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We Got The Beat


Name: Adrian Cavlan
Handle: DJ Adrian
Main Gig: Thursdays at the Blue Lagoon ("'80s Night")
Biggest Gig Ever: For 16,000 people at a volleyball tournament at Sacramento's Arco Arena
Alter Ego: "All I do is DJ, work out, read books and play my bass along with James Brown or my guitar along with AC/DC records. Really."
Wedding Tuxedo Style: "Basic black with super-suave vests and tres fancy studs and cufflinks."
Crucial Links: www.djadrian.net

There's no denying that a good DJ is a people person. Which just might explain why Adrian Cavlan routinely tops lists of Santa Cruz's favorite DJs and lately has more work than he can handle.

Gregarious, enthusiastic and never without a ready smile, Cavlan's only fault might be a slight obsessive tendency. He's a fastidious planner and a relentless businessman quick with a follow-up phone call. When it's showtime, he's just as focused, and his collected store of audience response data for the music he plays--which he can recite off the top of his head--is staggering.

"In a way, I try to approach the running of my art-focused DJ business as one would a hospitality-focused five-star restaurant, if that makes any sense, and people really seem to appreciate and respond to that," he says.

Cavlan applies the same approach to radio work--he's been a programmer on KUSP 88.9FM since 1997, currently spinning for Global Village, Wednesdays 1­4pm. That's meant schooling himself in genres and subgenres of world music and developing a new approach to working an audience.

"One woman called and told me that she had taped one of my annual Neapolitan music programs and played it for an old Italian lady in her hospital bed," he adds. "The lady hadn't spoken or even made any expressions for months, but when she heard the music she smiled and began to move her head delicately to the rhythm. I mean, that made my year."

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From the June 21-28, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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