Let the party begin | TheUnion.com

Let the party begin

It’s a party, all right, a big one. Just imagine continuous music from around the world for four days, workshops, films, camping, the smells and tastes of international food and thousands of people enjoying it all. Well, the California WorldFest has arrived. Starting today.

Headlining is a Grammy-winning band, Ozomatli, a Latin-fusion band that delivers Spanish-English mash-ups of hip hop, salsa, cumbia, dub and Middle Eastern funk. See if you can sit this one out. The beats are so infectious the body wants to move.

They’ve been together for 12 years, so they’ve really got their groove. “Don’t Mess with the Dragon” is the group’s latest CD. Go online at http://www.myspace.com/ozomatli to taste the flavor of it. See what I mean? You want to dance, yes?

And, according to bassist Wil-Dog Abers: “There is more of a sense of personal responsibility on this (CD). All of us are on this road of being more responsible in our own lives, becoming happier human beings, healthier in our lives outside of the band. In the process of making the record, people were really deep in the process of getting their lives together.” So healthier is happier, which translates into better music – that’s the idea.

The festival’s main man, Dan DeWayne, says “I first heard about Ozomatli about 6 years ago. A friend told me he had just seen one of the world’s best dance bands, telling me I have to book them for WorldFest. I immediately picked up some of their music and was thrilled with their approach, especially because my friend said they were ‘way better in person.’

“I had a chance to catch their live show a year later and knew instantly they were a great choice for closing one of our festival evenings. Their musical integrity is impeccable, they reach into many diverse musical genres including funk, rock, mariachi, reggae, hip hop, and more while mixing it all together into something truly, uniquely Ozo.”

You may have already heard the band’s sound, what with its countless film, TV, commercial and game placements. How about having seen them on national tours with the likes of Santana, the Dave Matthews Band, Los Lonely Boys and Lenny Kravitz. These fellows get around.

But the main thing is that for the crowd at WorldFest, says DeWayen, “They are guaranteed to have the music meadow hopping.”

Hear Ozomatli Saturday evening. Hear and see clips of all the performers at http://www.worldfest.net/performers.asp. Check out http://www.worldfest.net/schedule.asp for daily music schedule.

What you need to know

California WorldFest, featuring eight stages, takes place July 17-20 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley.

Over 25 performers, including locals (Mariee Sioux for one) and lots and lots of imports. All sorts of genres, too. In fact, they cover much of the waterfront.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival and a Native People’s Village are both new this year. As always there’s a full Children’s Program.

See the workshop schedule; it includes dance, yoga, tai chi, instrument and vocal and, of course, jam sessions.

Tickets and performance schedules are available at http://www.worldfest.net or by calling (530) 891-4098.

Also, don’t miss a thing this weekend at the WorldFest by checking in with freelance writer Jesse Locks. She’ll be posting daily blogs with photos and video including exclusive behind the scenes of the goings-on at the WorldFest.

Go to http://www.the


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