The Northwest hip-hop scene has suffered a tremendous loss with the passing of Jose “DJ Luvva J” Salvador Gutierrez, Jr., who died from COVID-19 complications on Friday, November 5th, in Lacey, WA. He was only 44-years-old.
DJ Luvva J was a longtime host of "Live From I-5" on Evergreen State College’s KAOS Olympia Community Radio, where he started volunteering at the age of 12. He also covered the local hip-hop scene as a writer for Tacoma's Weekly Volcano newspaper.
After graduating River Ridge High School in Lacey, WA, in 1995, he went on to attend Washington State University in Pullman, WA. His family tells us, he earned "a Bachelor of Arts from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communications with a triple major and distinctions in TV/film production, media management, and journalism as well as a Master of Education from the College of Education." He also continued to pursue his love of radio, DJing on Pullman's KZUU 90.7 FM, as well as DJing events around town.
In 2002, he founded Hip-Hop for the Homeless, an organization that held an annual concert, offering free admission in exchange for donations of clothes, blankets, tents, food, or anything that could be useful to the homeless.
In addition to his work in the Northwest music scene, Gutierrez was also an adjunct professor at the Northwest Indian College, where he worked with the Tulalip and Nisqually Tribes to empower youth. He was also a Professor and Director of Strategic Development and Leadership at the Edutainment Academy and Institute, and an Adjunct Professor of Humanities and Communications at South Puget Sound Community College.
Jose is survived by his grandmother, Bernadine Miller, mother, Arkame B. Curry; father, Jose Salvador Gutierrez Sr.; sister, Stella Haioulani; brother, Jonathon Angel Gutierrez; uncle, Alphonse Curry; niece, Tattiani Elliott; great-nephews, Robbin Hearn, Alphonse Hearn, and RiShawn Crews; and a host of other family members and friends.
A private service will be held at Woodlawn Funeral Home 5930 Mullen Road SE, Lacey, WA 98503. There will be a public memorial and Celebration of Life Saturday November 27, 2021 at 2PM at the historic Washington Hall, 153 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. Memorial contributions to be made in lieu of flowers to GoFundMe.