely known as the Gangsta Gardener—Ron Finley inadvertently started a horticultural revolution by transforming a barren parkway in front of his South LA home into an edible oasis. In 2013 Finley gave a memorable TED Talk that inspired many to follow in his steps as he continues to transmute food deserts into food forests. Join us for an enlightening talk about race, activism, and social change in this current political climate.

Platicas y Pruebas: Frida’s Fiestas
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Downtown)
Thu. Mar. 23, 7pm-9pm, $15, All ages
Enjoy a tasting of traditional Mexican food from Frida’s cookbook Frida’s Fiestas: Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo. Guest speaker and food historian: Maite Gomez-Rejon

5th Annual Pomona College Pow Wow
Pomona College
Sat. Mar. 25, 10am-9pm, Free, All
The Pomona College Fourth Annual Pow Wow: “Tradition for Life & Education for the Future” will feature: MC: Bobby Whitebird (Cheyenne), Arena Director: Vic Chavez (Dine’), Spiritual Advisor: Saginaw Grant (Sac and Fox), Headman: Eddie Greenflag Gallegos (Paiute-Shoshone), Headwoman: Gloria Baker (Yaqui), Headboy: Gavin Watts (Cheyenne), Headgirl: Sandrah Fellows (Lusieno), Host Northern Drum: Wildhorse Singers, Host Southern Drum: Northridge Boys. Grand entry at noon. All drums welcome. Dinner will be provided. Free parking.

Culver City to Venice
Sun. Mar. 26, 9am-4pm, Free, All ages
CicLAvia heads back to one of our fan-favorite routes for the first event of 2017! On March 26, Culver City, Mar Vista, and Venice will host the country’s largest open streets event! Streets will be closed to cars and open for cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space.

Leimert Park Art Walk
Leimbert Park Viilage Plaza
Sun. Mar. 26, 1pm-8pm, Free, All ages

Her Dream Deferred: On the Status of Black Women
Hammer Museum (Westwood)
Tue. Mar. 28-Thu. Mar. 30, 7:30pm, Free, All ages
Black women and girls have continually been on the front lines of progressive change movements, using their voices and stories to mobilize intersectional coalitions to dismantle oppressive systems. To celebrate these women, the African American Policy Forum, in partnership with the Hammer Museum, presents the third annual Her Dream Deferred, a series offering substantive analysis on the status of black women and girls in the United States and exploring multifaceted solutions to social injustice. Organized by Kimberlé Crenshaw, Columbia University and UCLA law professor.


She Started It
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Wed. Mar. 22, 7pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
Following five women over two years as they pitch VCs, build teams, bring products to market, fail and start again, She Started It takes viewers on a global roller coaster ride from San Francisco to Mississippi, France and Vietnam. Through intimate, action-driven storytelling, She Started It explores the cultural roots of female underrepresentation in entrepreneurship—including pervasive self-doubt, fear of failure, and risk aversion among young women. It exposes, too, the structural realities women face as they become entrepreneurs, including lack of female role models and investors, and the persistent dearth of venture capital funding made available to women-led companies.

Llévate Mis Amores
Consulado General De Mexico (MacArthur Park)
Thu. Mar. 23, 6:30pm, Free, All ages
As part of the Film serie “Borderline” we present All of Me, a documentary that tells the stories of the women who live in La Patrona, a Mexican village that is situated by the tracks of a train from Central America that brings many migrants North to the U.S.

USC School of Cinematic Arts
Thu. Mar. 23, 7pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, (1914-1918), Frantz recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation”: Anna (21 year-old Paula Beer in a breakthrough performance), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney, Yves Saint Laurent), a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks.

Anarchy in Asian America: Sex, Punk, and Transgressive Cinema
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Fri. Mar. 24, 7pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
Gregg Araki, Roddy Bogawa, Marcus Hu, and Jon Moritsugu—the “bad boys” of Asian American cinema—have exploded notions of identity and identification through a radicalized indie-film aesthetic inspired as much by the anything-goes energy of the underground music scene as by the formalist experimentations of directors like Godard. Join us for a panel discussion and concert exploring how indie cinema has been transformed by their punk-influenced, sexually and artistically transgressive, DIY filmmaking.

Through My Eyes Indigenous Film Festival
Art Share-LA (Downtown)
Fri. Mar. 24-Sun. Mar. 26, $7-$35, All ages
TRIBE Project presents Through My Eyes, a festival of short films created by indigenous minorities from all over the world. The films range from narrative triumphs to poignant documentaries and vivacious animations. Collectively, these are stories of resistance, courage, and hope.

You´re Killing Me Susana
Consulado General De Mexico (MacArthur Park)
Fri. Mar. 25, 6:00pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
“Me Estas Matando Susana” takes us on Eligio’s quest to find and recover his wife, Susana, who without a word, left Mexico City behind for a writer’s conference held in the chilly U.S. heartland.

Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle
MOLAA (Long Beach)
Fri. Mar. 24, 7pm, Free, All ages
Man in the Middle explores the life and death of Mexican-American journalist Ruben Salazar. A reporter for both the LA Times and KMEX, Salazar brought attention to the burgeoning Chicano movement of the 1960s. Killed during the historical Chicano Moratorium of 1970, Salazar became an icon of the movement in the U.S. and in Mexico.

Generation Revolution
KAOS Network (Leimert Park)
Sat. Mar. 25, 7pm, Free, All ages
Generation Revolution brings to screen the powerful story of a new generation of black and brown activists who are changing the social and political landscape in the capital and beyond. This feature-length documentary film follows an exciting new breed of organisations as well as the young Londoners that are part of them.

NFMLA Celebrates Women’s History Month
South Park Center (Downtown)
Sat. Mar. 25, 5pm-11:30pm, $5-$15, All ages
In honor of Women’s History Month, NFMLA presents another installment of its InFocus series, InFocus: Female Directors.

USC School of Cinematic Arts
Tue. Mar. 28, 7pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
Romeo Aldea, a physician living in a small mountain town in Transylvania, has raised his daughter Eliza with the idea that once she turns 18, she will leave to study and live abroad. His plan is close to succeeding – Eliza has got a scholarship to study psychology in UK. She just has to pass her final exams – a formality for such a good student. On the day prior to her first written exam, an incident jeopardizes Eliza’s departure. Now Romeo has to make a decision. There are ways of solving the problem, but none of them using the principles he, as a father, has taught his daughter.

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