Music Lineup: CumbiaSazo ft. Alma Andina & Jesse de la Pena [10/24/16]

Alma Andina band

Alma Andina

Alma Andina is a Minnesota-based 4-piece band which combines electronic sounds such as beats and sound effects with instruments from South America featuring the organic sound of the Andes Mountains. Cumbia has become their main style throughout their journey with global music and native instruments.



Jesse de la Pena

Jesse De La Pena has been spinning records since 1985 and helped lay foundation for today’s Chicago Hip Hop scene, getting early records into clubs when Hip Hop was yet unrecognized outside the underground / street movements. Beyond Hip Hop, Jesse is known to spin some of the most eclectic sets in Chicago mixing genres like soul, blues, reggae, new wave, funk, rock, DnB, etc. He was one of the original DJs behind Grammy nominated Liquid Soul ensemble which pioneered Acid Jazz genre,,and was a key player in Chicago’s House scene in the 90s. Jesse has recently joined WBEZ’s sister station Vocalo 89.5 FM as their Music Curator and is a co-founder of the esteemed Vocalo DJ Collective.



Miguel Vargas

Born in raised in Saint Paul, MN, Miguel Vargas went to the University of Minnesota, earning a degree in Cinema and Media Culture while working as administrative staff for the Departments of Chicano Studies and American Indian Studies.

Miguel began DJing throughout the Twin Cities in 2007 and launched the Radio Pocho music program on KFAI in July 2010 in collaboration with with Steven Renderos (DJ Ren).  Radio Pocho is showcase of many musical influences, navigating the borders of Bachata, Cumbia, Funk, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Merengue, Reggae, Rock, Salsa, Samba, Soul, Funk, Ranchera, Bolero, Reggaeton & Chicano/Tejano and featuring an ever-eclectic range of local music selectors. Miguel also began assisting with the production of “First Person Radio” hosted by Laura Waterman Wittstock in November 2011 and served as Program Director at KFAI Radio 2012-14.


The Ponderers Chicago DJs CumbiaSazo

The Ponderers

The Ponderers began as a musical challenge for two Chicago music enthusiasts who were once given the task of providing an all day music set composed solely of female-fronted artists for a women’s empowerment festival. Taking on the challenge and then some, members Stephanie Manriquez and Sandra Trevino have pushed forward in their writing and collective DJ sets (and radio hosting in Sandra’s case) to feature female-fronted & Latin-alternative music. The Ponderers are passionate about artists who they feel, at some point in time whether through lyrics, a video or a beat, have supported them as artists and people.


Sonorama chicago


(((Sonorama))) are djs, vinyl lovers, lifelong students of good music, children of the drum and groove in all its expressions, we’re collectors with the desire to share with other open minds and ears, the sonic treats that for one reason or another have been forgotten or simply haven’t gotten the credit they deserve. We are music anthropologists interested in discovering and exploring the roots of contemporary music and to explore the diverse world of music in all its expressions.



Sherwin O

Sherwin Ovid is a Trinidadian multimedia artist & DJ with a creative background rooted in filmmaking, painting and drawing. His work explores the limits of social boundaries and their perpetual transformation. He strives to use his work as a means of creative intervention to insight social awareness.


Logan Lu

Logan Lu

So we had a hard time finding a bio on Luis Tubens (aka Logan Lu) but he’s just that kind of guy– humble, behind the scenes, and focused on shining the light on others whether from a stage or in his work with the community. We’re so excited for Luis to be welcoming you all to the space and blessing the CumbiaSazo mic as the evening’s MC.


CaliXta Chicago


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.




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.


Itzi Nallah chicago

Itzi Nallah

Itzi Nallah is CumbiaSazo’s resident DJ and faithful organizer. Having also worked with FEX, Sonic Diaspora and Peoples DJs Collective, his DJ projects focus on global roots & bass music and liberation-minded dance floors. Current residencies include Double Door and Harbee in Pilsen (for Alegria) and show highlights include sharing stages with acts ranging from Ozomatli, Rich Medina and A Tribe Called Red to Pete Rock, Javier Estrada and Haitus Kaiyote.


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Photos: Sherwin O by Soohyun Kim, Logan Lu by Lucio Villa, Afroqbano & Itzi Nallah by William Camargo