Established in 2009, Tranza is Los Angeles’ only queer performance art night reclaiming historically and traditionally queer, immigrant, and trans spaces that are surviving gentrification, displacement, and rampant violence. Tranza showcases, produces, and curates performances, installations, and artistic collaborations that serve as disruptions and reclamations of contested spaces throughout the city.
Artist and producer Byron has presented Tranza as part of the Goethe Institut-LA’s 2022 Neighborhood Interpretive Center, and at various queer community spaces in Greater Los Angeles, including Redz/Chuparosa, Little Joy, Human Resources, The Jalisco Inn #2, and The TransLatin@ Coalition’s Center for Violence Prevention and Transgender Wellness.
Doors open at 7:00 PM with time for audiences to browse the installation with music from DJ Drian Juarez. Performances by Byron and Sonji Kimmons will take place from 7:25-8:00 PM and again from 8:10-8:50 PM.
Byron is a Los Angeles based writer, producer, and performance artist engaging in community-led, artistic, and liberatory projects rooted in immigrant and queer lived experiences. Byron is the Artistic Director and Producer of Tranza and Festival de Barriletes Los Ángeles, and founder of vuch Interpretation and Consultant Services. Current and past work has been presented at the Goethe-Institut LA’s Neighborhood Interpretive Center 2022, the National Queer Arts Festival, qteam’s Night of Bad, and as lectures, performances, and installations at universities around the US. These projects center trans and queer liberation through social practice and reclamation of traditionally queer spaces.
Drian Juarez is an activist and DEI consultant on Trans and Non-Binary issues. Juarez has served as the VP of Learning, Development, and Employee Experience at FOLX Health, was the first Global Partnerships Manager for Grindr’s Grindr for Equality program, founder and inaugural Program Manager for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP). She is a member of the Office of Lt. Governor Kounalakis – Transgender Advisor Council and was a founding board member of the City of West Hollywood’s Transgender Advisory Board and a founding board member of Gender Justice LA.
Sonji Kimmons has performed worldwide to international acclaim and is a seminal staple in piano bars and LGBT spaces throughout Southern California. She spent over 20 years in Europe as the lead singer for the well-known Pepe Lienhard Big Band in Switzerland, and has performed with and alongside stars such as Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Michel Legrand, Sarah Vaughan, and Walter Beasley. Sonji has appeared at the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Belvedere Jazz Festival in Switzerland, at Harrah’s Las Vegas, the Sporting Club in Monaco, the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, and many other venues around the world.
This program is organized by Byron as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute. This program is presented in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles.
The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute. We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. Working with our partners, we look at global opportunities and challenges, bringing different perspectives into a trustful dialogue. We are committed to the principles of openness, diversity, and sustainability.