Cumbia sonidera is Mexico’s bass-heavy, sound-system reinterpretation of music originally emanating from the Colombian northwest. During performances, the sonideros (DJs) mix songs and get on the mic to recite fans’ dedications to people and places. These shout-outs (called saludos) trace an auditory archive of memory, migration, and longing across the US-Mexico border. This event will feature an audiovisual conversation using cumbia tracks, field recordings, and photographs to spark discussion on a music in movement, media materiality, and the interface of the visual and the sonic.

Featuring Brian “B+” Cross (UCSD), Sr. Tony (Sonido Fantasma), Juan David Rubio Restrepo (UCSD), and Roman Zepeda (Turbo Sonidero). Moderated by Alexandra Lippman (UCLA).

Friday, June 1 @ 3PM

UCSD Visual Arts, VisArts Performance Space (VAF 306)

Free and open to the public.
Free food provided by Zanzibar.

RSVP here

Stick around for el after con Very Be Careful, Tropa Mágica, Sonido Fantasma, and Turbo Sonidero.

RSVP | Tickets ($10 GA, Free for Students)


Brian “B+” Cross is an assistant professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California San Diego and co-founder of Mochilla, a production house whose output includes feature length music documentaries, music videos, music and photography. A former student of award-winning author Mike Davis and photographer Allan Sekula, Cross was the photo editor of the music magazine Wax Poetics from 2004 to 2010, and Rappages from 1993 to 1998. He has worked in hip-hop culture as a photographer and filmmaker for over twenty years. Cross’ 1993 book on the LA hip-hop scene, It’s Not About a Salary, was on “best book of the year” lists for Rolling Stone and NME magazines, and Vibe named it one of the top ten hip-hop books of all time. His latest book, Ghostnotes: Music of the Unplayed, was published in 2017 by University of Texas Press.

Sr. Tony Sonido Fantasma is a prominent sonidero born in Puebla and based in Los Angeles. In his performances, he DJs cumbia while improvising saludos (shout-outs or dedications) from his fans to their absent loved-ones and family members. These saludos create an auditory archive of feelings of longing and love for families separated by the border. With 27 years of experience, Tony is renowned for his skillfulness on the microphone and for his powerful sound system.

Alexandra Lippman is an anthropologist, DJ, and postdoctoral scholar at UCLA with the Institute for Society and Genetics. Her research explores the politics of sound, cultural and intellectual property, and technology in Latin America, primarily Brazil. She produced and curated ¡Un Saludo! Mexican Soundsystem Cumbia in LA, a compilation which highlights how Discos Barba Azul, a small music shop and label in downtown LA, became a hub of border-crossing cumbia sonidera in the United States. She founded the Sound Ethnography Project and is a member of the artist collective and independent music label, Dutty Artz.

Juan David Rubio Restrepo is a PhD candidate in the Music Department at the University of California San Diego originally from Manizales, Colombia. He is a musician, composer, improviser, and researcher. He has presented on genealogies of popular music, decolonialism, time, and technological agency and teaches a popular course on cumbia.

Roman Zepeda (Turbo Sonidero) is a music producer hailing from San José, CA who blends Rap/Hip-Hop with Cumbia Sonidera. In 2010, he moved to his father’s hometown in Puebla, Mexico to immerse in Cumbia Sonidera culture, where he played and toured extensively in the country. He is one half of Grupo Jejeje and a co-founder of Sonido Clash, a cultural arts collective exploring latinx art + sound. He has been featured in FADER, Afropop Worldwide, KQED, and XLR8R, among others.

¡Un Saludo! Voice, Memory, and Migration in Cumbia Sonidera

Conversation and listening with Jace Clayton (Dj Rupture), Alexandra Lippman (Xandão) & Alejandro Aviles (Sonido Kumbala)

December 16, 2017, 8pm

UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

$10 | Tickets here

Cumbia sonidera is Mexico’s bass-heavy, sound-system reinterpretation of Afro-Colombian folk music. During performances, the sonideros (DJs) mix songs and get on the mic to recite fans’ dedications to people and places. These shout-outs (called saludos) trace an auditory archive of memory, migration, and longing across the US-Mexico border. Hosted by Jace Clayton, who features a chapter on NYC cumbia and Sonido Kumbala in his book Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, this evening will use tracks from NYC- and LA-cumbia sonidera compilations by Sonido Kumbala and Xandão to spark discussion on the roles of the sonidero, immigrant media systems, and translation.

