Chata Gutierrez, a legendary local salsa DJ and radio personality on KPOO and KPFA who was born and raised in the Mission, died Tuesday after a 12-year battle with liver cancer, according to Mission Local. She was 60.
Gutierrez was a fervent advocate for Latin music beginning in the '70s. Her show "Con Clave" started in 1979 and aired every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. on community station KPOO, featuring a heavy mix of local and international salsa, along with some jazz.
The show won an SF Weekly award in 2000 for Best Salsa Radio Show:
Chata Gutierrez is the eminent goddess of San Francisco radio talent. Her sultry between-set whispers coax couch-bound Saturday prisoners toward afternoon hip-shimmying frenzies. If her sensuous voice weren't interrupted by the best salsa on the airwaves, you'd wish she'd just talk for four hours straight. Instead, she serves up some of the most delicious rhythms to be heard outside a club.
Gutierrez got her start at the Berkeley-based KPFA in 1972 and immediately took to radio. Despite the long hours she put into her radio show, she was never paid for it. Instead, she earned money DJing parties around the Bay Area and working as a journeyman ornamental plasterer.
"She is probably one of the gutsiest women you would have ever met in your life," friend and cohost Emiliano Echeverria Echeverria said. "To have the terrible suffering she was going through and every week to get herself up -- as sick as she was -- to go do that show, shows her dedication to her community."
Listen to Gutierrez's archived programs.