Before Coachella was the trendy event we know today – intricate outfits, flower crowns and celebrities – my mom went to the festival to see a band called Ozomatli. Since 2001, she has listened to their new music and has gone to their concerts. She would even play their music in the car for my sister and me. The first song I remember listening to was “Ya Viene el Sol.” My mom would play it in the car and translate the words from Spanish to English so that my sister and I could sing along. It’s one of my favorite memories and songs to this is day.
Ozomatli is a band from Los Angeles that started in 1995. They are unique because they like to combine jazz, hip-hop and Latinx styles. Their music is in both English and Spanish, so it reaches out to a large community of people. They have a variety of songs: children’s songs done by Ozokids, funny songs like “Chango” and more serious personal songs like “Mi Gente,” which they collaborated with Kumbia Kings on. They are very invested in giving the Latinx community a voice in any way that they can. Ozomatli performs at special events like Dia de los Muertos celebrations, rallies and small concerts all around. They are slowly growing in popularity and traveling around more and more.
The reason I am recommending Ozomatli to you all isn’t just because they are my favorite band, but also because of their activism in social justice, the fact that they show their pride in their roots and that they have given me a way to connect to my heritage. Their music always makes me want to dance, and I always have the urge to sing along. Every party I go to, I try to play their songs just to get people dancing. When Ozomatli comes to the Bay Area or Orange County, you can bet I’m trying to buy tickets. Check them out if you can. I’ve listed some songs here already, but in case you need a few more, I would suggest “Brighter,” “After Party” and “Como Ves.”
Let me know what you think, and in case you fall in love, Ozomatli will be in San Francisco Nov. 19 at The Fillmore!