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David Figueroa

Host of Trotamundos

I was extremely anxious and nervous getting onboard the school bus my first day of middle school, not looking forward to being in the midst of older kids I hardly knew. These feelings were heightened by the loud, AM radio blasting "Smoking in the Boys Room," a brash sound screaming out my worst fear - at least for me just then. Somehow I made it through that day, but my musical world at 12 years old was a comfort zone built from my dad’s record collection covering big band jazz from the Swinging Years and hard bop. Miles, Glenn Miller, Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker and Stan Kenton were my idols. As a boy I had seen Count Basie and Benny Goodman and their amazing orchestras - these were dreamlike experiences. The Beatles? The Eagles? The Rolling Stones? Who were these guys? I hadn’t heard of them. Why was their hair so long? Couldn’t they afford a haircut? And where were the horns?

Music for me since this rude awakening has meandered through playing in R&B/funk bands in high school, discovering punk/new wave and a whole lot more in college, salsa and mariachi in Mexico, joining a gospel choir in Copenhagen just to listen to the group’s fantastic young pianist, learning the bass just because some friend’s band needed a bassist, finding and learning from great DJ's like Leif (Smoke Rings) Andersson (a Swedish jazz radio icon who produced more than 1000 shows) and sharing a lot of music with my own children. Music has always found me, but usually not how I expect it. Joining KCBX as a music DJ is something I never thought to be a next step, even after discovering the depth and passion of music knowledge expressed show by show across the fantastic KCBX music programs. I’m thrilled to be included in the lineup hosting shows like Night Train, Speak Low and now Trotamundos. You probably won’t hear me play "Smoking in the Boys Room," but I do firmly believe in the basic tenet verbalized by Duke Ellington, “if it sounds good and feels good, then it is good”.