Ozomatli Celebrate Their 25th Anniversary With A New Label And New Music
Ozomatli inks new deal with Blue Élan Records — New single “La Rama Del Mezquite” out now
We’re proud to announce the recent signing of the Grammy Award-winning band, Ozomatli, who join our eclectic roster today. The band recently released their first new song of 2021, a rousing cover of “La Rama Del Mezquite” and they’re currently working on the final recording touches for a forthcoming album, their first with us. Produced by David Garza (Fiona Apple), the album features the six core members: Asdru Sierra (lead vocals, trumpet, keyboards), Raul Pacheco (lead vocals, guitar), Willy (Wil-Dog) Abers (bass, vocals), Justin Poree (rap, vocals, percussion), Ulises Bella (saxophone, melodica, clarinet, guitar, requinto, keyboards, vocals) and Jiro Yamaguchi (drums, percussion) as well as some surprise featured artists.
After signing their new recording contract, founding member and band guitarist Raul Pacheco exclaimed, “Happy to be releasing our next record on Blue Élan! They have an incredible team of experienced music lovers that are going to help Ozomatli reach the masses in our next offering. We look forward to reconnecting with our existing fans and making new ones!”
Of the signing, our President Connor Pasich expressed, “We’re honored and beyond excited to welcome Ozomatli to the Blue Élan family. To work with a band that has had such influence in the musical world, along with such an impact on so many social causes, is a massive privilege. We look forward to this partnership and the opportunity to be a part of Ozo’s ongoing legacy.”
Damon Vonn, Ozomatli’s manager and co-founder of Culture Management Group, celebrated the band’s signing, adding, “Timing is everything, in music and in life. When Niels first approached me with the idea of Ozomatli joining Blue Élan, the world was in lock down. Ozomatli however, never stopped making music. We needed a home for that new music; a home with a great team. I’m excited to say, we found it!”
Blue Élan A&R executive Niels Schroeter echoed our team’s excitement, saying, “Personally, bringing Ozomatli to Blue Élan is very exciting. I vividly remember seeing them for the first time in the late 90’s playing in front of a wild crowd of college kids at UC Santa Barbara. Everything about them blew me away, and they’re every bit as vital today as they were then. So much left to say and so much more incredible music to make. I’m honored to be part of this team that’s kicking off their next 25 years.”
Produced by Ozomatli and Sly & Robbie, the track seamlessly fuses cultures and musical styles into an unforgettably catchy rendition of the popular song, available now to stream or purchase digitally. Made famous by the legendary Ramon Ayala, whose countless hits have left his indelible mark on the Mexican Regional music scene and beyond, the Ozomatli tribute features the dulcet tones of talented Jamaican actress and dancehall/reggae vocalist Cherine Anderson, who adapts Jamaican Patois and English into the track, bringing together worlds in musical harmony.
Prolific Jamaican rhythm section and production duo Sly & Robbie then blessed the track, using their vast wealth of experience, equipment, and tradition to blend together two worlds and providing a perfect example of how the distance between people doesn’t always define us.
A core message of the multicultural artists, Ozomatli believes their version serves to remind us that if we take time and listen to each other and share in our differences the world will be a much better place. The band describe recording “La Rama Del Mezquite” as an incredibly gratifying experience, with the process of seeing it all come together providing further proof that people from different cultures and backgrounds can share and celebrate our differences through music.
The video for “La Rama Del Mezquite” premiered on Friday during Linda Perry’s Rock ‘N’ Relief benefit for CORE Response alongside performances from Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, Deadmau5, Sammy Hagar and of course, Linda Perry among many more. CORE Response has been working tirelessly to save lives by providing free COVID-19 testing, and now vaccines, across Los Angeles. For those that missed the world premiere, the band is debuting the video on their YouTube Channel on Wednesday, March 10 at 8PM PST. The band will be hanging out virtually during the premiere and chatting with fans at that time.
Ozomatli’s music is as multifaceted as its members and influences. Meeting as young political activists and musicians, the original band formed in Los Angeles in 1995 to play 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 raga — all while following a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around Los Angeles.
Their music has been recognized and celebrated widely – having won three Grammy Awards, serving as official US Cultural Ambassadors playing to audiences around the world, and here in the City of LA, April 23rd is designated Ozomatli Day in recognition of their immense contribution to the cultural life of the city.
Over the course of Ozomatli’s 25-year career, the group has sold hundreds of thousands of albums, consistently sold out concerts around the world, and performed on high profile TV shows like The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and Austin City Limits. The band also stars in Drew Barrymore’s Never Been Kissed and has been featured on PBS Kids.
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