Our Cultural Picks for Los Angeles: May 3-9

by Tom Nguyen

Cinco de Mayo weekend: Lots of community festivals below for the whole family and come support some of our favorite LA musicians and DJs: Ozomatli and Irene Diaz at Eclectic Music Festival, Buyepongo, Quitapenas and Chico Mann & Captain Planet at NHM, La Chamba and Subsuelo at La Bulla, La Santa Cecilia, Sheela Bringi, Brainstory, É Arenas, Chola Orange, Selenamos, Sin Color, Mariachi Manchester, ECNO, Aztlan Underground, LECHE. Dope visiting musicians/DJs this week: Silverio, Los Master Plus, Toshi Reagon, Oddisee and it’s gonna be Afro-Latino fire on the dance floors with MPeach (NY/Venezuela) at CuLosAngeles and Thombs (Colombia) and Leo Justi and MC Carol both from Brazil at PluggedIn.LA.

LATC premieres The Sweetheart Deal, Star Montana‘s photography is featured at Main Museum, Kyogen at Aratani Theater and more great arts below. UCLA Film & Television Archive is showing a rare film Parting from Afghanistan as well as a celebration of Iranian cinema. Hammer Museum, The Markaz, Downtown Independent and USC School of Cinematic Arts also host important documentaries.


Silverio & Los Master Plus
Los Globos (Silver Lake)
Wed. May 3, 8pm-2am, $25, 21+
Te esperamos este próximo 3 de mayo a nuestra gran FIESTA celebración y baile con su majestad imperial SILVERIO y los reyes del vacilón. LOS MASTER PLUS! Además: Dj Hips del Conjunto Nueva Ola (ECNO)

Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely
UCLA Royce Hall
Thu. May 4, 8pm, $15-$39, All ages
Toshi Reagon is an American folk and blues musician from a family of socially conscious singers. Her parents were part of The Freedom Singers during the civil rights struggle and the singer, who is lesbian, is just as outspoken about issues of equal justice and human rights in her music.

First Fridays with Buyepongo, Chico Mann & Captain Planet, Quitapenas
Natural History Museum (Exposition Park)
Fri. May 5, 5pm-10pm, $18, All ages
Tour: “Food for Thought” with Richard Hayden, NHMLA Head Gardener. Discussion: “How Green is Your Plate” with Rachel Surls, Ph.D and Judith Gerber moderated by Los Angeles Times Journalist Patt Morrison. DJ Lounge: KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez and special guest Subsuelo. Music: Buyepongo and Chico Mann & Captain Planet and 7pm pop-up performance by QUITA PENAS! More great Cinco de Mayo shows all over SoCal:
Selenamos Cinco de MayO @ Eastside Luv Bar
Cinco De Mayo with ECNO @ La Cita Bar
La Chamba and El Santo Golpe @ Malo
Morrisseynco De Mayo w/ Mariachi Manchester @ Spikes Bar & Billiards
Cinco De Mayo Celebration with: Quinto Sol, Aztlan Underground, DJs Costa & Ethos @ Alex’s Bar

The Eclectic Music Festival & Art Walk: Ozomatli, Irene Diaz & more
Mission St. and Fair Oaks (South Pasadena)
Sat. May 6, 3pm-10pm, Free, All ages
The Eclectic is a FREE music festival in South Pasadena where visitors can see more then 60 diverse musical acts across six stages, plus many more musicians and artists at intimate venues around the city. OZOMATLI is headlining this year, and will kick-off the festival with OZOKIDS and then return to close out the night with an exciting finale! There will be open houses at art galleries and studios, food trucks, beer gardens, Artisans’ Alley, and South Pasadena merchants along Mission Street and Fair Oaks will be opening up their doors with “Eclectic” promotions and activities. Everything is happening right off the South Pasadena Metro Station and parking is free.

La Bulla 2017
Plaza de la Raza (Lincoln Heights)
Sat. May 6, 7pm-2am, $30-$60, 21+
La Bulla, The Lucha Libre Experience: Live Lucha Libre-Art Exhibit-Concert
Featuring BLUE DEMON JR, Lucha Libre matches curated by Masked Republic.
Hosted by Denise Ruiz & Joe Diaz. Musical performances by LA CHAMBA, SUBSUELO. Special performance by Alien dance Band
Art Exhibit curated by Johnny Quintana with special guest artist Mr Cartoon.

