Fifty years ago, 31-year-old musician and Santa Monican Chico Fernandez had a dream of opening a practice space and photography studio for local musicians to jam, record, take lessons, shoot album covers and share music with the community.
Five decades later, Fernandez and his family are still celebrating the fulfillment of that dream: the Santa Monica Music Center. The Music Center has evolved over the years, with Chico’s brother Victor introducing the now integral retail shop and Chico’s daughter Lana Negrete founding a nonprofit based on Chico’s values of community and sharing a love of music.
The shop has also moved from its original storefront on Lincoln Boulevard over to a larger space on Santa Monica Boulevard. “Sometimes, it feels like we’re this metropolis city where there’s transient people passing through just visiting, but we are a city full of residents, and there [are] legacy businesses in the community,” Negrete said.
“We’re a small, family owned-business that survived a car running through the front of our store, two riots and a pandemic, and we’re still standing,” Negrete reflected. “We’re still family owned and operated. And we still are serving the schools and the community the best we can, and we hope to still be here another 50 years.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *