Pachanga: Noche de Raggaeton

We held our second Pachanga on May 31st we had DJ Cease Days, DJ Calixta, and DJ Memo on the decks for the evening. We had a special performance from Logan Lu y Lester Rey. They did a live Raggaeton set with Richard Juarez and Jess Veronica. The night was a huge success and we are looking forward to continuing this series.

Pachanga: Noche de Cumbia

We have started a new series of shows with our homies from the Rude Gents called Pachanga. Pachanga is a celebration of out Latin culture. Our first Pachanga featured DJ Calixta, DJ Memo, and DJ Solmeca. We had a live performance from Los Guapachosos. The love in the room was amazing and people were dancing. The photos were taken by the homie Khori Wilson. The recap was filmed and edited by Francisco Soriano.

Photo Credits: Khori Wilson

Khoris Rock Show

We teamed up with Khori Wilson to throw a latinx alternative rock show at the East Room in February. The night featured Mermaid N.V., Man Cub, and You Are Here. An electric night of good music, showpersonship, and drinks.  

Peeled Back Video Shoot

We had the pleasure of doing some production assistant work for a new series called Peeled Back. The series is collaboration between Syd Celeste and Darryl Turnbow of 119 Productions. Peeled Back combines a dancer and musician (poet, singer, or rapper) and the dancer moves to the words of the performer.

Photo Credit: Daniel Martinez

Boogie Down at The East Room

The East Room has been so kind to us over the last year. They've allowed us to showcase some of the best performers in Chicago. We've been running a night called the Boogie Down. The Boogie Down is a classic dance party centered around Lainx and Black artists (Visual x Music). We've featured musicians such as Lester Rey, Chai Tulani, Calid B., Beats y Bateria, Subele, Doum Sound, and ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat. We held our events in October and December of Last year. Our most recent ones were held in February and March of this year. We added a new partner in Guillermo Duarte (Rude Gentleman). Our future is looking very bright. We appreciate all the folks who have contributed and attended our events. We are looking forward to continuing throwing amazing parties.

Rich Jones

Rich Jones (Chicago Emcee/ Vocalist) hosted his release party for ‘Vegas’ his new EP. The party was at Lincoln Hall on January 20th, 2017. He enlisted the help of  Qari (former member of Hurt Everybody), L.A. VanGogh, Burns Twins and Kaina, Sports Boyfriend, and DJ Skoli.
DJ Skoli kicked off the night with some mid tempo hip hop. DJ Skoli is an amazing up and coming DJ who has worked with Project 23, AMFM Mag, and Blackenomics. His connection with artists around the city is what makes him special. He was followed by Sports Boyfriend. She came on stage with a guitar and her laptop in front of her. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Her music had a synth pop chill vibe to it. She was a great opener because she set a relaxed tone for the evening. 


Burns Twins and Kaina (Production Duo) performed next and I was blown away by their performance. Their energy was infectious. The musicianship of the group and Kaina was dynamic. The music was so fat because of the instruments were so deep. The band consisted of guitar, bass, drum, keys, and trumpet. When you add Kainas voice over all these beautiful instruments it was sublime. The youth of the group was amazing.  It’s very inspiring to see young people creating such beautiful music. 


L.A. VanGogh (Private Stock artist) performed songs off of his new project Friends First. He is an interesting artist in regards to his talents. He plays piano, sings, and he’s an amazing emcee. I was really impressed with his performance because I saw the growth musically and on stage. I saw him perform two times in 2016 and I could tell he was in the lab perfecting his craft. He performed a crowd favorite “Bills Paid”. Who can’t relate to being happy because your bills are paid? Rich Jones made a great decision for having L.A. VanGogh at his show.


Qari (former member of Hurt Everybody) performed songs off of his new project “Space Jam”. Qari had relaxed body language while waiting for the sound guy to get the stage ready. This was the vibe for his performance. I really enjoyed this because he brought the energy down in the room in a way where it did not overshadow Rich Jones. Qaris performance was thoughtful. He spoke on the current political climate in the United States. He said “whatever you believe in just be kind to one another”. This was poignant for me because Hip Hop is seen as an aggressive art form. The roots of Hip Hop are social justice and peace. I feel a lot of the new artists are coming back to the fun of Hip Hop. 


