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Ozomatli

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Biography

In their eighteen years together as a band, celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli have gone from being hometown heroes to being named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors.

Ozomatli has always juggled two key identities. They are the voice of their city and they are citizens of the world.

Their music — a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian ragga— has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around L.A.

This has never been truer for Ozo than it is in 2013. More than ever before, the band is both of the world and of L.A.

Originally formed to play at a Los Angeles labor protest almost two decades ago, Ozomatli spent some of their early days participating in everything from earthquake prep “hip hop ghetto plays” at inner-city elementary schools to community activist events, protests, and city fundraisers. Ever since, theyhave been synonymous with their city: their music has been taken up by both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Clippers, they recorded the street-viewtravelogue “City of Angels” as a new urban anthem, and they were featured as part of the prominent L.A. figures imaging campaign “We Are 4 L.A.” on NBC, and have the distinction of headlining the Hollywood Bowl three times in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

In recognition of their efforts towards Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles has officially declared April 23rd in perpetuity as “Ozomatli Day”.

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