Oddisee & Good Compny
The Regent (Downtown)
Sat. May 6, 8:30pm, $19.50-$24.50, 18+
Sudanese-American rapper Oddisee “has never shied away from big-picture questions about race, politics, wealth, religion and love in his music. He believes in digging deeper — and fittingly, he’s titled his new album The Iceberg because there’s a lot going on beneath the surface.” ~ NPR

La Santa Cecilia
Amoeba Music (Hollywood)
Mon. May 8, 5pm-6:30pm, Free, All ages
L.A.’s own La Santa Cecilia returns to Amoeba Hollywood to celebrate their new album, “Amar y Vivir,” with a live acoustic set and signing Monday, May 8th at 5:30pm! Free/all-ages show. This special vinyl-only release is officially out May 12th, but we’ll have it available early for their Amoeba performance and album signing.

Sheela Bringi + Clinton Patterson
Blue Whale (Little Tokyo)
Mon. May 8, 8:30pm, $15, 21+
Songs and meditations of loss, redemption, and transcendence
in English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Kannada, Assamese.

Brainstory Vinyl Release Party with É Arenas, Chola Orange
The Echo (Echo Park)
Tue. May 9, 8:30pm, $8-$9.50, 18+

Wed. May 3 City Beats with Buyepongo @ Wells Fargo Center
Fri. May 5 Echo Funk ft LECHE @ Lost Knight
Sat. May 6 Idan Raichel: Piano Songs @ The Luckman
Sat. May 6 La Santa Cecilia, Sin Color @ Concert Lounge
Sun. May 7 Save Music in Chinatown 12 @ Grand Star Jazz
Sun. May 7 Carlos Vives @ Greek Theater


NuTropic: Danny Holloway, Fresko, De Madrugada
The Short Stop (Echo Park)
Thu. May 4, 9pm-2am, Free, 21+

CuLosAngeles with guests MPeach, Muñeka & Suga Shay
The Lash (Downtown)
Sat. May 6, 10pm-2am, Free, 21+
MPeach, one of our very favorite multidisciplinary artists, will be in town from New York (by way of Venezuela) and gracing the CuLosAngeles dancefloor with a live set. We’ve also got two of the baddest, Suga Shay & Dj Muñeka, lined up to join in the fun, as well. As always, we’ve got your favorite riddims on tap all night for your dancing pleasure: dancehall, baile funk, Afro beats, hip hop, jersey, ballroom, bmore, bounce, dembow, cumbia, trap, all dem caribbean & Afrolatin jams. Don’t miss it!

PluggedIn.LA 011
Location TBA (Downtown)
Sat. May 6, 11pm-5am, RSVP, 21+
After taking PluggedIn.LA to SXSW and Miami Music Week last month, we’re coming home to DTLA and plugging in late night with two artists representing the sounds and styles of Brazil and Colombia coming to PluggedIn.LA #11 on May 6! To scope out our guests playing alongside the Plugged In residents make sure to RSVP for venue address and event details.

Sat. May 6 SOCA + ME @ Shatto Banquet Hall
Sat. May 6 Boombox with guest Peanut Butter Wolf @ Grand Star Jazz


Buklod: A Gathering of Filipino and Filipino-American Art
Croatian Cultural Center of Greater Los Angeles (San Pedro)
Thu. May 4-Thu. May 11, Free, All ages
FilAm ARTS, in partnership with the Philippine Expressions Bookshop and Croatian Cultural Center, presents the “Buklod: A Gathering of Filipino and Filipino-American Arts and Artists” exhibit. “Buklod” literally means a “bond” or “union” – and in this case, it refers to the gathering of Filipino and Filipino-American artists from May 4-11, 2017 at the Croatian Cultural Center.

The Sweetheart Deal (World Premiere)
Los Angeles Theatre Center (Downtown)
Thu. May 4-Sun. Jun. 3, $24-$38, All ages
It’s 1970 and the world for Latinos is rapidly changing. With Cesar Chavez leading the largest Chicano social movement of the century, farmworkers and their families are struggling to survive. In Obie Award-winning writer/director, Diane Rodriguez’s play, THE SWEETHEART DEAL, we find the young couple Mari and Will leaving everything behind to volunteer for the United Farm Workers union working for the underground newspaper, El Malcriado. In the midst of this tumultuous moment in American history, our couple finds themselves torn between family loyalties and the demands of upholding a struggling union, asking themselves what sacrifices must they make to be the change they want to see?

SOUL Together: a salon for artists of color
Avenue 50 Studio (Highland Park)
Sat. May 6, 7pm-10pm, Free, All ages
SOUL Together is a collective response to the lack of exhibit space for people of color in Los Angeles. While suffocating under the extreme weight and sheer abundance of white artistry, artists of color have been creating dynamic and engaging work that disposes of stereotypes and decimates gatekeepers and the boxes they reside in. SOUL Together hopes to address these issues by providing a safe and professional gallery space for artists of color to build within and around.

