Our Cultural Picks for Los Angeles: May 10-16

by Tom Nguyen

There’s a new music venue in town: Zebulon LA and I like their eclectic programming of world music. I don’t know if they ever had a grand opening or if this is a soft launch, but Mia Doi Todd and SK Kakraba are performing this week. Gabriel Garzon-Montano plays a sold-out Troubadour, and 3 of my LA favs together at The Broad Stage: Jungle Fire/Ethio Cali/Mexico68! Syrian wedding singer turned techno cult figure Omar Souleyman is here too! LA Plaza kicks off its free summer of salsa with Ricardo Lemvo, Barrio Funky features YANGA, El Santo Golpe & Glenn Red. And many more great art, film, cultural and community events this beautiful week!


Mia Doi Todd, Bart Davenport, Oguri & more
Zebulon LA (Frogtown)
Thu. May 11, 8pm, $10, 21+
Dance performance by Oguri! Performance by Bart Davenport! Poetry readings by Saul Williams and Jimetta Rose!

Gabriel Garzon-Montano w/ Space People
Troubadour (West Hollywood)
Thu. May 11, 8pm, $15-$17, All ages
On his debut LP, Jardín, Gabriel Garzón-Montano sings of the struggles and uncertainties of the many-layered game that is America today, from the specific doubt and double consciousness of the first-generation hustle, to the universal challenges of love, legacy, and exploring the maze of one’s own mind. A child of immigrant parents – a child of Brooklyn, NY – Garzón-Montano’s aesthetic is an extension of his French-Colombian heritage, a pastiche of Bach sonatas, cumbia records, and the machine gun funk that echoes to this day from behind half-rolled tints up and down Nostrand Ave.

SK Kakraba + Fell Runner
Zebulon LA (Frogtown)
Fri. May 12, 8pm, $8-$10, 21+
SK Kakraba solo at 9pm, Fell Runner at 10pm, SK Kakraba Band at 11pm w/ DJ sets from Adam Reese

Ethio-Afrobeat-TropiFunk Fest
The Broad Stage (Santa Monica)
Sat. May 13, 7pm-10pm, $35-$65, All ages
Curated by radio DJ and music journalist Betto Arcos, this high-energy festival showcases Los Angeles-based bands Jungle Fire, Ethio Cali and Mexico68 featuring their unique blends of Afrobeat and Ethiojazz with strong Latin and Funk flavors. Bring your dancing shoes!

Omar Souleyman with Egon (Now Again Records), DJ Paul Devro (Mad Decent), Special Guests: London Contemporary Orchestra
Echoplex (Echo Park)
Tue. May 16, 8pm, $18.50-$23.50, 18+
An unexpected preacher of love. It’s a strange world we live in. Who could’ve foreseen that a wedding singer from Ras al Ayn, Syria with over 500 albums under his belt would become a cult hero among club connoisseurs? But there is an undeniable bond between the legacy 50-year-old delves in – a synthesized version of the Levantine dance music Dabke – and so-called acid house. In both cases musicians cultivate undulating synths and effective rhythms, and in both cases it feels like your head is about to explode from the stimuli, while the hips take on their own lives. It is completely irrelevant where you hail from – all it takes is a sensory apparatus.

Wed. May 10 Le Butcherettes @ Alex’s Bar
Thu. May 11 La Oreja de Van Gogh @ Royce Hall
Thu. May 11-Fri. May 12 Enanitos Verdes @ House of Blues
Fri. May 12 Eliana Estevao introduced by Dionne Warwick @ Bar Fedora
Sat. May 13 The Mexican Standoff & Cesar Saez @ The Escondite
Sat. May 13 Nancy Sanchez @ Espacio 1839
Sun. May 14 Kenan Adnawi Trio @ UCLA
Tue. May 16 Los Amigos Invisibles @ Amoeba Music


Summer of Salsa with Ricardo Lemvo
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (Downtown)
Fri. May 12, 6pm-9pm, Free, All ages
LA Plaza kicks off its free Summer of Salsa concert series with Ricardo Lemvo. A native of Northern Angola, Lemvo mixes Afro-Cuban rhythms with pan-African styles to create a sound which the LA Times described as “seamless and infectious.” Come listen and dance to sounds of the Afro-Latin Diaspora! Food and beverages available for purchase. The series is sponsored by PacFed Insurance and the Musicians Fund of Los Angeles.

