Andres Orbegozo aka Wayuu was born in Bogota, Colombia but raised in La Guajira, Colombia. Migrating to Toronto, Canada in 1997, his style is a fusion of tradition and trends, embracing the dance floor with constantly evolving, forward thinking latin flavour.
One of Canada’s most active Future Latin/Tropical Bass artists, Wayuu is a DJ, composer, commercial radio producer, and community leader. Outside of music happenings, Wayuu is currently developing a non profit organization for Latino youth in Toronto, and he’s recently performed at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games, and North America’s largest Caribbean Carnival, Caribana.
Amara Betty Martin aka Rebel Betty is a DJ, Visual Artist and Organizer from Chicago. Her work focuses on preserving cultural and community engagement, activism and education. She began DJing with Que Horas Son? and has since played Cumbiasazo, Quennect 4, Basement Boogie, Beat Swap Meet, Mole de Mayo, Deja Vu, Mexico City and more. Her musical focus is on Afro-Latino and African roots music including Afro-Columbian cumbia, guaracha, bomba, electro-cumbias of the 90s, salsa clasica as well as experimental and space sounds. Natural drum beats, cowbell and timbal are staple markers for her musical sets. Rebel Betty stresses the importance of promoting dance and music as a spiritual liberator, healer and ancestral community bonding experience.
DJ Papa G started sharing his love for Reggae music in 1997 at UCSB’s campus station KCSB 91.9FM. Shortly after he was invited to spin for the popular and long-running Champion Sounds show with Nat. T Miles High. Eventually Papa G moved back his hometown Chicago, where he continues to promote a message of unity & positivity thru Reggae music.
Papa G has an incredibly impressive list of residencies tabbing over 30 Chicago venues including the Subterranean for the award-winning Reggae Gold party, Funky Buddha, The Shrine, Zentra, Ohm, Sonotheque, Butterfly Social Club, Dark Room, Exedus II, and The Hot House, among others. He’s also shared stages with top reggae artists and bands including Mikey Dread, Third World, Chaka Demus and Pliers, Beenie Man, Junior Reid and the One Love Band, Junior Kelly, Queen Ifrica, Morgan Heritage, Giant Guerilla Panda Dub Squad, Groundation, Inner Circle, Ras Kelly, the Drastics, Deals Gone Bad, Los Vicios de Papa, and Indika, among others!
Tess Kisner, a visual artist from Baton Rouge, acquired a set of turntables in 2009 after being turned on to exploring vinyl as a new medium. She uncovered her undying passion for music and a powerful new art practice in the form of a dance party. In 2011, she was approached by Kristen Kaza about starting Slo’Mo – a slow jams celebration for all identities and expressions through the equal opportunistic styles of soul music. together, they created a new space for slow jams in the nightlife scene in Chicago. Tess is known for her vibrant energy on stage, singing to her audience and mixing old school into contemporary music.
King Hippo curates music digitally from Chicago on his website, Cuerators.com, and through live events and on the air for Lumpen Radio WLPN 105.5FM and formerly WHPK. He has organized and promoted such performances as Grammy-nominated Hiatus Kaiyote’s first concert in Chicago, and ongoing ‘Fresh Roasted’ beat-making events where producers sample live bands and/or carefully selected samples and create original productions on the fly. He has performed as a DJ in some of the city’s most respected venues such as Danny’s, Harbee Liquors and Tavern, Maria’s Packaged Goods, Rodan, the Silver Room, Sportsman’s Club and the Whistler.
Beginning her DJ career at the early age of 18, it didn’t take Tamara, aka Bella Loki long to establish a strong name in the West Coast music scene. Coming from a 15-year dance career, and growing up in the B-Boy scene, Bella Loki discovered an undeniable passion for music. Her style is deeply rooted in underground Hip Hop, Jazz, Neo-Soul, Funk, House and world rhythms such as Afro-Cuban and Bossa nova. In 2008, Bella Loki became a member of the Dojo Soundz family, a collective of DJs, artists, and urban clothing companies dedicated to creative expression. For the past eight years, Bella Loki has spun regularly in the company of well-respected DJs such as DJ Question, Charlie Rock, Cros One, Freddie Joachim, Kidragon, MZA, and more.
Bella Loki’s unique style of beautifully blended old and new, authentic and unexpected music was inspired by artists such as Erykah Badu, Outkast, Bonobo, Nas, Dwele, Earth Wind and Fire, Buena Vista Social Club, and many others. Bella Loki has also made appearances at both Los Angeles’ and Chicago’s Beat Swap Meet, Vibe & Stuff Radio, Soul Circle Radio, Qualcomm’s Snap Dragon unveiling in New York, and locally at Slippery Slope, Rodan, Emporium, and Virgin Hotel in Chicago.
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.
A versatile DJ with studies in audio production both in high school and college as well as radio experience, RomaSoul aka Maja Bijedic swears that music chose her. Rhythm is something which comes naturally and building up energy within her set is her specialty. A native to Sarajevo, Bosnia who currently resides in Chicago, she is a profound lover and student of music and many of it’s forms and genres. From live music to DJ sets and everything in between, RomaSoul has had the immense honor of working with some of Chicago’s greatest and most cutting edge artists. Her parties and residencies have spanned the city and she is currently 1/3 of the underground collective Dirty Dish. Her sounds can be checked out on Soundcloud and MixCloud.
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.
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.
caliXta VJs and DJs as part of CumbiaSazo as well as dále shine. Originally from Chicago, caliXta works with CumbiaSazo and 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.
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.