Interview: 18th Brazilian Carnaval features 2018 Rio Samba Champion, Kids Matinee and more!

by Tom Nguyen

The 18th Annual Brazilian Carnaval happens next Saturday, February 24, at Cafe Club Fais Do Do! This year features singer Neguinho da Beija-Flor, direct from Rio de Janeiro, and I was able to interview Brazilian Nites Productions founder, Patricia Leao, who has been putting on the faithful reproduction of Rio-style Carnaval for almost two decades in Los Angeles.


EnClave.LA: Congratulations on another successful year of Brazilian Carnaval! What do you have in store for us this year?

Brazilian Nites: Thank you! Exited to have yet one more traditional Brazilian Carnaval that will celebrate 18 years with the very special presence of the Samba Star of Carnaval – NEGUINHO DA BEIJA FLOR directly from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…I would like to say directly from Marquez de Sapucai to be more precise…This is where all the samba schools of Rio parade for 2 full nights competing against each other, with over 3000 dancers per school, amazing floats and special themes. 

We have extended our event to a Kids Matinee Carnaval…after all Carnaval is for everyone in Brazil. This will be from 2pm-6pm and then 8pm to 2am is our Carnaval Party.

We also have a “Market place” that will have food, crafts, giveaways, etc.

So Fais Do Do has three areas that will all be turned into a Brazil for a day from 2pm to 2am! Continue Reading →

Interview: Brazilian Carnaval’s 17 Year History and Celebrating 100 Years of Samba this Friday!


by Tom Nguyen

When I got a second chance to go back to college in OC at age 32, I joined the Pan American Latino Society, and some members took me to my first Brazilian Carnaval in 2007. Never had I experienced such an exuberant cultural affair. I was totally immersed and swept away by the sights, sounds and open hearts of the Brazilian community, and I’ve been trying to document cultural events throughout Los Angeles ever since.

I got a chance to interview Patricia Leao, founder of Brazilian Nites Productions, which has faithfully put on an authentic Brazilian Carnaval in Los Angeles the past 17 years and reminisce some more on its history, leading up to the latest edition this Friday, Feb. 24, at Teragram Ballroom, celebrating another milestone: 100 years of Samba!

EnClave.LA: Congratulations on 17 years! I’ve been going to your Carnaval for a decade now! My college friends in OC took me to my first Carnaval in 2007 when you had it on the Queen Mary. It was really my first introduction to not only the Brazilian community but ultimately to sparking my passion for covering LA’s diverse and rich cultural scene.

Brazilian Nites: Wow! This is nice to know Tom! A lot of times (most of them), the reward is exactly this…people like you becoming a follower of the culture of Brazil, as part of what we planted. And I agree, LA has an amazing diverse and rich cultural scene that is very authentic.

EnClave.LA: I know it’s a big labor of love each year for you and your team.

Brazilian Nites: Yes, it is! I take great pride in making it as authentic as possible.

EnClave.LA: What have been the highlights for you these past 17 years and why is it important to you to keep this tradition going in LA? Continue Reading →

Our Picks for NYE 2017 in Los Angeles!


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 and dance music we typically cover on this site.
  • It won’t break the bank (Some free, most under $30).
  • 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): Continue Reading →

Top Picks for NYE 2016 in Los Angeles!

15 Film Picks (5)
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 →

Brazilian Day San Diego Sept. 7! Brazilian Day Los Angeles postponed until 2015!

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by Tom Nguyen

(Update 9/2/14Brazilian Independence Day Celebration in Hermosa Beach has been moved to Saturday, September 6, 2014.)

While the traditional end of summer for many is Labor Day weekend, for me the beautiful summer wasn’t over until the joyous celebrations of Brazilian Independence! I would look forward to a double dose of celebrations with both Brazilian communities in LA and San Diego. Alas, this year’s Brazilian Day Los Angeles festival has been postponed until 2015, due to a cut in funding and a rise in the cost of having it at the La Brea Tar Pits. However, the new leadership for the festival, which has taken place since 2006, has high hopes for finding a new location in 2015.

The much larger Brazilian Day San Diego on Sunday, September 7, touted as the biggest Brazilian Festival on the West Coast, attracts over 50,000 people each year and is always worth the drive down from LA! Blocks of Pacific Beach are closed on Garnett Avenue for the free, all-ages festivities and parade, and the friendly, energetic Brazilian community embraces everyone in the fun!

Continue Reading →

Hollywood Bowl Summer Season Picks!

JanelleMonae Who doesn’t love the iconic Hollywood Bowl, the premiere outdoor summer venue in LA? There’s something for everyone from an eclectic lineup of global talent from different genres, to great jazz and classical music. On top of that, it sits up near the picturesque Hollywood Hills and is one of the only venues where you bring your own food and wine and enjoy a picnic with your favorite music under the stars! I’m especially a big fan of the KCRW-sponsored World Festival concert series there each season! The Hollywood Bowl Summer season starts Sat., June 14 and runs through Sun., Sep. 28 and here are my picks: Continue Reading →

New Year’s Eve Parties in LA: Our Picks


(UPDATE 1/1/14: Happy 2014! Last night at Grand Park was incredible…18,000 people in downtown LA! We’ll have a review and video of the 3D projection up shorty but until then, enjoy the pics and also ones from the Brazilian party on the West side.)
We like our New Year’s Eve parties to be more intimate affairs with friendly crowds of Angelenos. We’re not going to be paying a king’s ransom to be at an obnoxious, uptight venue. Most importantly, we love events that celebrate the culture and diversity of our communities, offer great music and dance and are family friendly. Here are our recommendations for NYE, along with some interviews with the organizers to give you a good sense of what sets them apart as well as what they have in store for 2014. We don’t list events that we wouldn’t attend ourselves and we’ll be covering quite a few of them that night! Hope to see you at one of these, and wherever you celebrate New Year’s Eve, have fun, drink and drive responsibly, and thank you for visiting our new site this past year! Continue Reading →

Brazilian Summer Party benefiting AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story Thu June 27


My friends, entertainer Daniela Brazil and DJ Chris Brazil, are hosting Party Like a Brazilian, this Thursday, June 27, at Level 3 nightclub at the Hollywood and Highland Center. If you’ve never been to Brazil nor any of the many great events in the large Brazilian community here in LA, you’re in for a treat. Both Chris and Daniela organize fun events featuring the best music, dance and entertainment that Brazilian culture has to offer and all the fun and festivities are for a special cause. The night is a fundraiser for AfroLatinos: La Historia Que Nunca Nos Contaron (AfroLatinos: The Untaught Story) documentary series. The series by Alicia Anabel Santos, an Afro-Dominican screenwriter, and Renzo Devia, a Colombian filmmaker, sheds light on Afro-Latinos, the descendants of the enslaved Africans who were forcibly taken from their land and dispersed throughout Latin America. Known as the “Third Root” after indigenous and European roots of Latino populations, the histories, stories and contributions of African descendents to Latino culture and society are often lost or unacknowledged, and their communities today are still the most marginalized, impoverished and invisible in their societies.

Continue Reading →

DJ Potira Spins Infectious Booty-Shakin Baile Funk all over LA! Every Sunday and this week at Afro Funke and Bombilla!

(Update 8/7/13: Brasilia Sundays is on hiatus until a new location.)
One of my favorite DJs in Los Angeles by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is DJ Potira! She earned the nickname Potira which means “Warrior Indian Girl” through her dedicated practice and teaching of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art, and believe me…the title is well-earned! Not only does she kick ass on the mat, Potira brings the same feisty fierceness to the dance floor with her signature Baile Funk booty-shaking beats!

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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!

Continue Reading →