Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Museums Free-For-All This Weekend

24 Los Angeles and Orange County Museums
Free Admission Days October 3 and/or 4, 2009

In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, the Museum Marketing Roundtable announces the fifth annual "Museums Free-For-All" Saturday-Sunday, October 3 and 4, 2009. The following museums - presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science - will open their doors wide and invite visitors free of charge. Click here for a complete list of participating museums:

The Autry National Center's free day is on Sunday only and it is the last day to see the fascinating exhibit about the visionaries and vagabonds that pioneered the sport of rock climbing, in Granite Frontiers: A Century of Yosemite Climbing.
I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the rock climbing pioneers including "the man" Royal Robbins. The name may sound familiar if you buy outdoor clothing. There is a store named in his honor. He wrote the books that are must reads for rock climbers. He and his wife rock climbed together and she is also noted for a few firsts. I also had a chance to chat with speed climber and reining record holder for the fastest climb up El Capitan, Hans Florine. Although I've never rock climbed in my life, I couldn't help but feel inspired by these amazing people. It's not just men either. There are plenty of nerves-of-steel female rock climbers. And you know the saying that what men can do, women can do it better, well Kelly Perkins sure fits that mold. She not only did some amazing rock climbing, she did it after a heart transplant. Talk about inspiring. The wall-size video in the gallery shows some mesmerizing feats of climbing. I've watched people go into a trance just standing there watching. Don't miss this. It closes on Sunday.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Workout with the Salsa Diva, Laura Canellias

The salsa diva, Laura Canellias is busy getting salsa lovers in shape. I've seen her in action when she taught the free salsa class during intermission at the Autry's Sizzling Summer Nights. She is fun and full of energy. You won't be bored or feel the burn because you'll be having a great time dancing.

Here is her website:

Weekly schedule:
Mondays: Universal Dance Designs
6009 W. Olympic Blvd. , (Miracle Mile Dist.)
1/2 block east of Fairfax /San Vicente /Olympic intersection
1 story brown bldg. in between the shoe repair & silk screening store , street parking)
7pm - Beginning Ballroom
(Dances covered: Foxtrot, Waltz, Tango, Cha-Cha, Rumba, Swing)
8pm - Salsa I (Beginning)

Universal Dance Designs
6009 W. Olympic Blvd. , (Miracle Mile Dist.)
7pm - Cardio Salsa
8pm - Salsa II (Intermediate)

Saturdays: By Your Side Dance Studio
12613 Washington Blvd. , L.A. (W. Culver City)
11am - Cardio Salsa

Sundays: Pacific Arts Dance Studio
10469 Santa Monica Blvd. , W. L.A.
(just west of Beverly Glen, 2 doors from McDonalds)

11am - Cardio Salsa

$15. / class or use your class card
Cash or checks only payable to LAURA CANELLIAS,
(Visa/MC (PayPal) available online only)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

KPFK Peace Awards and Concert Celebration

KPFK, the only radio station in LA to let just about anyone have a show, is one of my favorite stations. It all started with my friend Fidel moved his Divine Forces Radio show from what used to be a top rated station, The Beat, to KPFK. I thought, wow, what a downgrade. He moved from a fancy top security high rise office on Wilshire's Miracle Mile to a dusty back-alley, jiggle-the-lock security system down the street from Mama Juana's. As I started listening to his show and the station, I found the liberty of the hosts to say what was on their minds, things that I always thought too, inspiring. The variety of shows validated my views on a lot of issues of the day or catered to my holistic sensibilities. Some of my favorite shows are The Aware Show, Global Village, Democracy Now, Beneath the Surface with yo man Jerry Quickly, Innervisions, American Indian Airwaves, how can I forget the Pocho Hour of Power and Gustavo Arrellano's new show (I don't know what it's called, Ask a Mexican maybe), and Travel Tips for Aztlan (the first show I ever listen to on there with Mark Torres). There are so many great shows that I can't recall them all now, but just turn the dial to 90.7FM and you'll be better for it. This is listener-sponsored radio. It's run by the people, not by advertisers who control the message and how many times you hear the message. This is truly liberating and we have to show our support. I've pledged in the past. Times are tough all around so if you can't donate, then spread this message far and wide, check out this event, or just tune in. I'm not about guilting people into contributing because we all have our dollars stretched right now so if you can't donate, send good vibes. I'm sure they will appreciate those too.  

