Ozomatli – Tickets – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC – April 3rd, 2013

Ozomatli

Ozomatli

Federico Aubele

Wed 4/3/13

7:00 pm

Ozomatli - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
Ozomatli
In their fourteen 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 raga-- 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 2009. More than ever before, the band is both of the world and of L.A.

Originally formed to play at an area labor protest over a decade ago, Ozomatli spent some of their early days participating in everything from earthquake prep "hip hop
ghetto plays" at inner-city L.A. elementary schools to community activist events, protests, and city fundraisers. Ever since, they have been synonymous with their city:
their music has been taken up by The Los Angeles Dodgers and The Los Angeles
Clippers, they recorded the street-view travelogue “City of Angels” in 2007 as a new urban anthem, and most recently, they were featured as part of the prominent L.A.
figures imaging campaign “We Are 4 L.A.” on NBC.

"This band could not have happened anywhere else but L.A.,” saxophonist and clarinetist Ulises Bella has said. “Man, the tension of it, the multiculturalism of it. L.A. is like, we're bonded by bridges."

Ozo is also a product of the city’s grassroots political scene. Proudly born as a multi- racial crew in post-uprising 90s Los Angeles, the band has built a formidable reputation over four full-length studio albums and a relentless touring schedule for taking party rocking so seriously that it becomes new school musical activism.

"Just being who we are and just doing what we're doing with music at this time is very political," says bassist Wil-Dog Abers. "The youth see us up there and recognize
themselves. So in a playful, party-type of way, I think it's real easy for this band to get dangerous. We are starting to realize just how big of a voice we actually have as a band
and how important it is for us to use it."

In 2007, the reach and power of that voice went to new global heights. 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 (what other band could record a song once described as “Arabic jarocho dancehall”?), but last year, they entered the global arena in a different way.

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.

For those who wondered how a band known for its vigilant anti-war stance could become a partner with the very Bush administration they have so vocally critiqued in the past, the band was clear about their position: it was all about responding to a global “cry for change” by using music to promote messages of peace and understanding.

As Bella told The Los Angeles Times during the band’s visit to an orphanage in Cairo, “Our world standing has deteriorated. I’m totally willing and wanting to give a different image of America than America has given over the last five years.”

In places like Tunisia, India, Jordan, and Nepal, Ozo didn’t just play rousing free public concerts, but offered musical workshops and master classes and visited arts centers,
summer camps, youth rehabilitation centers, and even a Palestinian refugee camp. They listened to performances by local musicians and often joined in for impromptu jam
sessions with student bands and community musicians. Most shows ended up with kids dancing on stage and their new collaborators sitting in for a tabla solo or a run on the
slide guitar.

In the case of Nepal, the band’s trip was part of a celebration of the country’s newly ratified peace accord and they arrived with a direct message: “different instruments but one rhythm, together we can make a prosperous Nepal.” Their concert, which drew over 14,000 people, was a historic one—Ozo were the first Western band to do a
concert in Nepal and the event was the country’s first peaceful mass gathering that was not a protest or religious ceremony.

For the U.S Embassy in Nepal, Ozomatli were a model of how diversity promotes change. According to an official embassy release, “Ozomatli is living proof that diverse
backgrounds make a stronger and more prosperous whole. Ozomatli’s nine members are committed to addressing social issues of local, national and international importance
and they use the power of their own diversity to achieve this.”

Suddenly the lessons of L.A. had found their way into the world at large.

“I’ve always felt that music is the key to every culture, the beginning of an understanding,” says vocalist and trumpet player Asdru Sierra. “It’s a language far more universal than politics.”
Federico Aubele - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Federico Aubele
Federico Aubele returns to a smoky realm of acoustic guitar licks, heavy rhythms and sinister dub atmospherics for his fourth studio album, Berlin 13. The record pulls from the personal transformation Aubele experienced in his time living in Berlin and the vibe of a city strongly associated with electronic music.

"Moving to Berlin was a great experience for me, though not an easy one. It forced me to face a lot of my demons. When everything that you take for granted disappears and you find yourself in a whole new scenario, you need to redefine all
things in your life,” Aubele says. “Sort out what you want to keep and what you need to leave behind. It can be painful, but it is a great experience once you assimilate it. It reminds me of that Bukowsky phrase that goes: what matters most is how well you walk through fire"

The inclusion of the number 13 in the title refers to the Tarot Cards: the 13th card is "Death". While many may draw a negative connotation with this card, it can actually signify a deep renewal and transformation in a person’s life.

"I learned how to read the Tarot Cards when I was still living in Buenos Aires. It's a fascinating system for self-exploration. The 13 can mean a deep crisis that eliminates everything that prevents you from moving forward. That is exactly what I experienced in Berlin".

To set the tone for this album, Aubele revisited his deepest musical influences, focusing on those he believed essential in his formation as an artist. From the backing beats to the musique-concrete samples, and the nylon string guitar layered with his baritone voice, the result is a blending of the elements in his unique style.

"I had a formal musical education. One of the things I rescue from those years, is being exposed to a lot of 20th century composers and styles. I was fascinated with Schoenberg's atonalism, Stockhausen's explorations in electroacoustic music and musique concrete, Ligeti's tone clusters, etc. The core of my music is a combination of electronic music, dub, classical guitar and the experiments those composers
conducted in the 50's and 60's."

Berlin 13 features collaborations with Natalia Clavier, Ka, Mauro Refosco and Jesse Harris.
Venue Information:
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
http://930.com