Two-time Grammy Award winning Los Angeles-based band, OZOMATLI, continues to release new music in 2022 – “Sunsets,” from the forthcoming album Marching On, is now available on all digital services.
Marching On is their first studio album since the critically acclaimed, 2017 reggae twisted Non-Stop: Mexico to Jamaica in 2017 and marks their debut with new label, Blue Élan Records. The band is also hitting the road to preview this new music live. Beginning on May 15th they will take part in the popular Southern California Beach Life Festival before hitting several high-profile summer series concerts across the country. Rounding out their summer, the band will jump on The Old School Cruise in late September.
As lead vocalist/guitarist Raul Pacheco describes of the reggae tinged, island swaying new single, “’Sunsets’ is about the city of LA, traveling from the east side to the beach and all of those special moments in between. We wish they could last forever but even beautiful sunsets have to end sometime. The inspiration came from the ending of beautiful things, sometimes it’s relationships, sometimes it’s important parts of your life. When you’re looking at a sunset, it’s just for a moment – you really have just a few minutes to capture this image because then it’s gone. For me, there’s something about that - about life, about how we live, there are beautiful things everywhere but they might not be permanent and you might as well enjoy it while you can.”
Last year, the band debuted two new singles from the album – the soulful grooves of “Mi Destino,” featuring guests B-Real (Cypress Hill/Prophets of Rage) and vocalist, Gaby Moreno, was featured on KCRW while the freestyle dance party tune, “Fellas” which features Lisa Lisa of Cult Jam fame and the ladies of J.J. Fad, became a sought out duet on tik tok. Following in March, influential Los Angeles based radio station, KCRW, premiered the maraca shaking single, “Sacude” on “Morning Becomes Eclectic”.
Produced by David Garza (Fiona Apple), Marching On features the six Ozo 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 the previously mentioned special guests.
While the basic tracks were all completed at Sonic Ranch, due to the pandemic, other parts of the record were completed remotely. Despite the often-terrifying uncertainty of the world in 2020, ultimately Ozo were able to complete Marching On, which turned out to be an almost prescient song and album title. As the lyrics to the track clarify: “Yeah we keep marching till the justice reigns / And the world sings the freedom’s song / Yeah we keep marching while the battle rages / As the new generations born / Till we right the wrongs.”
The 11 songs are a unified blend of the members’ influences and ideas. Or, as founding members Jiro Yamaguchi and Uli explain: "You drive down Sunset Boulevard and turn off your stereo and roll down your windows and all the music that comes out of each and every different car, whether it's salsa, cumbia, merengue, Hip Hop, funk or whatever, it's that crazy blend that's going on between that cacophony of sound is Ozomatli, y'know?"
Ozomatli on tour
5/15/22 - Redondo Beach, CA - BeachLife Festival
5/16/22 - Los Angeles, CA - The Venice West (BeachLife afterparty)
5/22/22 - Los Angeles, CA - Getty 25 Celebrates Lincoln Heights/East L.A.
5/29/22 - Taos, New Mexico - Kit Carson Park
5/30/22 - Pelham, TN - Dia de Los Muertos in the Caverns (A PBS Television Event - with Los Lobos)
6/17/22 - Menlo Park, CA - The Guild Theatre
6/18/22 - Mammoth Lakes, CA - The Village at Mammoth
6/19/22 - Ukiah, CA - Todd Grove Park (Sundays in the Park)
6/23/22 - Fullerton, CA - Craig Regional Park (OC Parks Summer Concert Series)
7/16/22 - Ventura , CA - Ventura Pier (Surf Rodeo)
7/28/22 - Ridgway, CO - Hartwell Park
7/29/22 - Fort Collins, CO - Washington's
7/31/22 - Carbondale, CO - Sopris Park (Carbondale Mountain Fair)
9/02/22 - Silverthorne, CO - Rainbow Park
9/15/22 - Long Beach, CA - The Old School Cruise
9/16/22 - Long Beach, CA - The Old School Cruise
9/17/22 - Long Beach, CA - The Old School Cruise
9/18/22 - Long Beach, CA - The Old School Cruise