IMAGINE PEACE! Pacifica Radio KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles celebrates it’s 50 years of broadcasting with Peace Awards and a Concert imagining the world that is possible through the peace actions of today.
ZIGGY MARLEY, four time Grammy-winning reggae musician and leader of the bandZiggy Marley and the Melody Makers, will headline a benefit performance for Pacifica Radio KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles on Friday, October 9, 2009 at 7:00pm at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. The evening marks the culmination of various 50th anniversary year celebrations for KPFK, a non-commercial, listener-sponsored radio station broadcasting since 1959.
The concert will also feature Latin Jazz legend and master conguero PONCHO SANCHEZ; the transcending jazz vocalist from São Paulo, Brazil, LUCIANA SOUZA; Acoustic Bassist of the Year CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE; and the INTERCULTURAL L.A. SAMBA KIDS. There will be a special video greeting from artist YOKO ONO on the occasion of John Lennon's Birthday, to be presented by KPFK's Jon Wiener. The show will be emceed by RICHARD MONTOYA of Culture Clash.
KPFK is proud to honor those who are working for peace, through community activism, education, art and culture and social justice. To be honored are spoken word artist and American Indian Activist JOHN TRUDELL, who will be introduced by long-time friend and rock musician JACKSON BROWNE; vocalist KB SOLOMON who performs the Paul Robeson story in his one-man show “Speak of Me As I Am” BLASE BONPANE of the Office of the Americas and KPFK Radio Host; the organization helping the homeless and indigent, HUNGER ACTION L.A.; Executive Director RAUL AÑORVE andIDEPSCA (Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California); and the ARLINGTON WEST BEACH PROJECT VOLUNTEERS with members from the VETERANS FOR PEACE LOS ANGELES. There will also be appearances by actor JOSH BROLIN and actor and comedian ROSEANNE BARR.
Tickets for the benefit show in support of KPFK are on sale now at $35, $60 and $150 per person. For $500 per person there will be a pre-show VIP Reception with the awardees and artists, which includes preferred seating, beverages and food, and entry into all the raffles, including the John Lennon Guitar donated by Gibson Guitars. For reservations, please call (323) 461-3673 or visit or To reserve your pre-show VIP ticket, please call the FORD Box Office at (323) 461-3673.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bassist Rene Camacho in Demand and in the News

Long-time friend of my husband Joey and I appeared in his home town newspaper this week. Bassist and all-around good guy Rene Camacho deserves the recent profile. While saying that someone is a "good guy" in the music business is the kiss of death (meaning they can't play worth shit, but you don't want to say that so instead you comment on his character--now you know), but since I'm not a musician, I take the liberty of saying that Camacho is the genuine article. Never seems to get riled up, always cool, calm, and collected, just the way he plays too. Effortlessly gliding his fingers up and down the neck of his electric bass, you'd never know he got his start playing trombone or center for the Tucson High Badgers

 (mascot which gave Joey and I a good laugh). What most impressed me about Camacho is his stint in the Tejano music scene. While I was growing up in San Antone, Camacho was touring with (G)Ram Herrera and even hit the stage and Texas television appearing on the Johnny Canales Show. "Take it away! You got it!" I probably watched him on there not knowing I'd meet him one day. Its always great fun talking Tejano music with Rene. Being from Tucson, he reminds me of a great trip my family took there in the late 80s to the mariachi festival with our student mariachi group. We were the first out-of-state mariachi group to participate and met many wonderful people who are now long lost with the passing of time. Talking with him about how much the Tucson festival has grown over the years puts a smile on my face--- and that's just how Rene is. He lightens the mood and makes you laugh. You want to crack jokes around him just to hear that great Haaaaaa-hahahahaha come out of him. That's how Abel (photographer, see his link on the left) and I got that picture above. *smirk* So take a peek at the link below for some fun Camacho facts. Next time you go out on the town or to your local festival, keep an eye out for Rene. He not only has mad skills, he has toured with everyone and their mother. He's currently giging with Kevin Eubanks and once took a call from "Linda" of Rondstandt fame in my very own house. I was doing the silent OMG-face the entire time. He just takes it all in stride and that's what so great about him. Always laughing, telling great stories, and an all around good guy. Yeah, I said it.

