Perhaps best known for their live act -- a frenetic onslaught of funk, salsa, reggae, merengue, hip-hop and rock -- Ozomatli gives voice to their political outlook and a streetwise vibe born in Southern California. It's a style the band has refined for many years, from their self-titled 1998 debut to 2014's Place in the Sun.
Onstage, their instrumental armory overflows with saxophones, trumpets, drums, guitars, congas and requinto jarocho, all of which lay a foundation for signature songs like "Como Ves." It's not uncommon for band members to wade into the crowd, with audience members scrambling to join an ever-expanding conga line.
Emerging out of L.A. in the mid-'90s, Ozomatli went through a number of lineup changes until settling on Raul "El Bully" Pacheco, Mario Calire, Ulises Bella, Cut Chemist, Wil-Dog Abers, Justin "Ni̱o" Por̩e, Jabu, Jiro Yamaguchi, Asdru Sierra, Chali 2na and Rene "Spinobi" Dominguez. Their first album, Ozomatli, gained a modicum of broad appeal when they appeared on the TV show Vibe! It climbed quickly on the Billboard rankings, hitting No. 7 on the Latin Albums chart and peaking at No. 4 on the Latin Pop Albums chart. The album spawned the hits "Super Bowl Sundae" and "Cut Chemist Suite." They gained even more visibility when they supported Santana during the legendary guitarist's Supernatural tour in 1999. Their next album, Embrace the Chaos, captured a Grammy for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album.
The early 2000s saw the release of several more albums, including the six-song EP Cumbia de Los Muertos, Street Signs (which nabbed a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album). In 2008, they produced the song "Can't Stop the Blue" for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their most recent album is 2014's Place in the Sun.
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