EnClave’s Guide to Los Angeles 2018 Summer Events & beyond

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by Tom Nguyen

[Last updated: July 24, 2018] So Facebook broke my events calendar on this site. Long story short, I used to painstakingly and manually populate the calendar one event at a time, until there was a way for me to automatically import Facebook events directly to the calendar. If folks don’t know, there’s just one person behind this whole site (me!), and it was such a time saver. Well, in response to its recent data privacy scandal, Facebook closed up its system and I can no longer do that. So, no more calendar!

But calendar or no calendar, I’ve always loved putting out an annual list of summer events. What I noticed about other sites is they always put out a list of free summer concerts, or an “ultimate” list of summer events, that always excluded so many events in communities of color and immigrant diaspora — immigrant communities are still invisible in this global city.

So this is my list, and it doesn’t just focus on the free…there’s many nonprofits and other great performing arts venues putting out great cultural programming that shouldn’t be ignored just because you have to pay. Plus, not all worthy artists get selected for a very limited set of free summer concert series, so please support our hard-working local artists, visiting artists, grassroots producers and community organizations putting on events, on their own dime!

So if you only care about free concerts, read no further, and don’t even bother with those other lists…just go to socalsummerconcerts.com. I don’t know who puts that calendar together but it’s very convenient. Now if you do care about a wider range of summer events in LA, and you do care about supporting both local bands and venues who work hard to put on culturally relevant and important shows, then enjoy. I spent a good day initially putting this list together and I will never call it a complete or ultimate list…This list will be updated on a weekly basis, as I find out more events throughout the summer. I’ll also go back and add highlight videos from my Instagram so you can see what you missed out on! (If you’re not following me on Instagram, you should…many events and last minute announcements are only posted on Instagram these days…the millennials don’t use Facebook anymore!). And if you want a reminder of more awesome upcoming events as well as ticket giveaways to many of these shows, subscribe to our newsletter!

Thank you to organizations and event producers like Hollywood Bowl, Ford Theatres, Grand Performances, Pasadena Playhouse, Brazilian Nites, Nance Arte Productions, Go As If Productions who pay me and my street team CultureGap.LA to promote their shows and get featured here on my site — thank you for helping to keep the lights on and this labor of love going! If you have a worthy event that you would like featured on this list, my site, newsletter and social media, contact me. I hope to see you at a stage this Summer into Fall (aka L.A.’s late summer!).

[JUN]    [JUL]    [AUG]    [SEP]    [OCT]

Bombino Drops 1st Single off New Album “Deran” and plays Zebulon LA on July 17!


by Tom Nguyen

Tuareg guitarist and singer-songwriter Bombino from Agadez, Niger just announced his next album Deran, being released May 18, 2018, and you can listen to the new addictive track “Tehigren” and pre-order the album below.

The song is a fusion of Tuareg rock and reggae, which he likes to call “Tuareggae”: the first half in a slower reggae drum and bass, and then it finishes with his frenetic, blistering and masterful guitar riffs. According to a JamBase interview, Bombino says “The song is about my own struggle with being on the road all the time, away from my home. It is a nostalgic song, remembering the beauty of my home.”

The album was recorded in Casablanca, Morocco, and he has also announced summer tour dates in support of the new album. Bombino will perform at Zebulon LA on Tuesday, July 17th, 2018, and tickets go on sale Friday, March 9th. Be sure to get yours, because Zebulon LA has been booking incredible artists of the African diaspora and the show will sell out fast!

Top Picks for NYE 2016 in Los Angeles!

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by Tom Nguyen

When I’m considering where to spend New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles, I look for 3 things:

  • Great live bands or dance music we typically cover on this site.
  • It won’t break the bank (Some free, most under $40).
  • Whether big or small events, I’m looking for good vibes, not pretentiousness.

If you’re looking for the same, here are my recommendations (in order of cost) all across LA: Downtown, Silver Lake, Hollywood, Mid City, Santa Monica and Long Beach: Continue Reading →

Film Festivals, Foreign Oscar Entries and Special Screenings Galore! November 11-17

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by Tom Nguyen

Unfortunately, a bout of flu kept me from AFI FEST. If you also missed (or decided to avoid) all the buzz, fanfare and crowds surrounding a lot of new films from around the world, have no fear! As AFI FEST winds down this week, there are multiple more film festivals and special screenings all over SoCal, especially for fans of foreign cinema! It’s one of those weeks where everyone seemed to schedule their festivals on the same week…there are 3 Latin American film festivals alone! Here is a list of notable ones and descriptions from their sites:

FESTIVALS:

19th Annual Arab Film Festival @ Harmony Gold, Nov. 13-15, $10-12/film
AFF is the largest independent annual showcase of Arab films and filmmakers in the country. The festival has an international standing and is considered one of the most important Arab film festivals outside the Arab world. It strives to present the best contemporary films that provide insight into the beauty, complexity and diversity of the Arab world alongside realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history and politics.

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Top 10 Picks at AFI Fest 2015!

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by Tom Nguyen

AFI Fest presented by Audi, hands down the most anticipated film festival each year in LA, returns to Hollywood November 5-12! The festival will kick off with the world premiere of Angelina Jolie’s By the Sea, which stars her and her partner Brad Pitt, as a couple in crisis in 1970s France. All told, there are 127 films (74 features, 53 shorts), representing 45 countries, in all kinds of categories.