An Evening of Kyogen
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (Little Tokyo)
Sat. May 6-Sun. May 7, 5pm, $15-$35, All ages
AN EVENING OF KYOGEN with Mansaku Nomura & Mansaku-no-Kai. 35 years after he first shared the joy of Kyogen with Los Angeles, Living National Treasure MANSAKU NOMURA returns with the Mansaku-no-Kai Company for an evening of warm, life-affirming comedy. Also starring MANSAI NOMURA and YUKIO ISHIDA, this program of 3 masterpieces displays the full range of a theatrical form that has kept audiences laughing since the 14th century.

Star Montana, Mayra, 2014, courtesy of the artist.

Opening Reception: Star Montana with Alice Könitz
Beta Main (Downtown)
Sun. May 7, 2pm-5pm, Free, All ages
‘Star Montana: I Dream of Los Angeles’ – When Star Montana was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she longed for California sunshine and dreamed of the light and the people of Los Angeles. A Boyle Heights native, she returned home periodically, trips during which she took a number of the photos on view in Beta Main. When Montana moved back to Los Angeles after graduation, the reality—the nightmare—of traumatic events with family and friends awaited her. Despite the circumstances, her dream of Los Angeles continues through her photography practice and is captured in the images in this exhibition…With honesty and sensitivity in equal measure, Montana endeavors to give visibility to those who are not often represented in art or art institutions. ‘Circle Chairs, Triangle Chairs’ –
Sculptor Alice Könitz was commissioned to develop ideas for new types of museum seating that Beta Main—and soon, The Main—can use permanently in its galleries.

The Latin Wave
San Gabriel Mission Playhouse
Sun. May 7-Sun. May 21, $10-$25, All ages
This fascinating series takes a look at the treatment of Latino culture from Hollywood’s beginnings and beyond. Join us for theatre, dance, live music, exhibits, movies and lively conversation, that includes They Shoot Mexicans, Don’t They?, a special immersive theatre experience written by Rose Portillo and Theresa Chavez, and directed by Theresa Chavez, producing artistic director of About…Productions. Features live performance by members of the Grammy-winning band Quetzal. Experience the Playhouse in a whole new way in this site-specific performance that tells the story of a New York producer aiming to make a movie of the fabled Mission Play.

Fri. May 5-Sun. May 14 Los Angeles Dance Festival @ Theatre Raymond Kabbaz and Diavolo Theater
Sat. May 6 Cinco de Mayo en Pasadena @ ARC Pasadena


Wilmington Art Walk- Celebrating Cinco de Mayo
Avalon Blvd (Wilmington)
Fri. May 5, 6pm-10pm, Free, All ages
The Wilmington Art Walk celebrates Cinco de Mayo: Friday May 5, 2017 from 6pm-10pm on Avalon Blvd between G and F Streets! 50+ Artists and Craft Vendors
Food Trucks, Live Entertainment, Beer Garden, Free Children’s Activities and more!!

Women’s Artwalk
Daily Coffee Bar (Montebello)
Sat. May 6, 4pm-9pm, Free, All ages
Join KTCA on a special Date MAY 6th for a Celebration of Women in the Arts and Culture Scene. Event will feature: 40+ Women Artists And Crafters/ 20+ Artists with Theme of Celebration of Women in Arts and Culture, Music by Female Musicians: Angel/borderline promises and Recording Artists Patrick Carrico and Band+ More TBA, Special Guest Speakers and key note Speakers as well, Drawings/giveaways+ More! Being added daily!

Fiesta Matsuri 2017
Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (Little Tokyo)
Sun. May 7, 11am-4pm, Free, All ages
Immersing families in the vibrant traditions of Día de los Niños and Kodomo no hi through art, dance, and song. Enjoy a free day of workshops and performances for the whole family. Come join the cross-cultural Children’s Day celebration this Spring at JACCC!

35th Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Barnes Park Amphitheater (Monterey Park)
Sun. May 7, 1pm-5pm, Free, All ages
The City of Monterey Park’s Cinco de Mayo Committee extends an invitation to the community to attend the annual Cinco de Mayo celebration at Barnes Park. This festive day features a wide variety of entertainers including folklorico dancers, mariachis and other traditional Mexican music.

