Ozomatli promises ‘incredible’ ahead of new album, free OC gig and month-long LA residency – Whittier Daily News

After a main stage performance at the BeachLife Festival, LA stalwarts Ozomatli are set to drop a new album and kick off a residency to support new music.

“There are a lot of exciting songs on this record. It’s really loud and it gives you that level of entertainment that we provide live,” said lead vocalist Asdru Sierra.

Sierra and bassist Willy “Wil-Dog” Abers sat in a music studio in Toluca Lake which sits next to Verse, a restaurant and live music venue where Ozomatli will hold a residency every Wednesday night in July.

“We are going to play an incredible 45-minute show. We’re going to do the best songs we have and kill them for 45 minutes,” Sierra said of the upcoming gigs, which will begin just before the new album, “Marching On,” is released on July 15.

The residency is part of a busy tour in support of the new album. The Grammy-winning band is also coming to Fullerton on June 23 for a free show as part of OC Parks’ summer concert series.

“It’s great to be back just to play again,” Abers said.

Formed in Los Angeles in 1995, Ozomatli reflects the rich sounds of the city with a mix of music and genres that blends hip-hop, jazz, funk, salsa, reggae, rock, R&B and other styles.

The band, made up of Sierra (vocals, trumpet, keyboards), Raul Pacheco (vocals, guitar), Abers (bass, vocals), Justin Poree (rap, vocals, percussion), Ulises Bella (saxophone, melodica, clarinet, guitar, sharkto, keyboards, vocals) and Jiro Yamaguchi (drums, percussion), were to mark their 25th anniversary with the recording of the new album in 2020.

However, they started recording it about two weeks before the pandemic hit. So they had to take a break halfway through the process, but the 11-song album, which is their first new record in five years, was finally completed remotely.

“We ended up finishing the record, but we sat on it for a while because we didn’t want to take it out and not be able to spin behind it. So we waited for things to open up,” Abers said.

The new music is filled with songs that touch on the musical genres that define the city, and they also got a little help from well-known guest musicians.

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