Listen as you cruise the streets of L.A. and you’ll hear the rhythms of Ozomatli, a band named for the monkey in the ritual Aztec calendar. It’s the music of the multi-ethnic City of Angels with its rising Latino population and its polyphonic mix of rock, hip-hop, funk, cumbia and Chicano low-rider R&B. Ozomatli likes to create a street party atmosphere, but they’ve always been a band with a social conscience, too, whether its defending immigrants rights or expressing tolerance and acceptance in their new song, “Gay Vatos in Love.” Lately, they’ve become global ambassadors, roaming the world on State Department tours. As the band tells SOUND TRACKS reporter Mirissa Neff, they started out as representatives of the new L.A. but feel like they’ve become “citizens of the world.”
Live from the Fillmore, San Francisco’s legendary concert hall, Ozomatli breaks into a rambunctious version of “La Gallina” (the chicken). With lead vocals by Raul Pachecho and some blistering horns – Asdru Sierra on trumpet and Ulises Bella on saxophone – it’s irresistible dance music.
What’s it all mean? Well, there’s a rooster and a heist and a chase. And a current of slapstick comedy. It’s feel good music, that’s for sure, with a free-spirited chorus, loosely translated as, “With Ozomatli, you can do anything/Make yourself fly.”
Segment presented by Sound Tracks: http://www.pbs.org/opb/soundtracks/
Ozomatli’s official website: http://www.ozomatli.com/