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Anthony Valadez Host

Host of 'Anthony Valadez'

LA native Anthony Valadez became a music fan the minute he heard the opening notes of “Theme from Mahogany” by Diana Ross on the radio in the family car.

He was six years old and being denied the right to attend the Lakers Championship parade in DTLA. Despite the disappointment, he made a connection to music that would never be lost.  

"The minute I heard that song and those strings I knew music was something I wanted to pursue. I wanted to share it, create it, document it and forever be a fan of it.”

He also worked at a local pool, saving money to buy turntables and, at night, would scan the FM dial for new music. It was then he discovered Michael Mixx’in Moor’s radio show on KCRW and became an instant fan of the station.

“There was nothing like it. It was a collage of sounds, speeches, soul and it was masterfully produced. I knew at the age of 14 I wanted to one day play records and create something different and new for LA on KCRW.” 

In high school, he would skip 6th period and head over to local community college and do Guest DJ sets.

Then, while studying Theatre Arts at Cal State Northridge, he convinced KCSN (a classical station at the time) to allow an electronic/hip hop/world soul radio show on Monday nights which he hosted for several years.  He later created and hosted Soundwaves on 90.7 KPFK during Saturday afternoons.  A few years later, he finally landed a coveted spot at KCRW.

In addition to his Monday night (midnight to 3am) radio show, he is currently the resident DJ at First Fridaysat The Natural History Museum. In addition, he can be found every week playing at Cana Rum Bar (DTLA), The Line Hotel (K Town), Zanzibar (Santa Monica), The Sayers Club (Hollywood) and Insert Coins (Las Vegas). 

He has hosted events at the Hollywood Bowl, SXSW and CMJ, as well as at Grand Performances andUCLA Jazz Reggae Fest.

He has remixed songs by David Bowie, Ozomatli and Local Natives and released four studio albums of original material.

In 2011, Valadez was the official DJ for the Alma Awards, which celebrate the excellence and contributions of Latinos in the Entertainment Industry and is a segment host on NUVOtv’s The Collective powered by VEVO. The show is executive produced by Jennifer Lopez.

Lopez and her company, Nuyorican Productions, were so impressed with his DJ skills, they brought him out to open for her homecoming show at Orchard Park, Bronx NY in front of 16,000 attendees in May 2014.  

He is a talented photographer and chronicles his travels, musical adventures and favorite new bands on his website: http://anthonyvaladez.org/

FROM Anthony Valadez

10 MIN, 24 SEC Sep 17, 2015

10 MIN, 1 SEC Jul 22, 2015

35 MIN, 27 SEC Jun 17, 2015

10 MIN, 29 SEC Feb 25, 2015

10 MIN, 6 SEC Jan 07, 2015

9 MIN, 29 SEC Nov 21, 2014


Tom Schnabel's Rhythm Planet

Kel Tamasheq Sounds of the Sahara Back in the late 1960s and '70s, when bootleg cassette tapes first began exchanging hands amongst the Tuareg ranks of Muammar el-Qaddafi, the early sounds of  Tinariwen  were sown across the desert sands of the Sahara. Singing songs of struggle and division, their guitar-driven modal grooves became a unifying call for independence for Kel Tamasheq fans scattered across Mali, Mauritania, Algeria, Niger, Libya and portions of Burkina Faso. The words, Tuareg and Kel Tamasheq, are often used interchangeably when referring to these semi-nomadic people of North African Berber origin:  Tuareg  being an ascribed remnant of former French occupation; and  Kel Tamasheq , a unifying endomym that translates as "speakers of the Tamasheq language." Historically, they were traders along the caravan routes of the Sahara until 20th century French colonization and oppressive Malian governing, repeated droughts, famine and subsequent rebellions left many seeking refuge in the desert. Until recently, the  ténéré —or desert—was a way of life for many. Nowadays, though, the younger generations are migrating to the cities in search of jobs and modern lives like anyone else, while remaining a part of the  ishumar  fabric. Following in the footsteps of Tinariwen, new bands like Tishoumara featuring Bazo Omar from Niamey, Niger, keep the Kel Tamasheq spirit alive digitally now by recording their music on their smart phones and sharing via text messages, Whatsapp and Facebook rather than cassettes. It's a beautiful thing. Our special guest this week on Rhythm Planet is Nyka Kwon, who visits us from Bamako, Mali, bringing with her the Kel Tamasheq sounds from the Sahara. I met Nyka last summer, after deejay-ing the opening set for Mauritanian powerhouse  Noura Mint Seymali  at the Skirball Cultural Center, where she was dancing to the deep, trance-inducing grooves alongside my peripatetic friend, Tom Nguyen, who runs the music and cultural bulletin,  EnClave LA . Two weeks later, Nyka moved to Bamako, Mali, and I'd often wondered what became of her. The impetus for Nyka's move to Mali came in 2008, when she first heard Tinariwen on public radio. She recalls their  "Chet Boghassa"  as having awakened "moribund DNA to a past life as a Kel Tamasheq girl living in the vast expanse of the ténéré, and thus, the caravan was set in motion." It's a feeling that, I think, many of us city slickers have probably felt on some level or another during our busy lives—the desire to simplify and reconnect with that which is rooted and authentic. We hear this embodied in the visceral music of  Tartit , a band of women from Timbuktu, whose musical structure takes us back to the very origins of traditional Kel Tamasheq music. Led by the matriarch lead, Fadimata Walet Oumar or "Disco," whom Nyka affectionally refers to as her Saharan sister, the women sit around a  tende  (drum), to the accompaniment of an  imzad  (one-string violin). It's important to note the female musicians because the image most people have of Kel Tamasheq music is that of men playing guitars. Niger singer-guitarist  Mariam Ahmed  from Agadez is just one example of a female artist you might not hear otherwise, featured on  Sahel Sounds , a wonderful website started by Portlandian Christopher Kirkley, who collects field recordings by such unknown artists as Mariam, in order to spread the message of the Kel Tamasheq. Assouf , as an expression of what we long for, or continue to seek existentially is an underlying current throughout much of Kel Tamasheq music. According to Nyka, there is a proverb that says, "it's better to keep walking than to stay put, even if you don't know our destination." And to that end, her journey to the ténéré continues.

46 MIN, 4 SEC Oct 09, 2015


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