Hollywood's funky charm gets national TV audience

Hollywood, are you ready for your close-up? The globetrotting TV travelogue “Music Voyager,” which profiled the funky downtown Hollywood cultural scene for a show that aired locally last month, will make its debut for a national public-television audience on Tuesday.

Hosted by ethnomusicologist Jacob Edgar, founder of the world-music label Cumbancha, “Music Voyager” cameras came to Hollywood in December, lured by a free ArtsPark performance by Spanish flamenco star Antonio Carmona. The 30-minute episode, titled “Florida: The Other Hollywood,” follows Edgar as he strolls up and down Hollywood Boulevard and beyond, lingering at places such as Cuenca Cigars, Resurrection Drums and Le Tub.

Muralist LEBO and Eddie Balzola and his band Oriente get quality time on camera, and the show culminates in a beautifully lighted evening performance by Carmona in the ArtsPark.

Manuel Pila, program manager for the Hollywood Community Redevelopment Agency, says his office will be monitoring Facebook, Twitter and phones for extra tourism buzz. He's also in conversations with the Create TV channel, which distributes the program to stations across the country, about repeating the episode later in the year when much of the nation is shoveling snow.

International broadcasts are also possible, especially in Spanish-speaking countries where Carmona is a star.

Pila believes the show will raise the bar on visitors’ expectations, but it will also help the city secure sponsors, grants and entertainers who might have passed on Hollywood in the past.

“There’s no reason the city can’t become a top-notch musical and cultural destination,” Pila says.

On TV: “Florida: The Other Hollywood” airs locally at 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on WLRN-Ch. 17 and WXEL-Ch.42, and at 3:30 p.m. WPBT-Ch. 2. 

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