Finally Rich Jones hit the stage with some of the members of the Burns Twins band to a full house. His story is well known in the Chicago music community. He is the curator of the All Smiles showcase. All Smiles is a known show case to catch some of the best Chicago musicians. I wasn’t sure how his recordings were going to translate live. The band complimented his unique voice. Not only is he an accomplished emcee he’s a great vocalist as well. I really love the unique sound of “Vegas”. It’s not a traditional hip hop EP. It has a heavy synthpop album. I enjoy the revolution that is happening in music.  Hip Hop because emcees are thinking out of the box and blurring genre lines. Rich Jones is a prime example of this progressive thinking. The way the line up for the evening was put together shows his appreciation for music of all genres. The show was amazing  and the diversity of the performers really shined throughout the night. 

Saba live from Lincoln Hall

On Friday 1/6/2017 Saba hosted his first show in Chicago since he released his project the Bucket List Project. The night featured DJ sets by Ambi Lyrics, Dam Dam, and Squeak Pivot. The night featured performances from Dinner with John, Joseph Chilliams, and MFN Melo. Ambi Lyrics kicked the night off by playing cllis songs such as "Knuck if you Buck". She is L.A. VanGoghs (Private Stock Artist) DJ. Hip Hop is such a boys club it was good to see female representation at this show. first and foremost she is a DJ and true representative of Chicagos Hip Hop culture. 


    She was followed by Dinner with John. Dinner kicked brought his brand of chillbeats and lyricism. He was a great starter because he got the crowd ready for #pivotgang. Squeak Pivot followed up with his DJ Set. He did a short up tempo set before MFN Melo hit the stage. MFN Melo was the first member of #Pivotgang to perform. He's a big guy with a lot of energy. He performed w/ Jameson Brenner on guitar. I love seeing emcees perform with live instrumentation. His crowd interaction really got the crowd behind him. MFN Melo is an emcee in Chicago to look out for. 


    Joseph Chilliams (Saba Pivots Brother) performed after Melo. Joseph has an interesting set. His set was a stand-up comedy and a hip hop show. He would introduce each song with a story. He had the crowd so captivated that you forgot that you were at a Hip Hop show. His confidence was inviting. He performed a verse from the song "Forever" off No Name Gypsys album Telefone. The crowd even sang the hook from the song.  Out of nowhere Supa Bwe of Hurt Everybody jumps on stage to perform they just recorded. Josephs set was amazing in itself. You almost couldn't believe that Saba was still performing. Dam Dam followed Josephs set with a VJ set to get the crowd pumped up for Saba. 


    Finally Saba hit the stage and he did not dissapoint. There was a feeling in the air that you were in a special place. I can compare it to if you were at Chance the Rappers Acid Rap show. The Bucket List Projet represents accomplising your goals without fear of failure. At one point in the show me and Ciera looked at each other and said "every song is our favorite song". He had a guest performance Smino and LEGIT for the song "World in my hands". He also took it back to Comfort Zone by performing "Time Zone" and " Butter". Those were crowd favorites as well. He put on a performance that I will never forget. To think it's only the first week of 2017 and I feel like I went to the best show of 2017. This show was a big deal for Chicago music. Saba is on the way to main stream success. To close out the show he performed "Westside Bound 3" with his brother Joseph Chilliams. The place erupted at this point. Pivot Gang was on stage going crazy. The best part was I experienced this show with my friend Ciera. This will be a night I will never forget.

AAHH Fest Day 1

Day 1 of AAHH Fest presented by Chicago emcee Common was an amazing showcase of Chicago talent. The talent ranged from kids to adults. The day featured performances from Attack the Sound, Ace Da Vinci, Huey Gang, John the Author, The Pack Drumline & Dance Crew, Stick & Move Youth Crew, Lil Prophet, Vic Mensa, Chance the Rapper, Taylor Bennett, and Tink. The day was all about bringing the youth of Chicago together for a positive event. This event was a huge success for the City of Chicago and it's youth.

Villapalooza

Villapalooza 2016 was amazing event for the community of Little Village. It brought people from the neighborhood out to eat and listen to amazing local music. Little Village has been important to me. When I was growing up we would come visit my uncle who lived off of 26th and Pulaski. We would go to Atotonilco for tacos. Growing up in Joliet, Il. this is what I knew about Chicago. This is something I've always held onto. A lot of people I know and respect grew up their. I am very proud of the images I captured that day.

