Gallery La La is New York City’s art scene at its finest. From jewelry to sculpture; photography to paintings; beautiful scarves and dresses; the siren ring to essential oils and amazing purses to LIVE MUSIC, they have it all. When you walk in to this gorgeous establishment located on 138 Sullivan Street in New York City’s chic and sophisticated neighborhood, SoHo, you will be greeted by the owners Sulimon Balogun and Serena Van Rensselaer. They are two of the kindest and warmest people you will ever meet and are both artists themselves. Serena makes jewelry (as you can see to the right) image and Sulimon sings with his band the first Friday of every month at Gallery LaLa’s music event, Turquoise Sky Concert Series. The gallery simultaneously hosts an art opening that night featuring digital displays of photos and paintings. As you walk through the gallery and down the stairs you feel like you just went through a time warp as you are reminded of CBGB’s downstairs lounge — but you are at Turquoise Sky’s sexy downstairs lounge lit by candles and white Christmas lights. Wine is served and the live music awaits you. Mark Donato usually kicks off the evening around 7pm with a half hour set of his “jolly angst” folk music. His lyrics are thoughtful and his soul is kind (in one of his songs you will hear him refer to his “non-profit soul.”) I usually play the next set around 8pm featuring my new material (album #3 coming soon…) on ukulele. Next we have a guest act… recent artists have been: Bones, Keith Lane, Marcelo Siles, Martina Fiserova and Paul Mitchell. In July we will welcome Jason Ewald & Fin Ra Zel, and Bones will join us again! I am big fan of Bones as we have been friends since we were 12 years old and it’s been amazing to witness her musical and artistic evolution and to grow together! After the guest artist (s) I play another set on piano or guitar. I usually sing some songs from my first (Finding Home ) or second (NOT AT WAR) album on piano or guitar. Mark Donato will then play another short set and then the crowd will be serenaded by Sulimon. Without fail every month Sulimon and his band get the crowd up and on their feet to dance to the melodies of his flirtatious and fun songs. It sounds like Prince has influenced his singing style but Sulimon is like no one else when it comes to his stage presence. His charm and love for what he does shines and everyone loves it. You just have to be there to understand exactly what I’m talking about. After Sulimon’s dance party I play a few songs to bring the evening we all shared to a close. Sometimes I may throw in a love song cover like: “Come Away with Me” by Norah Jones or “Faithfully” by Journey or “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri or “Nine Million Bicycles” by Kate Melua. The music ends around 11pm and no matter how the evening unfolded we all leave with this sense of joy and belonging – its a fun hang. Come join us for the next one.

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