Afterwards, stick around for the Annual UNDO Holiday Party [ Deep Freeze Disco: ¡ Un Saludo ! ] – DJ sets from Kumbala, Xandão , and DJ /rupture!


Tomorrow night, Thursday October 12th– Dutty Artz is joining forces with Fania for a benefit at Kinfolk 94 (94 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn) to support disaster recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico. All proceeds from the event will go directly to local relief efforts, with the event featuring live performances by Papi Juice co-founder and DJ Oscar Nñ, DJ Bembona, and Uproot Andy.


Vicente Pedraza and I chatted with Dublab co-founder, Frosty for LAndscapes his show on Red Bull Radio, which explores the “rich and varied musical landscape that is Los Angeles.” We spoke in bustling Santee Alley–LA’s own tianguis–over aguas frescas.

I selected from Discos Barba Azul’s catalogue, Shark & Lobo DJ MP3-loaded CDs bought over the years in D.F. (shout-out to Vamanos for sharing “Cumbia Lorana”), and a live recording of Sonido Rumbandela performing at our release party.

Listen in on Tuesday 11am-1pm PST!


In a little over a week from now, INTL BLK comes to NY.

It is a celebration of the international black magic radiating out of the big apple, with support from the Dutty Artz family. RSVP on Facebook, or just come thru to Queens the night of!

Here’s descriptions of invited artists on this super stacked lineup:

DJ Flex (Empire) – New Jersey based DJ of Ghanaian origin, who is introducing West African Afrobeats sounds into the Jersey Club scene.

SHYBOI (Kunq/Discwoman) – New York based DJ of Jamaican origin, incorporating the sounds of the African diapsora in lively New York club sets, refracted through a Queer New York Caribbean immigrant lens.

Bembona (Bembona & Friends/Pillow Talk) – New York based DJ of Panamanian and Puerto Rican origin, bringing the sounds of a new generation of Afro Latin and Caribbean club music.

Africa Latina (Chief Boima & Geko Jones) – The Dutty Artz initiated African and Latin house project of Chief Boima and Geko Jones.

Shawn Dub (I Love Vinyl) – New York based DJ from Long Beach, steeped in the Funk and Hip Hop of his native West Coast, he plays from one of the deepest catalogs of American Black music in the United States.

Kondi Band Soundsystem (Chief Boima & Will LV) – The rhythm section of Chief Boima and Sorie Kondi’s new collaboration Kondi Band… opening up the night, the two producers will talk about and play their influences, soundsystem style.

Dutty Artz (Ushka, Riobamba and K7) – representing the Brooklyn-centered, community and social justice oriented collective of DJs.

IOIA – DJ project of Antonio Antmaper + Glaucia Mayer from Rio de Janeiro, aiming to bridge through sonics, the oceanic gap between Rio, Lisboa, Praia, and Luanda.

I’ll be back in the States for about a month this summer, and have just touched down in NYC!

I’ll be moving around the country a bit, but catch me DJing first at Trans-Pecos in Queens on Friday night! The early show is called “Becoming New Objects” and features a host of experimental performers gathering for the Queens International Concert Series, including Chino Amobi of NON — someone who I’ve seen create quite a stir from a distance, and am looking forward to catching live.

After that, on the same night in the same venue, I will be part of the Mixpak x Tryna Function party with another great lineup, including Ikonika and Scratcha DVA of Hyperdub fame! Both artists, I’m also very excited to be able to catch live, so I’ll be in the building both as a DJ and a fan.


Finally, I will be recording a live edition of Africa is a Radio at The Lot Radio in Brooklyn with special guests on Sunday June 26th from 6-8pm. Tune in here!

Africa is a Radio

Looking forward to catching up with my NY fam!