As every Southern California resident knows, especially those who live in L.A., no matter where you go, the streets are always packed with cars; every driver is fixed in his own little world, blasting music a todo volumen.
Whenever you feel awfully bored and want to turn off your radio, pay attention and you’ll be able to hear what the vecinos are listening to. It’s that blend of hip-hop, rock, cumbia, salsa, funk, and everything else in between that makes Los Angeles such a diverse metropolis. Few bands can capture the City of Angels as fully as Ozomatli does- their music is a bit like rolling down your window and listening to that cacophony of sounds.
Unlike other bands that incorporate different styles to their sound, Ozomatli does not discriminate; in fact, they blatantly pretty much allow a little bit of everything to influence their music. They don’t stick to the Latin rhythms exclusively; Ozomatli also embraces African and Middle Eastern musical styles to their already genre-defying sound. Another thing that sets Ozomatli apart from others is their political awareness and their involvement with the community, they create head-banging anthems as well as “música con conciencia”. As a matter of fact, most of them met through their association with the Peace and Justice Center of Los Angeles and their very first performance was during a strike.
Ozomatli’s unique sound and outstanding energy drove them to play several gigs in Southern Cali.
“After party” | video from: darksun360
After appearing in a couple of magazines, and thanks to the always powerful word-of-mouth, Ozomatli broke into mainstream and in 1998 released their first self-titled debut album. The ensuing successful streak was followed by “Embrace the Chaos” (2001), which threatened a sophomore slump for the band because of the 9/11 album release date. During that chaotic period, most bands cancelled tours and presentations, nevertheless Ozomatli decided to carry out as planned. The band’s musical and lyrical growth became more palpable in “Street Signs” (2004), working with Les Yeux Noirs, David Hidalgo from Los Lobos, even the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
Their highly anticipated 4th studio album, “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” (2007), presents a more mature band. While staying true to their origins and their own style, Ozomatli keeps delivering something better with each record.
Ozomatli is: Asdru Sierra (Trumpet/ Lead Vocals/ Piano), M.C. Jabu Smith-Freeman (Rap Vocals), Jiro Yamaguchi (Tabla, Cajon, Assorted Percussion/ Background Vocals), Justin “El Niño” Porée (Percussion/ Rap Vocals), Mario Calire (Drums), Raúl “El Bully” Pacheco (Guitar/ Tres/ Jarana/ Vocals), Ulises Bella (Saxophone/ Background Vocals/ Requinto Jarocho/ Keyboard/ Melodica), Wil-Dog Abers (Bass/ Marimbula/ Background Vocals).
www.ozomatli.com , www.myspace.com/ozomatli