Go: Moja Moja Pre-Grammy Brunch

garth-trinidad-kcrw

Each year, KCRW’s Garth Trinidad hosts the Moja Moja Pre-Grammy Brunch that features live performances by an array of up and coming artists at the regal W Hollywood.  We go whenever we can because it’s for a good cause.  Proceeds go towards supporting Oxfam America (a former client).  Also, for more selfish reasons, we always come away with a great play list.  And lastly, our friend Ramona Wright puts on a great show and Garth Trinidad is pretty dope.  In years past, Garth broke Janelle Monae at the Pre-Grammy Brunch.  After her performance at the Brunch, we heard her everywhere.  Chilean rapper  Ana Tijoux performed live.  Dreamy, moody Swedes Little Dragon rocked the room too.  All in all, it’s a a good show for a good cause, and it’s *almost* like going to the Grammys!   Read the rest of this entry »


Go: LA Bloom Festival

April showers mean May flowers…LA Blooms, to be exact.  This spring, don’t miss the first-ever LA Bloom Festival, a nine-day celebration of transformation and Japanese arts and culture, hosted by the Japanese American Cultural Community Center in Little Tokyo.  Co-curators – acclaimed international artist and modern zen master Hirokazu Kosaka and landscape architect and artist Calvin Abe – have transformed the iconic Noguchi plaza in Little Tokyo into a temporary ecoartspace, replete with one of the world’s largest zen gardens, a colorful metaphorical rainbow (more on that later!), and exhibitions on contemporary and traditional ikebana.  Add to that performances, workshops, and a three-time world champion of sumo wrestling and you have a veritable LA Bloom bouquet of activities.  With so much programming packed into nine days, we thought we’d give you the how to’s and what’s whats.

Opening Night Performance: Mare Nubium – Friday, April 27th – 8pm

Mare Nubium is the abbreviated performance of the much-lauded kalpa, which was performed at the kick-off of Pacific Standard Time at the Getty. In Sanskrit, kalpa means eons, or a long period of time. It’s said that once every hundred years, an angel comes down from heavens and swipes the surface of a stone with her silk sleeves until the rock disappears. Hiro Kosaka creates a symbolic parallel between the kalpa and the inevitable passage of time that slowly transforms our lives and the memories that we hold onto. Performers include Butoh (Japanese dancer) master Oguri, who leads a small company of dancers.  It’s deep, and beautiful, seriously.  Buy tickets here now.  Listen for an upcoming interview with Hiro by Lisa Napoli on All Things Considered.

de LaB Tour with Hiro and Little Tokyo Happy Hour – Wednesday, May 2nd – 6pm to 10 pm

If you miss the opening night performance, catch de LaB‘s special tour with Hiro next week to get an explanation of LA Bloom from the modern day zen master himself.  End the evening with a much-deserved cocktail at Little Tokyo Happy Hour in the zen garden.  RSVP here.  Admission is free otherwise and the ecoartspace and exhibitions will be open to all.

Jazz Night with Mia Doi Todd and Motoko Honda – Thursday, May 3rd – 8pm

Jazz and Japanese culture collide harmoniously when gorgeous songstress Mia Doi Todd and experimental avant-garde jazz pianist Motoko Honda take the stage on the plaza.  Buy tickets here now.

Sumo Workshop with Three-Time World Champion Byamba – Saturday, May 5th – 2pm

Even if you don’t have kids, this is something you won’t want to miss.  World champ Byamba brings an often misunderstood Japanese cultural tradition to life for all as he demonstrates the basic sumo stretches and teaches a workshop for little ones.  Basically, a heavyweight workshop for lightweights. Admission is free.


Moja Moja Pre-Grammy Brunch

Photo Credit: Moja Moja

A good friend of ours organizes what Billboard Magazine has called THE place to be during Grammy Weekend in LA (other than the Grammys) and we haven’t missed one since the Moja Moja Pre-Grammy Brunch started back in 2009.  It’s a chance to hear mini-performances by select performers, including several Grammy nominees, and get the scoop on up-and-coming talent.  KCRW DJ and musical sherpa Garth Trinidad has been known to break new talent at the brunch and this year was no exception.

DJ Flying Lotus spun through brunch.  LA locals Superhumanoids opened, followed by an awesome set by Grammy nominee Chilean rapper Ana Tijoux.  Bilal rocked a cravate and a high C.  Followed by Eric Roberson.  But the best part of the show had to be Mavis Staples, “Mouth of the South,” who was honored with the inaugural Vanguard Award and rocked the house with a her soulful voice and a bit of bad ass guitar.

The entire event benefitted one of our favorite organizations (and a former client), Oxfam America.

When do we sign up for the tickets for 2012?


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