Barrio Funky Presents YANGA, El Santo Golpe, Glenn Red
Grand Star Jazz (Chinatown)
Sat. May 13, 9:30pm-2am, $5-$10, 21+
Get ready for the return of YANGA, Afrocolombian Ritmos A lo maximo! Their sound invokes South American Jungles and tropical sceneries. Heavy on the percussion, this combo’s rhythms will sure make you gyrate. Rounding out the night we have El Santo Golpe, disciples of the Ritmos Calientes del Sur, Cumbia, Afro y mas…
As always our guest Djs are on point and May is no exception, Glenn Red, of Afro Funke’ fame and La Junta Squad will be sharing his extensive vinyl gems with all of us to dance to, which should not be difficult. As always, we have our Barrio Funky Residents on hand to make sure you have a good time.

THE FLOOR Improv Night #109
Los Globos (Silver Lake)
Mon. May 15, 9pm, $5-$10, 21+
THE FLOOR Improv Night is a one-of-a-kind experience where dancers and musicians of all backgrounds come together for a live, improvised collaboration, creating undeniable energy and unforgettable experiences! TheFloorImprovNight.com

Sat. May 13 Bridges x JUJU x Hard Drivez @ Medusa Lounge
Sun. May 14 BoomYard Mother’s Day Rum Punch Brunch @ Delicious Pizza
Mon. May 15 MOM LA: Stevie Wonder B-Day Celebration @ The Short Stop


STORY NIGHT: APA Heritage Month
Pico House (Downtown)
Fri. May 12, 7pm-9:30pm, Free, All ages
Presented by ROOTS at the Chinese American Museum of Los Angeles. Featuring community voices & contributors from “Bow. (I Will Not)”. Join us for an evening of poetry, music, and visual art from our Los Angeles community! In celebration of APA Heritage Month and CAMLA’s Roots: Asian American Movements in Los Angeles 1968-80s, we are throwing a special story night featuring the words and images of folx from our local East, Southeast, and South Asian communities.

Modern Angelenos
The Montalban (Hollywood)
Fri. May 12, 7pm-11pm, Free, All ages
Modern Angelenos features a group of artists whose artworks push beyond the lines of modern contemporary art and whose voices – through their canvases – convey a broad spectrum of socio political issues. Featuring works of art by Victor Castillo, Pablo Cristi, Fabian Debora, Oscar Magallanes, Poli Marichal, Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, Monica Orozco, Antonio Pelayo, Sandra Vista, Wenceslao Quirozand, and Sonia Romero, among others.

Honor The Earth’s The Art of Indigenous Resistance
Self Help Graphics (Boyle Heights)
Sat. May 13, 5pm-8:30pm, Free, All ages
Honor The Earth in partnership with The California Endowment and Self Help Graphics & Art present The Art of Indigenous Resistance: Inspiring the Protection of Mother Earth, an exhibition with a mission to raise awareness about issues affecting native people everywhere, and support social and environmental issues through a showcase of empowering Indigenous art from across the country. Art plays an important role in activism with the ability to wake people up. Through art this exhibition evokes emotion, shares stories, inspires and motivates, creating a catalyst for meaningful change. This exhibition is built on solidarity and as a reminder about the resiliency of native communities.

Art as Resistance: Paintings in Protest to a Trump Presidency
Avenue 50 Studio (Highland Park)
Sat. May 13, 7pm-10pm, Free, All ages
Curated by Eric Almanza. Executive Orders, Alternative Facts, Muslim Bans and Border Walls. Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric, ICE Raids, Cuts to the EPA, NEA and PBS. Enough! In response to the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, Avenue 50 Studios presents a group exhibition displaying the raw power of Art to convey dissent and resistance. Art as Resistance brings to focus the artistic reactions of 17 artists living and working in the era of Trump. Rich with voices from the oppressed, these paintings serve as a visual protest to Trump and everything his administration stands for.

