Chicago’s sporadic & nomadic Cumbia & Global Bass gathering, since 2011
In 2011, a group of Little Village (Chicago)-based artists had the urge to explore their respective loves for cumbia and created what would eventually become CumbiaSazo— in essence a “Future Global”-oriented DJ/soundsystem crew and party arts incubator exploring the intersections of cultural heritage & club culture. Tapping into the “Nu Cumbia” and “Global/Tropical Bass” undercurrents worldwide, founders DJ Itzi Nallah and MC/dancer Tifflove along with VJ/DJ caliXta have pushed the movement forward, performing regularly as a soundsystem while also curating community-oriented parties & festivals involving visual artists & vendors contributing everything from food, fashion & handcrafts to live painting, jewelry & stage art installations.
CumbiaSazo crew along with the party first wandered about Chicago and the US sporadically and nomadically, setting off buzzed-about loft and warehouse happenings where live arts, amped up visuals, musical risks and creative surprises took root. Sold out shows at Thalia Hall and for 3 continuous years at Double Door ensued, cementing CumbiaSazo into a Chicago Reader “Best of Chicago” pick and what’s arguably the largest monthly Global Bass party in the US. In addition to adding CumbiaSazo Kids! nights to the slate, in late summer of 2015 the crew embarked on a 13 city US tour across the midwest, southwest & west coast and in 2016 presented the first ever CumbiaSazo Family Fest with over 5,000 in attendance celebrating music, family and culture. Artists with the project continue to collaborate locally while reaching beyond Chicago- all for the sake of rocking crowds in new ways, celebrating diversity, and “scene” building for a city & region where culture-based projects are often isolated or underrepresented.
CumbiaSazo has both welcomed & shared a stage with performers & DJs like Javier Estrada, Lido Pimienta, Rich Medina, Ozomatli, Playero, El Dusty, Nickodemus, Denver, Viento Callejero, María y José, Gant Man, Bleepolar, Precolumbian, Jeremy Sole, NAAFI, Buyepongo, Bombón, Deltatron, Kumbia Queers’ Guaguis, Peligrosa’s El Dusty + Chorizo Funk, and Que Bajo’s Uproot Andy + Geko Jones, among others. Local contributors have included any and all DJs & bands with a well-intentioned relationship to Latinx music as well as stalwarts from the local hip hop, salsa, balkan, reggae, juke, beats, bomba & house scenes. Akin to audiovisual agitators like Argentina’s ZZK or Barcelona’s Folcore crews, it’s only natural that local global-minded artists & projects like CumbiaSazo are making strides in pushing a uniquely Chicago take on culture forward within the context of an Internet-savvy soundscape.
Currently on Break
Our core crew: DJ Itzi Nallah, MC/dancer Tifflove & VJ/DJ caliXta
With gratitude to host/poet Logan Lu and percussionist El Timbales
Shout out to our wonderful resident photographer Carolina Sánchez and all of our local music & arts family and volunteers.
Recent photos here
We’re on Facebook:
For general inquiries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org