Feature article:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Central Avenue and Beyond: The Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles

Oh yes, it is about time! Here is a new exhibit at the Huntington in collaboration with an organization I've known about for a few years now, the Mayme A. Clayton Library and soon-to-be museum. Their mission is to collect, preserve; exhibit and celebrate the unique history and cultural heritage of Americans of African descent and thereby help to provide a more complete view of American history. Mayme's son, Avery, has led the effort to realize this dream of opening up a museum. The collection is vast and contains unique items that will most-definitely enrich our lives. When is the last time there was a retrospective on the west coast African American Renaissance? It wasn't Harlem, but it was Central Avenue. I can't wait to hear about the music and night life that went on back in those days. The art and literature I would assume laid the foundation for a lot of what we see now. It will be fun making those connections. Save the date. The exhibit opens October 24. Admission to the Huntington is $15 but free day is the first Thursday of every month with advance tickets. Hours on Free Day are 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.Parking is free. Read the ABC News article about Avery and his mother here:

Central Avenue and Beyond: The Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles 

October 24, 2009- January 4, 2010 Now Extended through February 8, 2010
Exhibit displays materials from the Mayme A. Clayton collection for the first time

African American arts and culture exploded in early 20th century America, and the Harlem neighborhood of New York City was Ground Zero. Not as well known is what played out in Los Angeles at the same time—a flowering of African American arts, literature, and culture along Central Avenue. A new exhibition at The Huntington explores the Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles, drawing on materials from The Huntington as well as items from the Mayme A. Clayton Library, which never before have been on public display. Among the more than 50 items exhibited are original manuscripts by poet Langston Hughes; photographs from the First Negro Classic Ballet, founded in Los Angeles in 1946; and rare editions of California-based African American periodicals such as the California Eagle and Flash magazine. Also featured are movie posters for black Hollywood films—such as The Exile, written and directed by Oscar Micheaux, and The Bronze Venus, starring Lena Horne; photos of jazz clubs from the period; and correspondence from W. E. B. DuBois and L.A. composer William Grant Still, among others.

The Mayme Clayton Library & Museum will serve as the first major West Coast African American research center; a repository for endangered African American collections in the 11 Western States; a museum for contemporary art; and a media center for film and live performances. The Mayme Clayton Library & Museum will stand as a shining international symbol of American pride, intelligence, creativity and nobility as it enthusiastically welcomes the world community.

For more information, please contact the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum at (310) 202-1647 or e-mail: MCLM 4130 Overland Avenue, Culver City, California 90230,

Friday, September 18, 2009

HBO's Which Way Home

I came across this documentary while flipping channels on a recent quiet evening. I love all kinds of documentaries that show a glimpse into regular people's lives. Little did I know that this documentary would move me to tears. Not much on tv makes me emotional because I can separate myself from it but this one hit home. It is unfamiliar and familiar at the same time. Growing up on both sides of the border, I can appreciate the struggle of immigrants in the US. I know why people uproot their families and leave everything they love and know for a better life. Even more poignant, the people in this movie are kids, 11 year olds, boys and a couple of girls, traveling across countries on their own, looking for a better life than what is back home. I've never know how to defend it exactly. The words never come out of my mouth as effective as I'd like them to be. The best I can do is say "what would you do if you couldn't feed your family? Put yourself in their shoes." But most argue back that it is the country of origin's fault for having their people suffer this way. Yes, that is true but while the selfish and corrupt governments continue to rob their people, the individual must make a choice. Feed their families by risking their lives or sit there, do nothing and watch them starve. I know what I would do. What about you? I think everyone who has an opinion on immigration should watch this documentary. I wonder if people like Joe Wilson would still feel the same after watching this documentary, or is their hate and lack of compassion so strong that they cannot see the humanity in this. Kudos to everyone involved in the making of this documentary.

