Learning the Twist in New Delhi

Growing Up American in India Instilled in Me a Deep Curiosity About Foreign Lands—Including My Own

I grew up in India from the age of 4 to 14. Every two years, my family traveled back to the States on “home leave.” Via Europe or through Hong Kong and Japan, we’d head across the oceans to visit our cousins in New York and our grandparents in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Curious relatives and friends back home would ask: Do you speak Hindu? (The language is Hindi.) Do you know snake charmers? (No, but we see many on the streets, and they perform at birthday parties along with other …

Where Can You Dance to the Washboard in L.A.?

The Louisiana Creole Sound of Zydeco Music Is Tough to Categorize—and Tough to Find Outside of New Orleans, Unless You Know Where to Look

It’s not every day that Angelenos stumble upon a washboard, an accordion, and a pot of gumbo all within the county limits.

Maybe that’s because they aren’t looking hard enough. Hidden …

The Oldest Guy at the Club—and the Coolest by Far

An L.A. Party Wasn’t a Party Unless Reggae Pops Was There, and Now He’s Not

For the last few weeks, clubgoers and music enthusiasts have been mourning the passing of Nemencio Jose Andujar, who died three days shy of his 71st birthday. Of course, few …

This Is How You Do ‘Crazy Legs’ On Roller Skates

Every Thursday Night at a Rink in Glendale, We Groove to El DeBarge

Every Thursday night, my friend Amy and I arrive at Moonlight Rollerway on a lonely industrial strip in Glendale in the blouses and pants we wore to work and throw …

The L.A. TV Show That Taught America How to Groove

Nelson George Dissects the SoCal Style That Made ‘Soul Train’ a National Phenomenon

In Squaring Off, Zócalo invites authors into the public square to answer five questions about the essence of their books. For this round, we pose questions to music historian Nelson …

It’s Monday Night in Hollywood. That Means Salsa.

Whirling and Wondering at El Floridita, Where the Food Is Cuban, the Dancing Is Pan-American, and the Setting Is This Strange Place Called Los Angeles

¿De dónde eres?” asks the young man who offered me his hand and guided me onto the dance floor moments ago. He’s an intuitive leader, and, wedged as we are …