There’s no better time than Martin Luther King Day to report that Ozomatli is embarking on a tour of surprisingly intimate venues that just happens to include our fair city.
The folks over at Soda Jerk Presents have just booked the band to play the Black Sheep on March 9, with a local opener still to be determined. (Line starts over there.)
Arguably the most ethnically and musically diverse group to emerge from the jam band circuit, Ozomatli headlined Denver’s Ogden Theater — which is about three times the size of the Black Sheep — when the band came through Colorado this past November.
And just last week, they played the Los Angeles Convention Center as part of a Neil Young tribute to raise funds for the Grammys' MusiCares initative.
As a historical aside, I once saw Ozomatli and Rage Against the Machine play in the shadows of that same venue, back when I was covering the protests outside the 2000 Democratic Convention. That event, you may recall, was part of a “shadow convention” organized by Arianna Huffington, the former millionaire Republican Congressional candidate who’s since gone on to become a blog magnate
The take-away message, repeated ad infinitum that day, was that it totally didn’t matter who won, since there was absolutely no difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush.
I guess we all make mistakes.
In any case, Ozomatli has gone on to perform countless benefits for tons of worthy organizations, so all is forgiven.
Not so with Rage, though, who've devoted all their political capital to beating out X Factor’s Joe McElderry in a highly-publicized race for the number one UK Christmas single. (Not that it actually mattered who won, since we all know that there’s absolutely no difference between Rage Against the Machine and the X Factor’s Joe McElderry.)
As for Ozomatli’s fusion of funk, reggae, hip hop, New Orleans R&B, and whatever else they choose to play, that's actually held up nicely and is sure to be worth the $20 it'll cost you to see them up close and personal at the Black Sheep.