Synopsis: Each year, thousands of Latin American migrants travel hundreds of miles to the United States, with many making their way on the tops of freight trains. Roughly five percent of those traveling alone are children. As the United States continues to debate immigration reform, the documentary WHICH WAY HOME looks the issue through the eyes of children who face the harrowing journey with enormous courage and resourcefulness. 

HBO website:
Official website:
HBO Schedule:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reel to Reel: The Rhythm Collector

Hard-working percussionist Alex Acuña takes center stage at the Grammy Museum this Friday. A legend in the eyes of his fellow musicians and most-definitely in his home country of Peru, Acuña is the humblest man you'll ever meet but don't let that fool you. His performances are fierce.  

Reel to Reel: The Rhythm Collector

Friday, September 18, 2009; 7:30 pm

Drum Workshop, Inc. and The GRAMMY Museum are proud to present the film premiere of DW DVD's The Rhythm Collector, the story of world-renowned drummer Alex Acuna's rise from a small Peruvian village to the most celebrated stages and studios in the world. Infused with exciting performance footage and insightful interviews, the film is inspiring for fellow drummers and non-musicians alike. After the screening, enjoy a rare opportunity to see Acuna perform in the Museum's 200-seat Sound Stage.
Doors open at 7 pm. $10.00 suggested donation. Reservations Required. To reserve your seats, call 213.765.6830 or e-mail

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NPR's Exclusive First Listen- Poncho Sanchez's new album

NPR has the exclusive first listen of Poncho Sanchez's new album Psychedelic Blues. I have a copy of it at home but it's so much easier to hear it streaming online. What a great way to get through the workday. I  plan on writing something about my experience with the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band since I've had the pleasure of joining my husband, the bongocero, Joey De Leon, on a few trips, backstage green rooms, and local performances. It's a tight-knit band of good friends and great musicians. In the meantime, enjoy the exclusive first listen!

Listen here: NPR: Hear The Latin Jazz Hero's New Album, 'Psychedelic Blues,' In Its Entirety

Poncho's website: Check out their schedule. They are playing in my hometown of San Antonio this Saturday.

Peace at the Getty Villa- Special Thursday offer

Special offer from Richard Montoya of Culture Clash. "Two for One on Thursday Nights for Peace - we just hammered out a deal to lower the Thurs tickets for the run of the show - just say "friend of the cast" and get your second ticket free! Pretty cool I must say - c'mon. Its an amazing experience. Thanks!"

Aristophanes' Peace
Thursdays - Saturdays through October 3, 2009, 8 pm
The Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater, Getty Villa
While ancient Athens is mired in war, a band of rustic patriots plot a daring mission to Mount Olympus to seek the goddess Peace. The comic heroes of Culture Clash and guest director Bill Rauch invoke the revolutionary spirit of Aristophanes in freely adapting his zany and visionary utopian escapade for the Getty Villa. Tickets $42; $36 students/seniors. Previews $20. Please be advised that this play contains bawdy humor and is not suitable for children. 

Read the LA Times review here:LA Times Culture Monster- Peace at the Getty Villa Review

El Grito at City Hall Tonight! 7pm

This just in. Quetzal, Nortec Collective, K-Paz de la Sierra, and Mariachi Reina de Los Angeles perform at El Grito on the steps of LA City Hall tonight. Festivities start at 7pm but arrive early to get a good spot. Thousands of people are expected.

Read all about the event here:

Some background on el Grito de Dolores here:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Latin Beat Magazine Now 100% Online

Latin Beat Magazine is the magazine to read for coverage on all things salsa and beyond. I've enjoyed reading their feature stories on artists and their photo coverage of events around the country especially LA and New York. 