Pitchfork Music Festival Saturday July 16th

Pitch Fork Saturday 2016 was an amazing experience. We had the opportunity to take pictures of some of our favorite up and coming Hip Hop artists. BJ the Chicago Kid represented Chicago to the fullest. The highlight of the evening was Anderson Paak. He was the true headliner of the evening in our own personal opinion. 

 

Photo Credit: Daniel Martinez

Ruido Fest 2016

Ruido Fest 2016 had amazing music and great food. For me the great story of the festival was the Latino Youth who came out to celebrate the culture we created. Most of the bands on the bill are not on main stream radio but they all have followings that are as strong as any mainstream Latin musician. People came from all corners of the United States and Latin America to congregate in Chicago for 3 beautiful days. The magnitude of Ruido Fest hit me mid Day 2 during Gondwanas (Chilean Reggae band) set. The feeling still hasn't left me. My purpose in this world is to spread love through music and art. This past weekend solidified this for me. It has been ingrained in me that because I don't make money off of something it lacks value. I will argue that my experience is more valuable than any paycheck. We are not meant to pay bills and die. As humans it is important that we connect with like minded individuals through travel and conversation.

Without the music there is no festival. Ruido Fest is a celebration of underground Latin music. The bands represented many countries from Latin America. Bands came from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, and many other countries. There were a lot of Chicago bands in the mix as well. The weekend featured performances from Killer Moon, Kelroy, Rai, Helado Negro, Divino Nino, and You Are Here. All these Chicago bands represented Chicago to the fullest. For such a star studded Chicago music festival to feature local Chicago bands was amazing. All of these musicians have been on the scene for a number of years and are getting the recognition they deserve.

Some of the biggest acts in Latin alternative (music not on mainstream radio) performed such as Carla Morrison, Yokozuna, Los Pericos, Cuca, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Maldita Vecindad, Gondwana, Los Cafres, Silverio, Panteon Rococo, and Natalia LaFourcade. Los Fabulosos Cadillacs drew the biggest crowd of the weekend. The park was bustling with anticipation for these guys to perform. They did not disappoint. For people of color it is important that we acknowledge our culture and the people creating the art.

Cutz on Cuts: Reunion Show 06/30/2016

Cutz on Cuts (DJ Moppy, Shazam Bangles, and Rice the sound transmitter) hosted a reunion show on Thursday, June 30th at the Double Door. The night started out with open tables for scratching and mixing. This portion of the evening was led by Eric Gupana. He is one of the best scratchers in Chicago. He is one of three members of CTA (Chicago Turntablist Authority). The group consists of DJ J. Marz , DJ Toltech, and DJ RTST. These guys are on the cutting edge of mixing and scratching. 

Following the open table table session DJ Tim Zawada warmed up the crowd for Rich Jones( Chicago Emcee) and ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat . He is one of the best DJs in Chicago. He is a member of the Boogie Munsters and founder of Star Creature Universal Vibrations. A Chicago record label that releases some the best music you've never heard.  His set was flawless unbelievable transitions and song selection.  If you have never seen him perform your really cheating yourself.

Rich Jones hopped on the microphone while Krush Love Dropped the beat. He performed a set of raw Chicago Hip Hop. Nothing compares to the feeling of discovering a raw Chicago emcee. Rich Jones is on the rise be on the look out for this dope Chicago emcee.

The crowd was nice and warmed up for ESSO Afrojam Funkbeat. This group was voted the best band by the Chicago Reader. They are a versatile 10+ piece band. Their influences range from Dance Hall, Reggae. Cumbia, Salsa, Rock, and Hip Hop. They are the perfect band in my opinion. A lot of people in Chicago who would agree with me. Their performance was nothing short of amazing. I have seen them on multiple occasions and I look forward to seeing them perform again. 

Overall the night was perfect for a music lover like myself. My favorite DJs and band all in one spot. From the pulsating afro-cuban rhythms of ESSO to the flawless set of Tim Zawada and the technically perfect scratching of DJ Toltech. I am very tired but it was well worth it.

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado 

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado 

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado 

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado 

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado 

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado 

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado

Photo by: Joslyn Alvarado