Fri. May 5 Hecho in LA Cinco de Mayo Celebration @ LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes
Sat. May 6 City of Carson Cinco De Mayo Celebration @ Carson Park
Sat. May 6-Sun. May 7 18th Annual Cinco de Mayo Festival @ Downtown Santa Ana
Sun. May 7 Mama-Rita Sunday Art Show & Boutique @ Casita del Pueblo


33rd Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Various theaters in Los Angeles and Orange County
Fri. Apr. 28-Thu. May 11, Free-$14/film, All ages
VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, established the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival in 1983 as a vehicle to promote Asian and Asian Pacific American cinema. The Festival has grown from its humble beginnings as a weekend-long series into a major annual showcase presenting the best of Asian Pacific American and Asian international media in the United States.

Axé: Canto do Povo de um Lugar
UCLA James Bridges Theater
Wed. May 3, 7:30pm-10pm, Free, All ages
Originally from Bahia and considered today one of the most globalized musical movements in the world, Axé is a musical rhythm that carries in its essence a good part of all the musical and cultural syncretism of Bahia. The documentary brings together interviews and archive images outlining the birth of Axe. Q&A with film director CHICO KERTÉSZ and Brazilian superstar CLAUDIA LEITTE following the film screening.

Obliterated Families of Gaza, Screening & Panel
SoCal Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle (South Robertson)
Thu. May 4, 7pm, $5-$10 suggested donation, All ages
The Markaz co-presents a documentary screening and discussion with Ala Qandil and Michal Grosz in the series Progressive Conversations on Israel/Palestine and US Middle East Foreign Policy, cosponsored by LA Jews for Peace. Numbers have often been used to describe the Israeli offensive on Gaza: 51 (days), 2,200 (dead Palestinians including 551 children), 11,000 (injured), 100,000 (homeless), and a half-million (displaced). But the statistics do not reflect the loss of a loved one, the bombing of a home, or the fear or the trauma that comes after a ceasefire. We focused on 142 – the number of families who lost three or more members, and turned it into an intimate tale of sudden loss, pain, and life in the aftermath.

Do Not Resist
Hammer Museum (Westwood)
Thu. May 4, 7:30pm, Free, All ages
Beginning on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown, Do Not Resist offers a shocking look at the militarization of police forces in America. Viewers experience a ride-along with a SWAT team, a police training seminar about “righteous violence,” and a congressional hearing on the use of military equipment in small-town police departments. (2016, dir. Craig Atkinson, 72 min.) Followed by a discussion with Black Lives Matter cofounder Patrisse Cullors.

Hammer Museum (Westwood)
Fri. May 5, 7:30pm, Free-$9, All ages
Facing economic privation and family discord—including a blood feud—a young couple flees Afghanistan for Europe via Iran where ruthless smugglers and their past waylay them just as their dangerous journey begins.

Bayard & Me
Downtown Independent (Downtown)
Fri. May 5-Thu. May 11, $10, All ages
Bayard & Me is a short doc about how the openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, best known for organizing the March on Washington and advising Martin Luther King, adopted his partner Walter Naegle in the 1980s for legal protections. In this intimate love story, Walter remembers Bayard and how they had to work around the system in an era when gay marriage was inconceivable. He also reflects on the little known phenomena of intergenerational gay adoption and its connection to the civil rights movement.

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema
Hammer Museum (Westwood)
Sat. May 6-Fri. May 19, Free-$10, All ages
The power of the moving image to connect people otherwise distanced by cultural, political and national divides has been embodied nowhere more profoundly over the last several decades than in the humanism, artistry and courage of Iranian filmmakers.  UCLA Film & Television Archive has been presenting the best of their work in this annual survey for almost 30 years and it does so again this year with a renewed sense of purpose.  Our current series includes films from new voices, current masters and a special tribute to one of contemporary cinema’s most influential and important artists, Abbas Kiarostami.

LA 92
USC School of Cinematic Arts
Mon. May 8, 7pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
Twenty-five years after the verdict in the Rodney King trial sparked several days of protests, violence and looting in Los Angeles, LA 92, a new feature documentary from National Geographic Documentary Films, immerses viewers in that tumultuous period through stunning and rarely seen archival footage. Produced by two-time Oscar winner Simon Chinn (Man on Wire) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (American High) and directed by Oscar winners Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin (Undefeated), the film looks at the events of 1992 from a multitude of vantage points, bringing a fresh perspective to a pivotal moment that reverberates to this day.

Wed. May 3 Risk @ USC School of Cinematic Arts
Wed. May 3 Touche française @ Zebulon LA
Thu. May 4 Independent Visions: East LA Interchange @ CSULA
Thu. May 4 & Sun. May 7 Emilia @ Downtown Independent
Fri. May 5-Thu. May 11 Bayard & Me @ Downtown Independent
Mon. May 8 Agents of Change @ Aero Theatre

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