Toronto’s Lula Lounge Celebrates 20 Years Of Presenting The Best Music From Around The World

Submitted by Sandy Graham

Marking the 20th Anniversary of the iconic Toronto Latin and global music venue Lula Lounge, Lula Music and Arts presents  Lulaworld 2022. Featured are seven nights of local heroes and special guests performing salsa, Indigenous throat singing, Arabic roots, jazz, Jamaican dancehall and reggae, Cuban  funk, soul, Turkish pop and more. The festival reflects the venue’s deep connections to diverse communities in Toronto and the cultural diasporas to which they belong. For more information and Eventbrite tickets please visit


May 17: Opening Night with Silla (direct from Iqaluit), Beny Esguerra + Tara Moneka

May 18: Lula Open Jam – a classic Descarga in the true Lula style 

May 19: Jamaican Dancehall legend Sister Nancy with Mossman

             Rayzalution Band, MC CADDY CAD + Pressure Drop DJs

May 20: Papiosco Torres y Su Ritmicos with dance performance by Dailyn Martinez

May 21: SWA Orchestra with special guests NiceMark and Maya Killtron

May 22: Cuban Funk Superstar Cimafunk plus Kolette Easy & DJ Bernal

May 23: Ferhat Göçer, Suat Suna and İskender Paydaş

The indoor festival will be followed by an outdoor edition of Lulaworld at Do West Fest on June 3 to 5th in collaboration with the Little Portugal Toronto BIA. 



Tuesday, May 17 – Doors open @7:00 pm EDT

7pm – Doors open for dinner reservations and drinks. | 8pm – Music Starts

Tickets: $12 plus HST – General Admission/ Standing Room 

Please note that tickets are general admission and do not guarantee seating unless you also have a dinner reservation.

Iraqi born vocalist Tara Moneka performs a variety of genres rooted in Arabic, Indian, Moroccan and other African traditions. Her stellar, high-energy, new all-woman band features Jessica Deutsch (violin, bass), Naghmeh Farahmand (percussion), Lauren Barnett (saxophone), Sabine Ndalamba (guitar) and Angelica Zavala (drums). Silla is a vocal group blending divergent styles of traditional and contemporary katajjaq (Inuit throat-singing) across a wide range of genres. Award-winning, two-time JUNO-nominated, arts educator, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and community worker, Ruben “Beny” Esguerraarrived as a child to Tkaronto from Bacatá (Bogotá, Colombia) as a political refugee and remains an activist like his parents. 


w/ DJ Mossman, Rayzalution Band, MC Caddy Cad, Pressure Drop DJs

Presented by Pressure Drop, Lula Music & Arts & Uma Nota Culture

Thursday, May 19 – Doors open @8:00 pm EDT

8:00pm – Doors | 9:00pm – Entertainment begins

Tickets: $35 advance // Limited tickets at the door

Legendary Jamaican dancehall singer Sister Nancy live in session, celebrating 40 years of the iconic song ‘Bam Bam’ and 20 years of Lula Lounge. With opening set by the all-woman reggae ensemble Rayzalution.


w/ dance performance by Dailyn Martinez

Friday, May 20 – Doors open @7:00 pm EDT

7:00 pm – Arrive for dinner, check your coat and order from Lula’s Tropical Menu | 8:30 – Beginners Dance Lesson

9:00 pm – Live Music Begins | 10:00 pm – DJ Set Begins |  11:30 second set 

Tickets: $25 Dance Only | $64 Dinner, Dance lesson and Show Prix Fixe (7 to 10pm)

Papiosco y Los Ritmicos bring a contemporary sound to traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms. With an all-star Cuban Toronto lineup that includes former and current members from legendary fusion groups Klimax and Cubanismo, this nine piece-ensemble is led by percussionist Jorge Luis Torres (aka Papiosco) and features the stellar vocalist Angel Luis Marquez

SALSEROS WITH ATTITUDE w/ special guests NiceMark and Maya Killtron

w/ DJ Trambo

Saturday, May 21 – Doors open@7:00 pm EDT

7:00 pm – Arrive for dinner, check your coat and order from Lula’s Tropical Menu | 8:30 – Beginners Dance Lesson

9:00 pm – Live Music Begins | 10:00 pm – DJ Set Begins |  11:30 second set 

Tickets: $25 adv. |$30 Dance Only | $64 Dinner, Dance lesson and Show Prix Fixe (7 to 10pm)

SWA – Salseros with Attitude, bring the freshest salsa vibes with an urban attitude! A blend of today’s “salsafied” chart toppers along with salsa anthems that will take you way back. Inspired by the sounds of DLG, Victor Manuelle, Ruben Blades, and many more, SWA delivers a unique sound that mixes salsa’s traditional roots with today’s Latino pop culture. 


w/ Kolette Easy and DJ Bernal

Okokan Productions + Lula Music & Arts present the Cuban Funk super star Cimafunk!

