I grew up listening to tango music in my native Peru but really learned to appreciate tango dance and music under the late master teacher Pablo Fontana in Washington, D.C. He inspired me to develop an appreciation of the music and gave me my first serious collection of Argentine tango music. My first attempts to DJ were at practicas in the DC area and later as a DJ in their milongas. I retired to Santa Fe in 2012 but did not retire from tango dancing and DJing. I DJ mostly in New Mexico but I have traveled to other tango festivals in the US and internationally.
My philosophy about music for tango dancing has evolved from structuring tandas using conventional guidelines to one that looks at the main reason that all of us attend a milonga – to express ourselves through music and in communication with other dancers. Thus, I see the dance floor as a space where we can continuously project these emotions through the evening whether we are dancing or observing dancers over 3-4 hours.
The energy of this intimate interaction with the music and between two dance partners, as well as those observing the dancers on the dance floor is what creates a wonderful evening.
The music is the conduit to make that expression alive. Thus the music should be inspiring, alive and constantly breathing energy. Dancers have from 8 to 12 minutes in a tanda to develop such intimacy. It is my responsibility to structure a tanda in which the first song invites people to the dance floor. The key to meet dancers’ expectations is to structure three or four songs that are thematic (romantic or rhythmic) and harmonic- not dissonance. I pay attention to the tempo of songs (BPMs), quality of recordings, orchestration (phrases) and voice (if not instrumental).
Throughout the evening, I manage energy to move from rhythmic to romantic and challenging (dramatic) orchestras and singer in a seamless fashion until reaching exhilaration. The challenge is to absorb the energy of the room, find the right piece of music and a given time in the milonga that keeps that energy alive. I hope to see you dancing to this vision soon.
Experience as DJ
2006-2012 Washington, DC milongas and practicas
2012- present Santa Fe and Albuquerque, NM; VP Santa Fe Tango Club, regular DJ at monthly events in Santa Fe and Las Puertas in Albuquerque. Ocassionally DJ at the Alternative Tango Milonga in Albuquerque. Organizer of the Rufina Tap Room Milonga (every first Sunday).
Experience at Tango Festivals and forthcoming DJ engagements
San Miguel de Allende Tango Festival, Mexico (2014- 2019)
Burning Tango Festival- 2018
Valentango Festival, Portland – 2019
Experience DJing in Other Countries
Mexico City- Malena Milonga, El Abrazo
Lima, Peru- Citango