Our DJs

We have included pictures of our DJs from their childhood. They all live and dance mostly in North America but they were born all over the world.

Congratulations to Rick Kim who has correctly identified all 8 DJs from their childhood pictures.


Photo by Agnes Tang

Ayano Yoneda

Place of Birth:
Tokyo, Japan
Current Tango Home:
San Francisco, CA

Based in San Francisco, Ayano travels and dance in the milogas around the world including her annual pilgrimage to Buenos Aires. She focuses on making the dancers happy, keep them dancing all night long. She regularly DJs at the local milongas in San Francisco such as El Valenciano/The Great Northern, Genesis, The Beat, and has been invited to DJ in Tokyo, Taipei, Maui Embrace Tango Festival and Pasional The Third Coast Tango Marathon.

Photo by Nikos Zacharakis

Jean-Sebastien Viard

Place of Birth:
Paris, France
Current Tango Home:
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

After starting Tango, it was only a matter of time before I felt the urge to dig deeper into the understanding of tango music, which I did through the learning of the art of DJing. I have been teaching and DJing in Montreal for several years, now, and had the pleasure of being Redlight milonga’s resident DJ through 2014-15, as well as to DJ abroad on several occasions. I like to set up traditional tango evenings, using mostly Golden Age repertoire (throwing in a few tandas picked outside of the G.A when the crowd is right).

My tandas, which are organized around different orchestras, topics, and singers, are made out of high quality music, and arranged with careful balance through the evening, with a particular concern for the dancers’ creative and emotional experiences.

Photo by Bassel Hamieh

Tommy Smith

Place of Birth:
Texarkana, TX, USA
Current Tango Home:
Boise, ID

Tommy discovered tango in early 2012. Since then his love for Argentine tango has grown into an obsession as he seeks ever increasing depths of knowledge. His skills and interests run the full spectrum: teaching, DJing, performing, and organizing.

Tommy also has a passion for DJing, and he believes great music with varying energy is key to great social dancing. To educate and motivate beginning DJs, progressing DJs, and those interested in tango music, he offers semi-regular DJ workshops. Festivals he has DJ'd at include Montana's Tango Uprising, Salt Lake City Tango Festival, Mountain Milonga, CONNECT, and Tango on the Rocks.

Photo by Yulia Kriskovets

Ramu Pyreddy

Place of Birth:
Nandyal, India
Current Tango Home:
Washington, DC

Ramu took his first tango lesson on April 27th, 2000 in Buenos Aires and was hooked instantly. To share that passion with his friends and colleagues, he started Michigan Argentine Tango Club at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Ramu has since danced, DJ’d and taught all over the US and Canada. His teaching and dancing are characterized by a keen musical interpretation, infectious enthusiasm and a deep love of the music. He is one of the most knowledgeable and sought after tango DJ's in the US and has been a featured DJ at most tango festivals in the US. Currently, he lives in Washington DC where he is the host, DJ and resident teacher at Milonga Zandunga, one of DC's popular milongas.

Photo by Sean Whalen

Earl Michael Malixi

Place of Birth:
Manila, The Philippines
Current Tango Home:
Taos, NM

Mike took his first tango lesson in Bozeman Montana in 2003 and was fascinated by the improvisational aspects and intricacies of the dance. He was soon organizing events and DJing in Bozeman and Helena Montana. When he moved to Taos New Mexico in 2009, he founded Taos Tango to share his passion and build a local community. Since then Mike has DJed at national tango festivals in San Diego, Albuquerque, and Tucson. Mike loves the compelling drama of tango music.

Photo by Lenka Sluneckova

Selene Hakobyan

Place of Birth:
Yerevan, Armenia
Current Tango Home:
San Francisco, CA

Selene’s journey into the world of tango began in 2012 when she was a student at UC Berkeley. While still new to tango, she spent some time living in Washington D.C., so she feels privileged to call both west and east coast her home. She was immediately hooked and fell in love with the dance and the music. Her passion for dancing tango has taken her across North America from West coast to East coast and abroad.

In 2016, Selene started DJ-ing in San Francisco as a way of sharing her love and appreciation for the music. As a DJ, she focuses on creating a memorable night and keeping dancers energized and dancing all night long! She enjoys collecting music and exploring creative ways of constructing tandas. Selene DJs regularly at San Francisco Bay Area milongas.

Photo by Adrienne Yvr

Jae Grisham

Place of Birth:
Seoul, South Korea
Current Tango Home:
Raleigh-Durham, NC

Jae is the founder of Tango Utopia in the greater Raleigh/Durham area. She is recognized as one of the premier teachers, dancers and DJ's as well as the organizer of the monthly Milonga Utopia and the weekly practicas.

As a DJ, Jae loves the challenge of keeping dancers on the floor to the very last tanda. Her sensitivity to the energy of a milonga influences her music selection. Her music library is focused on the traditional masters and this is also reflected in her musical choices. She has been invited to DJ at festivals, milongas, marathons and encuentro milongueros in Chicago, Atlanta, Augusta, Newport News, Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston, Knoxville, Santa Fe, & Phoenix. She made her first international debut at the Ohibo Milonga in Milan, Italy.

Photo by Leda Colakyan

Manuk Colakyan

Place of Birth:
Istanbul, Turkey
Current Tango Home:
Philadelphia, PA

Manuk is an aficionado of Argentine Tango. He dances, collects its music and DJ's for more than 15 years.

With his large collection of recordings, Manuk believes that there is plenty of great music to be offered to the dancers and always tries to play a few of the lesser heard recordings when he DJ's.

Manuk DJs mostly in the US, The East Coast and in his native Istanbul during his visits. He has appeared in many festivals, milongas and celebrations. In "non-tango" hours Manuk works as a chemical engineer. He lives in Philadelphia with his family.



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