Sunday, May 21 – Doors open@7:00 pm EDT

7pm – Doors open for dinner reservations and drinks. | 8pm – Event begins with DJ Bernal and Kolette Easy

Tickets: $55 plus hst 

One of the hottest artists on the contemporary Latin and Funk scenes, international Cuban Funk sensation CIMAFUNK performs as part of his first Canadian Tour.

“Cimafunk takes it back there while keeping it in the now. It’s what we do, always reinventing the Funk to keep it fresh.” ~ George Clinton (Parliament-Funkadelic)

“Cimafunk, with his four-inch-tall flattop hair, Bruno Mars-esque swagger, and leopard print, Hawaiian shirt open and flapping in the breeze, was the center of attention. The enthralled crowd danced into the morning with their arms in the air.” ~ NY Times


w/ Selcuk Suna

Presented by Lula Lounge, Lula Music and Arts and ProArts

Monday, May 23 – Doors open @ 6:00 pm EDT

6pm – Doors open for dinner reservations and drinks | 7:30 pm – Live music begins.

Tickets: General Admission: $100 plus hst.

A discount of $15 will be applied upon checkout when you use the promo code STUDENT. 

(Valid student ID must be shown at the door with ticket.)

Turkish music giants, Ferhat Göçer, Suat Suna and İskender Paydaş are joined by Turkish Canadian multi-instrumentalist, bandleader and producer Selcuk Suna for a monumental and all-star performance of contemporary Turkish music.


Since opening in 2002, Lula Lounge has become a driving engine of global music worldwide, a hub for diversity, equity and inclusion that embraces all cultures and genres while serving as an incubator for new talent. Although the club’s focus has always been on Latin and Brazilian music, Lula has hosted everything from cumbia, classical and opera to samba, forro funk, jazz and reggae.

Lula is one of only a few venues in the world that presents a roster of more than a dozen distinct, full live salsa bands, two nights a week every week of the year. Salsa fans travel from across the region, from the U.S. and internationally to check out the various bands while Torontonians bring their out-of-town guests to show off the incredible diversity and richness of Toronto’s global music scene.

The club has recently been noticed by the local and international press as a favorite spot of Toronto Blue Jays Coach Charlie Montoyo, who regularly attends the Saturday salsa nights and often performs alongside local musicians.

Having spawned the award-winning Lulaworld Records label, an educational program for youth and several festivals, including the annual Lulaworld festival, Lula has become recognized as a champion of local musicians as well as a leading promoter of acts from around the world, acting as a bridge between local and international music scenes.

Lula is at various times of the week, a fine dining restaurant, a dance hall, a music school and concert venue. With a decor that harkens back to the classic nightclubs of the 1940s and ‘50s, the Lula building was recently renovated to open up the mezzanine that was once the balcony of the movie theatre that served as a neighbourhood hub of another kind, almost a century ago. 

Lulaworld Records, the club’s multi-JUNO-winning label fills a gap in the Canadian Global music scene, taking the music of Canadian artists such as Lula All Stars, OKAN, Aline Morales, Beny Esguerra and New Tradition Music, Bruno Capinan, Lady Yetunde, Lengaïa Salsa Brava, and many more to the world 

This partial list of emerging and established artists that have graced the Lula stage over the years, shows the incredible diversity and caliber of the presentations…

Isaac Delgado, Jonathan Richman, Norah Jones, Metric, Broken Social Scene, Jason Mraz, Sharon Jones and Dap Kings, Carol Pope, D’Talle, African Guitar Summit, James Blood Ulmer, John Cale, Seu Jorge, Badi Assad, Sun Ra Arkestra, Ralph Irizarry, Veda HIlle, Adonis Puentes, Beebop Cowboys, Adalberto Alvarez, Gryphon Trio, Jane Bunnett, Hilario Durán All Star Big Band, Kellylee Evans, Rick Lazar, Luis Mario Ochoa, Alex Pangman, Dione Taylor, Tanya Tagaq, Kinnie Star, Klimax, Pablo Mayor, Kevin Mahogany and the Art of Jazz Orchestra, Ba Cissoko,  d’bi Young, Luanda Jones, Amanda Martinez, Forro for All, Alfredo de la Fe, Parachute Club, Randy Brecker & Brownman, Otros Aires, Burnt Sugar, Pupy y Los que Son Son, Autorickshaw, Rinsethealgorithm, Changuito & The T.O. Cubans All-Stars. Ricardo Lemvo, Systema Solar, Funkadesi, Son Ache, Patricia Cano, Delhi to Dublin, Samba Squad, Salviano Pessoa, Anacaona, Eliades Ochoa, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, Andrew Cash, Jason Collet, Jaffa Band, Tasa, Arsenals, No Jo, Salsotika, Nick Buzz, Adonis Puentes, Bombino, Sergent Garcia,  Alain Perez, Jimmy Bosch, Havana d’Primera, Bobby Carcasses, Okavango Orchestra, Ursula Rucker,  Liniker e os Caramelows,Três, Yulasi Miranda Ferrer.

@Lula Lounge

1585 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON

For reservations: 416-588-0307 |