Wed May 10 Indian Wedding @ Three Clubs
Thu. May 11 Haunted Memories Exhibition @ CFAER
Fri. May 12 De Todo Corazón @ Espacio 1839
Fri. May 12-Sun. May 14 Simply María or the American Dream @ Casa 0101 (Closing weekend)
Sat. May 13 Surviving East Los @ Avenue 50 Studio Satellite


Art at Tongva: Great Explorations
Tongva Park (Santa Monica)
Sat. May 13, 11am-4pm, Free, All ages
Tongva Park’s Art @ Tongva program continues its 2017 season on May 13th with Great Explorations, an all-day event of music, dance, visual art, theatre and participatory mind and body experiences that will stimulate the imaginations of kids ages 5 to 95. This family friendly event features a new workshop in radical map making by artist Michael Parker and music and stories of love, truth, and resistance with vocalist and Tovangar California native Kelly Carabello and the 7th Generation band. Visual artist Nick Rodrigues will bring to life a new participatory kinetic sculpture and special guests Terry Goedel and Tara Goedel Kingi, will perform Native American hoop dancing and will lead workshops.

Wed. May 10 10th Annual Pan-African Studies Forum Featuring Nikki Giovanni @ The Luckman
Thu. May 11 Downtown LA  Art Walk @ Spring Street
Fri. May 12 SFS Art Fest 2017 @ The Clarke Estate
Sat. May 13 NELA Art Gallery Night @ Northeast Los Angeles
Sat. May 13 2nd Saturday Art Walk @ Pomona Arts Colony
Sun. May 14 East Los Angeles Art Walk @ 1st Street and Indiana


The Seventh Art Stand
Frida Cinema and other participating theaters
Mon. May 8-Sun. May 14, $7-$10, All ages
From Monday, May 8 through Sunday, May 14, The Frida Cinema will be joining over 50 cinemas across the U.S. in The Seventh Art Stand, a nationwide screening series presented by cinemas, museums, and community centers in 25 states, as an act of cinematic solidarity against Islamophobia. These films highlight many of the issues faced by the Muslim community, as well as the Middle Eastern community in general, both in the Middle East and in the United States, and will range from dramas to documentaries to short films.

Starring Europe: New Films From The EU
Egyptian and Aero Theatres
Tue. May 9-Mon. May 15, $8-$12/film, All ages
Now in its fourth year, the EU Film Festival provides an opportunity for international cinema enthusiasts in Los Angeles to celebrate and discover contemporary films from across the European Union. Spotlighting festival award winners from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain, the short and feature films here embody the rich heritage and diversity of cinema from Europe. With talent from the films invited to speak at screenings and an opening-night reception, this is an ideal way for expats and Los Angeles residents alike to experience these European delicacies.

Beatriz at Dinner (Free sneak peak)
Cinefamily (Fairfax/Melrose)
Wed. May 10, 7:30pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
Director (and Cinefamily member!) Miguel Arteta joins us for a free sneak peek of his new film, Beatriz at Dinner, with cast members Amy Landecker, John Early, Jay Duplass, and David Warshofsky in person!

K-TOWN ’92 Reporters: Who Gets to Tell the Story?
Japanese American National Museum (Downtown)
Thu. May 11, 7pm, Free w RSVP, All ages
K-TOWN ’92 Reporters was produced by Peabody award-winning filmmaker Grace Lee as part of ktown92.com, an interactive web archive that explores the 1992 Los Angeles Riots through the lens of greater Koreatown. With a mix of archival news footage, new interviews, and other media, ktown92.com invites users to create their own unique documentary experience and to hear poignant stories that were overlooked by the media coverage of the day. Join us for a screening of Lee’s film followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker; John Lee, former Los Angeles Times reporter; Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times reporter; and Joanne Griffith, senior editor at Marketplace Weekend. Moderated by Oliver Wang, Associate Professor of Sociology, California State University, Long Beach.

6th Annual Garifuna International Indigenous Film Festival
Electric Lodge (Venice)
Fri. May 12-Sun. May 21, $15-$25/film, All ages
An annual event where leaders and members of the community are recognized for their contributions to the betterment and elevation of the dignity of humanity, GIIFF showcases a variety of films and documentaries created by Garifuna filmmakers as well as by many other indigenous people including feature films & short films as well as panel discussions, workshops and cultural presentations. It is equally an annual venue that reconciles, entertains and portrays the very diverse and brilliant cultures to participants of the festival. At a time when Western civilization is struggling with global problems, GIIFF showcases important lessons to be learned from indigenous cultures such as interconnectedness, wisdom of our elders, sustainable living and how to live in harmony with nature.

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