It’s a one-of-a-kind festival where the general public can get free tickets to attend star-studded gala screenings, catch the films everyone is buzzing about on the festival circuit, and be among the first to see the work of emerging and first-time filmmakers from around the world. Here are the top 10 films I’m excited to see: Continue Reading →

Here’s our Guide to Dia de los Muertos 2015 in LA and a word about Cultural Appropriation

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by Tom Nguyen

Dia de los Muertos is upon us as the weather in LA finally starts to feel a little bit like Fall! As I repeat from last year’s post, as the holiday gains mainstream popularity, cultural appropriation seems inevitable as more and more people “discover” the holiday. I consider myself part of that problem since I myself was discovering Dia de los Muertos as a more culturally deep alternative to commercialized Halloween. As a person of Asian descent who’s called out racist stereotyping in other costumes and cultural events around LA, I am trying to educate myself where the line is between cultural appreciation vs. cultural appropriation when it comes to this tradition as well.

So please know that I publish this list of Dia de los Muertos events in support and respect of the communities, the artists, the musicians, the cultural organizations and the small businesses, who work so hard to preserve and celebrate the roots and traditions of this important time of year. For people new to this holiday, please ask this question yourself and don’t be afraid to ask people in the community: how do I participate in this holiday in a respectful manner?

The first step to genuine cultural appreciation is to educate yourself on the tradition’s history and significance to the communities where it originates. Get to know the community and issues that affect people in it, beyond just donning face paint for your entertainment one day a year. If I can extrapolate further, don’t just enjoy black traditions of music and dance and not care about #BlackLivesMatter. Don’t just enjoy the great LA street food and not care about poverty, lack of opportunity and criminalization of undocumented immigrants. Don’t just wear a coolie hat in Chinatown and not care about why there’s a Chinatown in the first place. So please keep this in mind and I hope to see you at one of these great Dia de los Muertos events!

By no means is this list complete — there are so many great Dia de los Muertos events all over Southern California, I couldn’t possibly list them all. For a more complete list, check out this one. Events below are all ages and free, unless otherwise noted. (Click on each event to jump to more information and scroll down for a list you can print):

Sat, October 17

Fri, October 23

Sat, October 24

Sun, October 25

Mon, October 26 – Fri, October 30

Thu, October 29

Fri, October 30

Sat, October 31

Sun, November 1

Mon, November 2

Wed, November 4

Fri, November 6

Sat, November 7

Sun, November 8

EnClave LA guide to Dia de los Muertos 2015

Buyepongo’s Summer Madness Parties in July ends Thursday July 30 with Hip Hop Showcase!

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by Linda Vanessa “Nuves” Tovar

Every Thursday night of July, La Cita has been set ablaze by the musical stylings of Buyepongo (Buye), new weekly featured guests, and by all the moving bodies on the dance floor. Each show different from the last, Buye has dug deep to provide hot rhythms, and a unique blend of sounds. Hailing from Los Angeles, the Buye Boyz have curated a special live musical experience for everyone to enjoy. The Buye Beat is undeniable. Fusing Afro beats, which include (but are not limited to) merengue, punta, and cumbia together, this band knows how to get a party going! Their charismatic love for music and a good time can be heard and seen at every show. Their last musical installment at La Cita is Thursday, July 30th. So if you like dancing, getting sweaty, and  sharing a smile on the dance floor then do yourself a favor because you don’t want to miss their final showcase featuring hip hop artists Olmeca, SETI X, 2MEX as well as  Artos, Canyon Cody of Subsuelo, Sol Collective and surprise guests!

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East LA Interchange documentary about Boyle Heights history premieres Sunday July 26 at Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles

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by Tom Nguyen

It is often said that one cannot understand the present without knowing the past. East LA Interchange, a documentary by Betsy Kalin about Boyle Heights history, is premiering Sunday, July 26, during a very apt time when the community is responding to issues of gentrification, immigrant rights, violence and housing and economic challenges with community organizing and grass roots activism. The film reminds us community solidarity and political activism in the face of many challenges has always been a part of Boyle Heights history.

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IT’S CARNIVALLLLLL! Caribbean Carnival heats up LA with J’ouvert, Soca and Hollywood Parade!

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by Ruth Tesfai

In college, a dear friend turned me on to Reggae and Dancehall and I fell in love. Two years later, the Caribbean nightlife in London turned me on to Soca and it was a wrap. Coming from Los Angeles, I had little exposure to these styles of music and upon my return, I was very disappointed to find barely anything here! Depressed more like! Fast forward to a couple years and seemingly out of nowhere, LA has become a major carnival player! On June 27th, Los Angeles will be celebrating its 4th Annual Hollywood Carnival and it looks to be bigger and better than ever!

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Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Summer Concerts every Sunday in July at JACCC!

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by Tom Nguyen

If you’ve been to Little Tokyo lately, you’ve no doubt noticed the gleaming new buildings, construction and cranes on San Pedro St. and 2nd St. Easily overlooked just across the street, some steps away is the sprawling, open courtyard of the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) and its Aratani Theater. The JACCC has hosted so many great recent events to showcase our diverse communities, like Fandango Obon, the fusion of Japanese, Mexican and African traditional music and dance and the Aratani World Series which drew thousands to an eclectic series of world music and dance performances the past 6 months. Now, they are doing another first: Opening up their beautiful James Irvine Japanese Garden to Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series! 4 intimate, outdoor Sunday concerts in July, featuring Quartetto Fantastico, Buyepongo, Ethio Cali and Shafiq Husayn & Dove Society along with DubLab DJs! In addition to an amazing lineup of LA’s finest live music, there will be food and special curated summer drinks by Far Bar. This first-time series featuring an eclectic lineup of some of the best musical talent in LA playing in an intimate garden will be a unique musical experience and perfect way to wrap up your summer weekends in July!

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