San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

CD Incorporates 9/11 Into Album

LOS Angeles-based band Ozomatli wasalready known to superbly mix Latin and hip hopwhen its last album was released on theinfamous date of Sept. 11, 2001. But thegroup used the cataclysm as a jump-off tostudy North African and Arab compositions.After all, “music is a language far more universalthan politics,” said the band’s trumpetplayer and co-vocalist Asdrubal Sierra.Those lessons were incorporated wisely,and wonderfully, in Ozomatli’s new album,Street Signs, released June 22 in Costa Ricaon Concord Records.The album features the multi-culturallineup of Sierra, percussionist JiroYamaguchi, bassist Wil-Dog Abers, percussionistand MC Justin Poree, co-vocalist andguitarist Raul Pacheco, clarinet and tenor saxophonistUlises Bella, drummer Mario Calire,turntablist Rene Spinobi, Dominguez and MCJabu.Ozomalti also welcomed recording guestssuch as jazz legend Eddie Palmieri,Moroccan sinter master Hassan Hakmoun,French-Jewish gypsy violinists Les YeuxNoir, the Prague Symphony, Los Lobossinger/guitarist David Hidalgo, and ex-Wallflowers drummer Mario Calire.The resultant Street Signs travels theworld astutely, offering the band’s trademarkhip-hop and Latin flavor to the current politicalrhymes and of the band’s original MCChait 2na (now with the rap group Jurassic 5)to Palmieri’s piano accent salsa horns in“Nadie Te Tira,” to the block party socialscene that is “Saturday Night,” to The BeatleBox Remix of “Ya Viene El Sol,” which canbest be described as a cut-up, pasted-togetherdance mix of latin beats.Woven throughout is a new and betterversion of globalization, one that peacefullyintegrates the cultures of Latin America, theMiddle East, North America, Asia, France,Europe, Africa and beyond into the mostexciting and progressive world yet.

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