Odaymara Cuesta and Olivia Prendes are born and raised cuban artivists, Hip Hop emcees, independent musicians, poets, theater makers and designers representing womyn, immigrants, and queer people of color as a central part of world change. Formed in Habana in 1999, Krudas Cubensi migrated to Austin Texas, US in 2006 and have earned international acclaim performing, recording, speaking, and touring in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean until today. The Krudas set includes Cubensi Hip Hop, Dancehall, old and new school beats from around the world laced with their extraordinary Afro-Cuban rebel hardcore feminists lyrics and indomitable voices, sounds, dances and energies to empower communities.
Son Monarcas is a bilingual Chicago-based ensemble led by Irekani Ferreyra & Mercedes Inez Martinez, and comprised of musicians who are well-versed in the Afro-Mestizo genres of folk music from Latin America.They blend the traditional with the contemporary by creating original arrangements of “son” while retaining the foundation of the traditional style. Their original compositions include influences of Cumbia, Samba, Jazz and Experimental music in English and Spanish. The instrumentation includes accordion, “zapateado” (percussive foot tapping), cajon, requinto jarocho, jarana jarocha, violin, guitar, Mexican harp and voice.
Azucar (Izla + Skyshaker)
Izla (Ivette Alé) is the founder of La Joteria and Brooklyn’s original queer global bass party Azucar. For the last four years Izla has been creating space for queer people of color that is sonically diverse and unapologetically political. Her #TROPIKVNT sound is a representation of global QTPOC, blending Digital Cumbia, Hard Dembow, Zouk Bass and Reggaeton with Vogue, Jersey Club, House, Techno and R&B.
From Boiler Room sets, to BBC Radio 1 and Berghain, the Skyshaker sound is rising. As the newest member of MikeQ’s Qween Beat crew, Nick Pitts’s fusion of antagonistic rappers purring over ballroom crashes recently lent itself to Venus X and Fatima Al Qadiri’s soundtracking of fashion imprint HOOD BY AIR’s S/S 2015 presentation during Paris Fashion Week. When joining forces with Izla of Azcuar, their #TROPIKVNT sound brings the ballroom to the barrio in a way that will get you all the way together.
John Simmons is a dynamic people mover with almost two decades of experience on the turntables. The son of a well-known Chicago DJ, he was influenced early in life by the soulful sounds and technical savvy of his father and began to cut his chops as early as age eleven. Having a solid foundation in Soul, R&B, Jazz, Disco, and early Hip-Hop, John became immersed in the early 1990s by the dance/electronic music and by the mid-1990s he had already begun to make a name for himself in Chicago’s thriving underground party scene. John has toured with the “Soul Foundation” House music collective and as a road manager for Green Velvet aka Cajmere. Having performed in cities like New York, Miami, San Francisco, Detroit, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Cairo, Egypt, John holds it down locally for many of Chicago’s most respected dance venues.
(Cuba/Chicago/Peoples DJs Collective)
A member of Sonic Diaspora and People’s DJ Collective, Afroqbano is originally from Cuba and now living in Chicago. In Habana, he worked as a regular DJ for a number of underground house and Hip Hop clubs and produced and toured with some of the most well-known artists and ensembles in Cuba. Since moving to the United States, Afroqbano has continually expanded on his style & influence, developed his acumen as a producer/remixer, and shared stages with luminaries like Mos Def, Pete Rock, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Rich Medina, and La Santa Cecilia. While the Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms of his culture are central to his sound, he embraces and merges a wide range of global & soulful music.
DJ set + Live Visuals
CaliXta VJs and DJs as part of CumbiaSazo as well as dále shine. Originally from Chicago, caliXta co-founded dále shine to explore & spin a wide variety of digital music, integrate visuals into music, and work to create a scene for ‘cyber ritmos’ in various local scenes. Her philosophy is to create and bridge spaces through an audio-visual experience from around the world that people will love. dále shine is a party series dedicated to showcasing the music of latinx america, integrating that music into the Chicago soundscape, and providing a safe space for diversity of expression.
(Corpus Christi/Austin, TX)
Ang G is a DJ, creator, and social justice & event organizer who is affiliated with Amigas Latinas, Blocks together, Venus Collective, Dyke March, and several other grassroots and not-for-profit organizations. A founding member of Peoples DJs Collective in Chicago and long time CumbiaSazo alum, Ang G is currently residing in Corpus Cristi, Texas, where she enjoys co-creating parties that are diverse in terms of age, race, ethnicity, and musical taste, with everyone packing the dance floor in rhythmic solidarity.
Born and raised in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood David Chavez (DJ Sound Culture) has always had a great affinity for world cultures and deep music. His passion for both has to a large extent laid the path in front of him for most of his life. In the DJ booth Sound Culture is a cultural chemist of sorts, exploring the world’s sounds and finding the threads that tie us all together globally. From Bhangra to Balkan Beat, African Soukous to Latin House, he knows how to navigate your auditory senses. His live mixes are both dynamic and seamlessly cohesive and whether you’re a world music enthusiast or dance floor regular, he keeps things interesting.
Itzi Nallah is CumbiaSazo’s resident DJ and faithful organizer. A member of FEX and Sonic Diaspora crews as well as Peoples DJs Collective, his focus is on global roots & bass music and creating liberation-minded dance floors.
Photos: Afroqbano, Ang G, Sound Culture & Itzi Nallah by William Camargo