March 9, 2007

Ozomatli Enters the Dragon

By Sandra Torres

Their music is as diverse as the members of the band, their lyrics inspire and educate, and their rhythm just makes you get up and dance. They’re Ozomatli the ten piece multi-ethnic, multi-cultural band that has been vocalizing their message of peace and understanding to fans world wide.

Los Angeles based Ozomatli combines an array of different musical styles including Latin, hip-hop, salsa, and funk, and blends them together making their unique trademark sound. The Grammy winning artists are getting ready to release their seventh album “Enter the Dragon” on April 3rd. This album has been in the works since 2005, and this time around the band had a unique experience developing and writing their songs.

All ten band members set up camp at LA’s Latino Art Gallery Tropico de Nopal. Each musician was given a space in the gallery to decorate and basically live there for two weeks. Here they created, developed and wrote songs. They also preformed and opened it up to the public. “It was a great to expose ourselves and demonstrate our diversity to show individuality and how we make music, to show our individual side and what makes us unique,” says Raul, lead vocals and guitar. The band credited this experience with giving birth to the songs on “Enter the Dragon”.

As with every Ozomatli album there are a range of songs. From music that gets you on the dance floor to music with a message. One song featured on “Dragon” is a Spanish-language ballad entitled “Violeta” about the thoughts of a soldier in Iraq. It was song that was written for the previous album, but because the song was still strong and relevant now, they decided to put it on this album. Another controversial issue was addressed in the song “Temperatura” dealing with the immigrant labor protests and marches held last March all over the U.S...Ozomatli was working in their LA studio at the time. “We went down to participate, we were blown away by the participation to make our presence known, it was very inspirational, that song came out of that and what it represents,” recalls Raul.

Ozomatli has been together for twelve years, and with “Dragon” a more mature Ozomatli emerges. “We’re older, better song writers and we have a lot of energy and a lot to say,” Raul adds. And they say it and sing it with a positive message while still bringing attention to the issues that are important and need a voice. “We want to know what we’re fighting for and work towards positive change.” says Raul.

With seven albums under their belt, Ozomatli hits the road to promote “Dragon”. Once you have experienced Ozomatli live you’ll sure to become a lifelong fan. “We lasted this long because we’re a kick ass live band, we have energy we are unique and really connect with the audience... so be ready to dance to celebrate life and all the differences in the world”.

Ozomatli lands in San Diego for two amazing can’t miss shows this Friday and Saturday night at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach.

Belly Up
143 S. Cedros Ave
Solana Beach, CA 92075
3/9 Friday 8pm Show with opening band Cava
3/10 Saturday 8pm Show with opening band Cava

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