[Photo credit to Alex Lambert]
On Sunday, March 5th, Los Angeles trombonist Ryan Porter and graphic designer Amira Lopez will launch Rent Party, a community-driven music series featuring a rotating cast of musicians across different neighborhoods in the city of LA. The inaugural event will feature Porter’s fellow West Coast Get Down members Brandon Coleman on keyboards and Tony Austin on drums, as well as Samir Moulay on guitar, and Ian Martin on bass at The Goldfish in Highland Park at 8 p.m.
Inspired by rent parties in Harlem in the 1920s, the concept of the series “emphasizes three pillars: Music, Cultural/Social Exchange, and Los Angeles Discovery.” Rent Parties were a response to the housing crisis and became a vehicle for notable styles of Black American music such as Jazz, Blues, and Swing dancing to develop while community members got to connect and engage in creative conversation.
When Lopez and Porter met, they got to talking about “Rent Party Blues” by Duke Ellington nearing one hundred years since it was first written. Specifically, “How in times of crisis, the arts and cultural programs become superfluous; and the fact that despite inflation and exponential cost of living, standard rates for artists have generally not increased for generations.”
Rent Party taps into the idea that “high-level improvisational music being created in Los Angeles is medicine during the challenging times we are living in.”
We want to build a community where creative talents are exchanged and come together to have the conversation about the reality of the professional musician and what could change for the future.
By traveling through different neighborhoods, Rent Party aims to bring new audiences to the musicians while giving existing fans the opportunity to support the musicians directly. Following every set, there will be “a jam session that will give musicians from all walks of life the opportunity to perform with each event’s featured performers.”
Those who have followed Porter and West Coast Get Down also know about their longtime residency at the now-shuttered Piano Bar in Hollywood.
Growing up in Los Angeles and having the opportunity to be a part of such a rich musical community I feel like it’s my responsibility to make sure that the music stays on a high level and the next generation has the skill set to use their creativity to provide a life for themselves.