A sonic trip through dive bars, basements, late nights, and hangin' hard
Maria [muh-RY-uh] Yates was 10 years old the first time she stepped behind a radio mic and belted her heart out to listeners unknown; a lifelong passion was ignited that day. Maria's family made several moves during her early years and local radio was always there to provide the soundtrack. What began as a kid taping her favorite songs off the air and recording imaginary interviews with her favorite bands grew into an unshakeable fascination. While earning a degree in Music Engineering Technology, Maria finally made her DJ debut on WCRD 90.3 at her alma mater, Ball State University. Maria moved to California in 2010 and became a DJ at KALX Berkeley 90.7 FM in 2015, additionally serving in various other capacities at the station including News Director and Program Review Committee Chair. And finally, in 2022, Maria joined not only the KALW DJ crew, but helped to launch a new addition to the KALW lineup – the Uncuffed Broadcast DJ Program inside Solano State Prison - and continues to serve as Lead Teacher of the program.
Maria's love of music goes back perhaps even further than her love of radio. From violin to guitar, jazz trumpet to punk bass, Maria has strolled down the sonic lane of many a style, always returning to her favorite instrument: her voice. As a touring musician Maria has had the pleasure of visiting every state but three. Alongside the dedicated DIY scene of the East Bay, Maria has curated shows and spaces that lift up the outsider and mix party-goers with discerning audiophiles. When not playing music on-air or writing her own, Maria dedicates her time to solidarity work around issues of homelessness, harm reduction, abolition, and disability justice.