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  I am a Latin music DJ, club promoter and a live music promoter, mainly promoting my own Samba band now, Batala London (www.batalalondon.com). From my hometown of Liverpool (North of England), I travelled to DJ and work across the UK. I am now based in London. 

  As a teenager I met a friend who had lived in Spain and had learnt Spanish. He taught me some Spanish words and this began a lifelong love of Spain, its culture, language and people. At 16 I decided to make a trip there. I stayed a while with relatives. I returned to Liverpool and a few years later (roughly the middle 1980’s) I met some Latin Americans and one in particular had the idea of setting up an organisation that promoted Latin club nights and put on live music to send the money raised on the door to disadvantaged children in Latin America and organisations there. As well as giving myself a good excuse to practice my Spanish with him, he set up the LASF, the Latin American Solidarity Front which created the legendary LLAMA nights, the Liverpool Latin America Music Association, playing Latin music, putting on dance classes and live Salsa and Latin bands (probably one of the first to put on live Latin bands in Liverpool and put on Latin/Salsa dance classes). I also met a Brazilian who promoted his Lambada dance classes, a craze at the time! Since then I have been promoting Salsa, Merengue, Samba, Lambada, Soca, African and Caribbean music and dance to the present day.

  At the end of the 1980's/beginning of the 1990's I was playing Ragga, Reggae, and Rock and Pop music in a club called the Casablanca on Liverpool’s Hope Street roughly at the same time as the LLAMA nights at the Hardman House Hotel on Hardman street. I played Brazilian, Mambo, Salsa, Merengue and African music before I started DJing with another organisation Africa Oye, promoting, presenting and being involved in their music and dance festival. I had the pleasure of working with some of the biggest bands in Latin, Brazilian and African music like the Roberto Pla Ensemble, La Clave, Vik Hugo y Salsa Picante, Salsa y Ache, Alfredo de la Fe, Charanga Habanera, Grupo Sierra Maestra, Wayne Gorbea Band, Son 14, Candido Fabre, Afro Cuban Allstars, Merengada, Tumbaito, Raices Cubanas, La Clave, Grupo X and NG La Banda.

  I also worked with the great Samba- Reggae bloco Olodum from Salvador, who I met in Liverpool playing in Princes Park, Toxteth at the 1992 or 1993 festival. I knew at the time that it sparked my great love of Brazilian music. I also worked with Salvador’s first afro bloco Ile Aiye at the 2000 festival. This was a watershed year for Liverpool and Brazilian bands like Olodum for it was 16 years BEFORE the start of the city's annual Brazilian festival which started in 2008. Some of the great artists I worked with too were Fela Kuti’s son Femi, Baaba Maal, Kanda Bongo man, Afrobeat’s Tony Allen, Freddie McGregor, Peter Tosh, Rebecca Malope, Habib Koite, The Morgan Family Heritage, The Soul Brothers, Thomas Mapfumo, Luciano, The Gangbe Brass Band, La Excelencia, Misty in Roots, Les Freres Guisse, Fatoumata, Diawara, Tinariwen, Los Dan Den and Orquesta Cana Brava Los de Abajo etc.

 In 1993 I created the first weekly Latin club night in Liverpool called Un Poco Loco at Chauffeurs nightclub on Hope street (now the 60 restaurant). It was the first weekly Latin club night in Liverpool, possibly in the North of England outside London because at that time there were not many, if no, Latin club nights in the north or the midlands. It was here that a chap approached me for him to play congas over the DJ music and ask if I wanted to get involved in starting a 'Samba School' in Liverpool with him, and for it to rehearse in the club. I said it was a great idea but it soon started to take up too much time for me so he left to successfully begin his venture which continues to this day. The club night and the Brazilian music I was playing certainly inspired him and a 'Samba School' was born (I didn't start it, just inspired it)!

  Un Poco Loco club was also where future Latin dance teachers learnt their steps and DJ's honed their skills to go off and open their own nights. Un Poco Loco was so successful it brought in crowds from across the north of England and lots from Manchester. After a few years there were soon Latin nights on nearly every street corner in Liverpool city centre taking the excess crowd (some even on the same night- cheeky)! I played a mix of Salsa, African, Caribbean, Brazilian and Spanish music (playing mostly vinyl and NOT a laptop DJ in sight)! In 1995 it became apparent that the night and the dance classes were too big for the venue in Chauffeurs with the huge crowd that was turning up so I moved the club night to Jak's Jazz club on Seel street where we had the chance to have a bigger crowd and put on live Latin bands. It was there that I met a Brazilian dancer. We married and are still together (2017). She started her dance class but we again moved the night to a nicer venue called the Buro Bar on Bold street in 1997 where we stayed until 2001.

From the mid 1990’s, (after seeing Olodum in Liverpool in 1992 or 1993), I became involved in promoting various bands and nights. It was in the Buro Bar on Bold street that my love of Brazilian music overwhelmed me and I was the first DJ/promoter to regularly promote Brazilian Carnival nights in 1998 with live Samba bands and Liverpool’s first native Brazilian dancer from Rio. The great Inner Sense played, as did Chocante, Batida and Atribo Macaca and in 2000 the biggest of them all came to Liverpool with Africa Oye: Ile Aiye! I had the pleasure of working with them for the week. My Brazilian nights, bands, samba and Lambada dance classes were the inspiration for some of the city’s Samba bands and its now popular, yearly Brazilian festival and also for the creation of the city’s samba and Brazilian percussion bands.

  I left the weekly Latin club scene and the Buro bar in 2001 to go to Brazil, but also because I thought I had gone far enough in what I wanted to do and also do other projects. Because of Un Poco Loco and my Latin and Brazilian nights, I visited clubs across the country to visit live music venues and clubs, especially London, where my love of the city’s nightlife, Latin scene, Brazilian community, Samba bands and Notting Hill carnival gave me the impetus to move here in 2011. I also made many trips to Brazil to collect more music, learn Portuguese and play Samba percussion. I became involved with Batala Liverpool whom I promoted and met Cortejo Afro from Salvador and Afro Reggae from Rio. I now play in and promote Batala London (www.batalalondon.com).

  I have a passion for radio and have done various radio roles working and freelancing for different stations namely BBC Radio Merseyside as a production trainee. Some of my duties included interviewing personalities and members of the public as well as helping the editorial team to decide what was relevant to be broadcast. A number of my pieces were broadcast on the BBC. I also volunteered at Radio City Liverpool, Carnival FM’s Radio Station as a presenter and producer of a Latin and Brazilian music show and Shout FM radio station as a presenter, producer and promoter of another Latin/Brazilian show at John Moores University, Liverpool.

  In London I have DJ’ed in various bars and private events like Camino, Made in Brasil, Made in Brasil Boteco and festivals. I play with a Samba- Reggae band called Batala London, the internationally renowned Brazilian percussion band. I am available for club nights, celebrations, radio, festivals and events so if you would like a Latin, Brazilian, Caribbean and Spanish music DJ at a reasonable price for London, please get in contact with me via the ‘contact’ link where a message will be sent.