My name is Derrick Del Pilar and I’m a tango
Like most American tango DJs, I started one day when I went to a milonga stateside, watched the dancers, and thought to myself, “There are some sets I’d like to play for everyone here!” and then, armed with iTunes and a few CDs I’d brought back from Buenos Aires, I started making playlists.
I began by DJing locally in the warm community of Tucson (at my friend Erik Fleming‘s milonga, among others) while I was an undergrad at the University of Arizona. After that, I went to Berkeley to get an M.A. in Latin American Studies…and dance tango in San Francisco.
The Bay Area has some outstanding DJs, and I learned a lot just by listening to their sets. One night I complimented Felipe Martinez on a set I particularly liked…he graciously invited me to DJ at The Beat sometime, and I took him up on the offer. Things really started snowballing after that…I moved back to Tucson after grad school and DJed some there, then I started to get invited to festivals. I’ve DJed at milongas and festivals in Albuquerque, Ashland, Berkeley, Chicago, Eugene, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Portland, and Tucson…check the Gigs page to see where I’ve been and where I’ll be.
Oh yeah! I almost forgot, at Berkeley when I got my M.A. in Latin American Studies (frankly, a rather useless/unmarketable degree) I specialized in the history and literature of early 20th century Argentina…and I translate tango lyrics! Visit my other blog, The Poetry of the Tango, to read some of them.