Join us for the next in our series of live DJ sets from our KUVO Jazz Odyssey hosts and friends on Tuesday, April 30 from 8 to 10 p.m. at Spangalang Brewery.

Ayana Contreras brings with her, a mix of jazz-funk, and samples, plus some surprises. Finding grooves that bring people together and call them to the dance floor, she’ll be bringing out the deep cuts from her library of over 10,000 vinyl! Join us and be sure to bring your dancing shoes!

Who are you and what do you do?

DJ Ayana Contreras, a recent transplant from Chicago who specializes in all-vinyl sets. I was on Chicago radio for over fifteen years.

 Can you talk about the relationship between a radio deejay and their community, and how you foster that connection?

In some ways, radio DJs at their best, capture the culture for a mass audience. Most of us grew up with a favorite that helped inform our tastes before we were old enough to get into clubs!

 Can you talk about the feedback loop with your audience and how it influences your curation decisions?

I am constantly listening to the way people listen to music. Meaning not only the sequence of songs but also the reactions of folks to music. I’m not DJing for me, I’m DJing in a conversation with them.

 How do you approach the challenge of creating playlists that appeal to a diverse and global audience?

I think specificity is the key. It makes things feel more authentic.

Can you share some memorable moments or experiences you’ve had while on air or during live shows?

I love pulling out deep vinyl cuts when I interview artists who made them. Then we play them together. I’ve done this with folks like Raphael Saadiq, disco diva Linda Clifford, a member of The Impressions, and more. Super interesting what stories are unlocked.

How do you stay updated on new music releases and trends to keep your playlists fresh and engaging?

I am an all-vinyl DJ, so I don’t do playlists, per se. But I am forever listening and digging (sometimes just in my own 10,000-deep collection)

 What challenges do you face in balancing entertainment, information, and music during your broadcasts?

I think whether the story is dope or not the song has to be engaging without it. But sometimes the stories are *chef’s kiss* so I have to share. Though I usually have some tidbits about everything I play on my shows, I try to make it more about the tunes.

 What can we expect to hear from you at your set on April 30?

A mix of rare groove, jazz, funky disco, and sample sets, plus some surprises.

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