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Successful Unity of Cultures

KCRW's World Festival reminded us that music is a universal language

By Janet Herrera
Published on LatinoLA: September 24, 2008


Successful Unity of Cultures


The Hollywood Bowl was bursting with excitement on Sunday at KCRW's World Festival which featured Nortec Collective, Lila Downs, Michael Franti & Spearhead, and Ozomatli which commemorated the rich Hispanic culture that coalesce with the urban landscape of Los Angeles.

The eclectic lineup of dynamic artists mirrored the diversity and synthesis of their audience.

Kicking off the celebration was Nortec Collective and their compilation of Norte??a and Electronica soundscapes defying any singular category, but yet inclusive of them. Their animated expression of traditional music segued into contemporary beats seamlessly, although abstract as that may seem.

The evening escalated with the incomparable Lila Downs. Her dazzling presence lit the stage and captivated the audience with her ineffable soul, engaging lyrics, and hauntingly beautiful voice. She simultaneously epitomized and paid homage to the passion and pain of her Mexican roots seemingly channeling vintage souls and the supernatural with her pivotal performance.

She is a powerful, multi-dimensional, and spirited artist. Indelible and extraordinary. Definitely, a force to be reckoned with!

Michael Franti & Spearhead kept the crowd off their seats with his rousing repertoire of positive reggae vibrations crystallizing the premise of the event.

Exploding onto the stage and galvanizing the entire Hollywood Bowl was the fiesta that is Ozomatli. Marching through the Bowl was a parade of percussion and a thunder of applause and laughter ensued permeating the summer night. Soon thereafter, a chorus of voices were singing along with Chali 2na from Jurrasic 5, who has thankfully reunited with the band.

The concert reached a fever pitch when the Crenshaw High School cheerleaders appeared in acrobatic splendor. This was a spectacular hometown show at its best that sent fans on a tailspin.
They couldn't have ended the show on a better note. A collaborative effort by all of the artists culminated in the successful unity of cultures embracing one another, reminding us that music is a universal language.

If only for one night, we were not human's thinking or human's doing, but simply just human being.

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