Join us for the next in our series of Live DJ sets from our KUVO Jazz Odyssey hosts.

Moe Velez will be at The Marigold as part of Welton Street Worldwide on Friday, March 1 at 9 p.m.

Prepare for the jazz experience of a lifetime with Moe’s moody, electronic, and experimental vibes. Moe’s affinity for jazz music in its many forms knows no bounds. Join us for an evening of the latest selections.

Who are you, what do you do?
My name is Rameau Velez and lots of my friends call me “Moe.” I am a music fanatic and I also DJ, produce, and perform music in a few different capacities. I’ve worked in the cannabis industry for the last twelve years, and I’m currently the store manager at a dispensary in Capitol Hill. I’m Puerto Rican and I was born and raised in the Caribbean. My upbringing still has a huge influence on my life, especially the music and culture. I crave drums in music, and I can listen to music with just drums, but I have a hard time listening to music without drums or percussion of some kind. As I’ve grown older, I gravitated to more electronic and experimental styles of music as well. This blend of traditional and modern styles can be heard on the Jazz Odyssey every Tuesday night! When I’m not doing music stuff I also enjoy cats, gardening, cooking for friends, and hanging out with my wife Jess.

How do you discover new and emerging artists to feature in your curated playlists?
I started getting into jazz when I was in college around twenty years ago. Since then my tastes have snowballed and changed over time, but I always kept up with modern funk and jazz artists. I follow a lot of different artists who make all sorts of music on SoundCloud and Instagram, etc. They are bound to be reposting, collaborating, and mingling with artists of a similar style or mindset. I also think record labels are a great place to start if you want to build a collection or start discovering new artists. And a super pro tip is to find an artist that you like on SoundCloud or Bandcamp and check out their likes, playlists, and collections.

How do you navigate the challenge of introducing lesser-known artists to your audience while still satisfying their expectations?
I’ve been called the “Unshazamable DJ” by a caller. I pride myself on deep diving and finding obscure, lesser-known sounds for our listeners, and I think they appreciate it. Music should be challenging for the listener, at least occasionally, and jazz has always provided that complexity that I’m seeking. That same spirit can be found in a lot of modern electronic and hip-hop artists, who are always striving to incorporate new sounds and technologies into their music-making. And you can directly trace those styles back to jazz, sometimes more directly than other times, but the connections are there. Jazz became funk, which became disco, which became house and hip-hop, techno, etc. I feel a lot of freedom from my listeners, because I explore a lot of different styles during my show, even experimental / left-field stuff, and I get lots of great feedback from listeners of all ages. They can also feel the connections and how the different styles can inspire each other and bleed back together in certain “full circle” moments.

Can you talk about the relationship between a radio deejay and their community, and how you foster that connection?
I feel a lot of love from the community, I’ve met and befriended several listeners already through KUVO events and the in-studio text line. I play a lot of shows around town that I usually let people know about. I’ve performed with a few artists that I play on the show regularly, including Romare, Plaid, Barry Can’t Swim, and more. Sometimes I have a big guest list and I will let our listeners know and they text me their name to put them on the list. I also know a good amount of the younger musicians in the local jazz and funk circles, so I can be on top of local shows and releases as they happen.

What do you enjoy most about being a radio deejay, and how has your role evolved?
It’s been a cool journey so far. I started in August of 2019 at the old studio on Welton Street in a slightly more “analog” studio with CD players and record players. Since then we’ve had to navigate a pandemic, relocating to a new studio, the transition to digital cataloging, as well as a few other bumps in the road. But there’s a great reward in doing the work, and that is doing what I do best on a mass scale – showing people the music that I love. As someone who DJs in clubs, there is a lot of pressure there to have a dance floor going. But when I DJ on the air I can play anything I want without that feeling, so some nights will be floaty and contemplative, while others might be harder-hitting or even more straight-ahead jazz on other nights.

How do you stay informed about current music trends and genres to keep your playlists relevant?
Being a DJ in a few different capacities, both in a club and a radio setting, keeps me digging for new stuff constantly. It’s great because sometimes stuff that wouldn’t fit in one setting would fit in the other, or sometimes it works for both! But I still get to play it and share it with people at some point if I like it. I always keep up with my favorite labels, blogs, and tastemakers, and my friends always show me new stuff too.

What can we expect to hear from you at your set on the 1st?
Very similar to what you’d hear me play on the air – moody, electronic, experimental jazz music. I’m looking forward to it!

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