Established in January 1, 1991, Latin Beat Magazine, which has been published consecutively for the past 19 years in both print and online, has decided to publish 100% online. Firmly established as the premier Latin music publication in the world dedicated to documenting salsa, Latin jazz, Latin pop and Afro-world music, the print magazine enjoyed coast-to-coast distribution in the United States, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico, in addition to a solid base of international subscribers. 
Latin Beat Magazine has been educating and entertaining thousands of Latin music aficionados throughout the years with its exclusive interviews, articles, reviews and news of the artists of the past, present and future of Latin music. The critical success of Latin Beat Magazine is due in part to the talents of its team of contributing writers, editors, and photographers, all professionals in their own fields. now carries the LBM experience 100% online, with the same team that made the print magazine a success!

Viva Mexico LA!

The Mexican Consulate in LA is kicking-off its festival cultural with Viva Mexico LA on Wednesday, September 16th. RSVP to

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mitos y Realidades en Color at Chimaya

There is so much going on at Chimaya Gallery featuring some of the best local Latino artists. Makes you want to spend all your savings on art when you go there. Some of my favorite artists are displayed constantly including George Yepes and Yolanda Gonzalez. They both feature bright and bold Latino colors that I love. Check out Mitos y Realidades en Color featuring Pola Lopez, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Southwest Museum, before it closes on September 24 or just stop by anytime. You know there is always something good to see.

Friday, September 11, 2009

KCRW's Sounds Around Town

KCRW presents Sounds Around Town, a series of free music and culinary events hosted in partnership with Westfield Shopping Centers in Los Angeles. Over the next 12 weeks, KCRW will bring the best from our basement studios into the community - from live band performances hosted by KCRW DJs to culinary adventures.
September 24 - ORGONE + DJ RAUL CAMPOS
Westfield Century City is located at 10250 Santa Monica Blvd, 90067.

Son Jarocho Art & Jarana Exhibit

For a rich, cultural taste of the beautiful Mexican Caribbean state of Veracruz all you have to do is listen to Jarochos play some driving rhythms and dance on the tarima.

Fandango Sin Fronteras presents Son Jarocho Art & Jarana Exhibit

Opening Reception and Fandango
September 12, 7pm at Imix Books in Eagle Rock

Original Lobster Festival in Long Beach

The 2009 Original Lobster Festival will be held September 11-13, at the Rainbow Lagoon in Long Beach, California. You won't want to miss this event.

Friday, September 11th —5 PM - 11 PM
Saturday, September 12th —12 NOON - 11 PM
Sunday, September 13th —12 NOON - 10 PM

Ethiopian New Year

bounce muzik, ddhc


Grand Star Jazz Club (2nd Door Entrance - UPSTAIRS)
943 N. Broadway - Chinatown, Downtown
Los Angeles, CA 90012
10pm - 2am | $5 before 11pm & $10 After | 21+

For More Info Go To:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ozomatli to Perform for the President

The guys will be in D.C. performing at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2009 Awards Gala where Barack and Michelle Obama will be attending. The event marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month with over 2,000 guests in attendance.

Check out the LA Weekly blog post about it with a cool video of the guys in Burma.

Ozomatli Announces "Off the Grid" Fall Tour 2009

There are no LA dates but it's good to promote our local boys on tour.

Ozomatli has teamed up with Musictoday® to offer pre-sale tickets for all the shows on the upcoming "Off the Grid" Fall Tour. Musictoday® is also offering our fans the lowest service fees around! Not only will the hardcore fans, aka you, be able to purchase tickets with low service fees before anyone else - we have also added some dope prizes for people who purchase their tickets early. See details here.

Viva Mexico Festival LA

In celebration of the 199th Anniversary Celebration of Mexican Independence, the Viva Mexico Festival LA will introduce and showcase the rich cultural and artistic works unique to Mexico to Los Angeles audiences from September 16-20th, 2009.

El Movimiento: Chicano Identity And Beyond Through The Lens Of Oscar Castillo

Curated by Gregorio Luke
Thursday September 10, 2009 6:00P.M.

The Latino Museum of History, Art and Culture
514 S. Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90013
Free Admission R.S....V.P. by Telephone: (213) 626-7600 or E-mail:

Download the New Aztlan Underground Album

Aztlan Underground releases their self-titled album available on itunes, etc. Watch their new video here.

Check out the flyer here.