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Why I Like Ozomatli

Perspectives From Los Amigos de LatinoLA

By Abelardo de la Pe??a, Jr.
Published on LatinoLA: January 9, 2000


Why I Like Ozomatli


On a rainy gloomy New Year's Eve, the last thing on my family's minds was to be out in the streets of LatinoLA. At 7:42 pm I walked out to the middle of our street, looked at the sky, saw stars, ran back and yelled "Let's go!"

Among the tallest buildings downtown, a stage in the middle of Grand Avenue was surrounded by a few hundred die-hards waiting to hear Ozomatli. It was announced that the band had to go to San Pedro where they were set to close the Old Year and bring in the New Year.

They hadn't event set up!

The crowd visibly imploded with disappointment.

But within minutes the drums began pounding, the claves and bells keeping time while a shrill whistle blasted, and the two horns began improvising a medley of the greatest hits of the century. Deliriously, hilariously, within seconds they brought the audience to a fever pitch with a rendition of their familiar songs intermingled with "Ode to Joy," "The Hokie Pokie," and "The Sesame Street Theme Song," all to an intoxicating samba beat.

Various members of the group came front and center on the stage to push some soul, coraz?n y sabor via twisting hips and clapping hands. And we responded.
It was pure emotion and elation.

Suddenly, it was over and before I knew it they were in the middle of the crowd, pushing, pushing the energy out to where the spirits inside us reside, as we turn and beam and connect with each other.

And they're gone and we're back home and know in our hearts that this year, decade, century, millennium is gonna be allright.

That's why I like Ozomatli.
- Abelardo de la Pe?a Jr., el editor

From Our Amigos:

Ozomatli Ya Lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
ozomatli ya lleg??
Now picture the sound of the Brazilian drums and the chanting by Ozomatli as they enter the venue from the back/side door and create a frenzy amongst the crowd. I could use that today.
- J. Flores

Energy, Diversity, and Fun
I like Ozomatli because the group represents that which is quintessentially LA: energy, diversity, and fun. Ozo exemplifies a fusion of cultures and, in performance, turns a diverse crowd into a unifying sea of smiles.
- Cristina Salazar

Able to Break Down Cultural Barriers
I like Ozomatli best because they are one of the few bands around that is able to capture the Latin sound of yesterday mixed with the beats of today. They are truly an awesome band that is able to break down cultural barriers and still have a good time.
- Covarrub

They Bring a Message of Humanity
I like Ozomatli because their music represents the new Chicano sensibility, inclusive not exclusive, and they bring a message of humanity wrapped in a beautifully melodic package
- Alfredo Reyes

Hombres From All Razas
I like Ozomatli because as a Chicana growing up with young parents, I heard everything from Zeppelin to Santana, from Oldies to Disco. When describing Ozomatli to potential new fans, I like to describe them as the new MALO. Hombres from all razas getting together to make some really good music for all to enjoy.
- Corrine Mendez

They Bridge the Gap, They Awaken the Memory
I like Ozomatli because....they bridge the gap, they awaken the memory of San Juan, Brooklyn, and Texas, all parts of my experience. They make my feet & my heart move!
- Mysti Friedman

They Are THE BOMB!
I like Ozomatli because the music that they play is touched up with jazz, salsa, hip-hop and a variety of other types of music and they are THE BOMB!
- Jessica Delsalto
Extraordinary, Marvelous, Impressive
I like Ozomatli because it is one of the best, extraordinary, marvelous, impressive, complete, balanced, kick-ass bands L.A. has offered the universe.
- Cesar Arredondo

Represents Everything About Latinos Living in the U.S.
I like OZOMATLI because...the band represents everything about Latinos living in the U.S. Their name shows our Indigenous roots, while their music transcends everything from cumbia to Caribbean by using the instruments of rock, pop and jazz synonymous with the U.S.
- Arturo Toledo

Their Socio-Political Energy is Intoxicating!
Ozomotli embodies the true meaning of multiculturalism and ethnomusicology. They represent such a diverse segment of the population via music. Their socio-political energy is intoxicating!
- Adi

An Inspiration to Our Community
I love Ozomatli because of their music. They are an inspiration to our community and our people. Having struggled to be where they are today shows us that determination is all in the heart. Their music is touching, you can't stop tapping and dancing to their rhythmic beats. They are the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE OZZO>>>
- Maria Isabel Nungaray

Makes My Spirit Dance and My Heart Sing
They bring forth what America is today. The intertwine of cultures that bind together under the influence of Latin rhythm and urban beats. Watching them on stage shows me how it should be. All united of different races, feeling music that runs through their soul. They touch a place in my heart that makes my spirit dance and my heart sing. May God Bless them in everything that they do in the future to come
- TonatzinADLP

The Multicultural Flavor That Explodes
I like Ozomatli for their blending of the Los Angeles Latin, African & Asian neighborhood influences which define them....the multicultural flavor that explodes, emanates from their being in their music.....they are an energetic, fun & positive band.
- Laura L. Longoria


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