Ozomatli will make its debut appearance Feb. 1 at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.
In 15 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.
Their music — an urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East L.A. R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga — has long followed
a key mantra: It will take you around the world by taking you around L.A.
The band had long been a favorite of international audiences, playing everywhere from Japan to North Africa and Australia, and their music had always been internationalist in its scope, seamlessly blending and transforming traditions from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
They were invited by the U.S. State Department to serve as official cultural ambassadors on a series of government-sponsored international tours to Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, tours that linked Ozomatli to a tradition of cultural diplomacy that also includes the esteemed likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong.
Ozomatli has spent 17 years working diligently to spread its message of peace, communication and understanding through music with a long-standing tradition of performing for
children all over the world, from the schools of North St. Louis to the orphanages of Southeast Asia.
The band will perform Feb. 1 at The Center for the Arts and tickets will be $25 for members and $28 for non-members.