A Musical Gift of Support

Ozomatli to play at Candelas Unity Event to raise funds for forgotten victims of 9/11

Published on LatinoLA: September 26, 2002

A Musical Gift of Support

Ozomatli has toured with Santana, upstaged Al Gore at the Democratic National Convention and on Saturday, September 28, they will play a venue that is even more especial:

Boyle Heights.

Yes, Ozomatli will be the headliner for the Candelas Unity Event, a street fair/concert on Cesar Chavez Avenue between Mott and Evergreen that will raise money for forgotten Latino victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The event runs from noon to 7 p.m.

Candelas Guitars ? a fixture in the community since the 1940s ? has created the event that will culminate in the raffle of a guitar (the ?Unity Guitar?) especially made to raise money for the victims. Manuel and Tomas Delgado, the third generation of a family of guitar makers, were so affected by the events of that day that they decided to use their gift of guitar making as a gift of support for fellow Latino families.

They also have the gift of tremendously talented and well-known customers like Ozomatli. In a friendship forged by quality, music and community, the Delgado brothers asked members of Ozomatli if they would help in a Unity event.

To followers of Ozomatli, it is no surprise that the band members agreed. While much has been made about whether government aid to victims of the 9/11 attacks will be disbursed fairly, most major media have not seemed to recognize that there are families devastated by the attacks that do not even qualify for the assistance. Of course, these Latinos were often overlooked even before the attacks: Food service workers, maintenance workers, construction workers, etc. The non-profit Tepeyac Association of New York at http://www.Tepeyac.org helped the Delgado brothers identify these families in need.

Some of these families will be present on Saturday and will have the opportunity to tell their stories as part of the Candelas Unity Event. Three thousand miles from the shadows of death, they will help reaffirm life and community.

The event, expected to draw around 3,000-5,000, will also feature six other predominantly Spanish-language groups that are varied and diverse: The Mariachi Divas, Sol de Alegria, Domingo Siete, Son del Sur, Latin Sensation and LA Blues Central. Los Angeles Councilmember Nick Pacheco is co-hosting the event and Pepe Baretto, Cecilia Bogr?n and Salvador Morales will emcee.

Candelas Guitars, whose clients and friends also include members of Los Lobos, created an incredible guitar: Painted with the image of the American flag, the stars are made of mother-of-pearl and it has been signed by some of the world?s most famous musicians. Also, it is made with wood from around the world: Canadian spruce on the face, American maple on the back, Honduran mahogany for the neck and African ebony for the fingerboard. At face value, it might sell for $8,000.

With the help of friends at the House of Blues, the guitar has been signed by nearly 30 stars/groups that have a cumulative total of 47 Grammy awards and include Rock ?n? Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Hall of Fame members. The signatures are diverse with artists ranging from the Dixie Chicks to Luis Miguel, from Little Richard to David Lee Roth. The signatures have made the guitar peerless and priceless.

And anyone attending the event has a chance to win it by purchasing a $50 raffle ticket. The event itself is free. Proceeds will benefit the families. For more information about the event, go to http://www.Candelas.com/starsstripes.html.

Or, join the community on Cesar Chavez Avenue on Saturday, September 28, 2002.

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