Music I Art I Culture
Created and Curated by Stephen Smith-Contreras in LA.
Stephen Smith-Contreras is a Los Angeles based musician, arts educator, and curator. He has performed, produced, and curated social and cultural events for over a decade. Currently Stephen works with YOLA(Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), Gustavo Dudamel’s music education program in South Los Angeles, where he follows his vision to achieve equity and social justice through arts education and youth development. Through YOLA, Stephen has worked on large scale events and performances such as Super Bowl 50 with Coldplay, and performances at the Hollywood Bowl with Stevie Wonder and Juanes.
Stephen produces and dj’s under YUCASOUL. He blends percussive elements from the African diaspora with electronic music, and hip-hop. Download his latest EP, ‘Focal Point‘, and tune into Yucasoul Radio. As a percussionist, Stephen has performed internationally, and has studied with master drummers in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Peru and the United States. His style stems from Afro-Cuban, Afro-Brazilian, and West African percussion traditions, and their fusion with Jazz, Funk, and Hip Hop. Stephen continues to perform with Debajo del Agua, and 8 piece band that blends Hip Hop with traditional rhythms and sounds from Latin America.
For over 15 years, Stephen has worked with, promoted and curated events with community organizations, non-profits, businesses, and public institutions. He has worked with social justice and music education leaders, including the City of Los Angeles, City and County of Denver, LA Phil, Arts for LA, UCLA, University of Colorado, Advancement Project, Santa Monica College, and California State University Los Angeles.