My name is Diego Gonzalez; I got my start in music long before I became a Music Curator at Pandora, it was probably the violin lessons beginning at the age of three. What was intended originally as a hobby became my life. I grew up with classical music, but my first musical obsession was The Beatles, whom I discovered on old LPs left over from my mom’s youth. Metal was my next obsession and since then it’s been a long road of radio shows, record stores, practices, shows, tours and now Pandora. I’ve played bass guitar for over 25 years in too many projects to count. Noteworthy gigs have included Citay, Vetiver and The Dry Spells. These days, I play bass in an improv rock band called 3 Leafs. I also compose music for solo recordings featuring the oud, an Arabic lute. I think of myself as chasing a thread through the landscape of the imagination.
I love various flavors of world music like British folk rock, Norwegian black metal, traditional Swedish fiddling, Arab classical music and medieval Spanish music. Musical traditions have shared ideas throughout history and today’s increasingly connected world has escalated this sharing immensely. All this sharing builds amazing opportunities in music creation; new techniques applied to old styles, new hybrids arising and new forms of music appearing in unlikely places. I love seeing the collision of old traditions with new instruments – like traditional Middle Eastern dabke music now employing synthesizers, seeing hybrids such as Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat becoming worldwide phenomena, and brand new sounds like Tuareg guitar bands such as Tinariwen enhancing the earth’s airwaves.
Here at Pandora, I focus on enriching our offerings across many genres from African and Indian to metal and Classical. With so much great music happening all over the world, that’s a lot of ground to cover. I relish the challenge of hunting down the best of the best and giving it a home on the right station for the right listener.