The end of the year is nearing and as a thank you to our dedicated fans, we’re offering a 20% discount on ALL items in our online store. As a special bonus, you’ll also receive a free vintage Ozomatli sticker with every order! Click here to check out the great deals.
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season,
Check us out as we jam with Dave Stewart and other musicians in “The Ringmaster”!
“The Ringmaster” is a one-hour, multi segmented, musical variety special, developed as a completely new format for the net, created by BiteSizeTV and Dave Stewart’s Weapons of Mass Entertainment. It brings together an eclectic group of the famous and infamous in the circus-like atmosphere of BiteSizeTV’s live Hollywood Studio, with the iconic Dave Stewart as the Ringmaster.
Videos from “The Ringmaster”
Check out the entire segment here.
Ozomatli featured in the Dave Stewart debut of celebrity-studded music variety show “THE RINGMASTER”
BITESIZETV AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER DAVE STEWART DEBUTS CELEBRITY-STUDDED MUSIC VARIETY SHOW “THE RINGMASTER”
in The Ringmaster
The first of its kind musical variety special features unique live musical performances from established artists, interviews with famous celebs and unexpected antics from an entire cast of characters, with Dave Stewart as the Ringmaster
Los Angeles, CA – November 6, 2013 — BiteSizeTV continues to break new ground, teaming up with legendary Grammy Award and Golden Globe winner Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart to create a first of its kind music variety show on the net. The announcement was made by Stewart and BiteSizeTV’s founder and CEO Ron Bloom.
“The Ringmaster” is a one-hour, multi segmented, musical variety special, developed as a completely new format for the net, created by BiteSizeTV and Dave Stewart’s Weapons of Mass Entertainment. It brings together an eclectic group of the famous and infamous in the circus-like atmosphere of BiteSizeTV’s live Hollywood Studio, with the iconic Dave Stewart as the Ringmaster. The show’s pilot episode was shot live in front of a VIP studio audience as well as hundreds of fans that lined the street outside of BiteSizeTV’s Hollywood and Vine Studio.
The pilot is featured on the homepage of BiteSizeTV.com as well as on BiteSizeTV’s Music Alley network and directly on the following link: http://www.bitesizetv.com/#!/theringmaster.
The wild evening features performances by Oscar® nominee Andy Garcia, Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning seven piece band Ozomatli, award-winning Australian recording artist Vanessa Amorosi, singer songwriter Judith Hill (“20 Feet from Stardom”), lead vocalist of the band Berlin Terri Nunn, Somalian sister duo Faarrow and multitalented actor Elijah Kelley (“The Butler”). Guests performed and then joined the party, being entertained by a steady flow of sideshow performances from the world renowned Lucha VaVOOM.
“I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and meet some incredibly interesting people. I wanted ‘The Ringmaster’ to let the audience have a look into that world,” said Dave Stewart. “I wanted to create an atmosphere where my friends would feel relaxed and wanted to perform. More like a private party than a show… at the end, we couldn’t get people off the stage. I think we did it!”
The show features a surprise musical performance by Andy Garcia, who penned a song “Jamming with the Ringmaster” for the occasion. He was joined by legendary percussionist, Sheila E. as well as Ozomatli and the Dave Stewart Band and Choir.
The show’s format is unique. Each artist performs live. No dress rehearsals. Everyone is part of the audience as well. At one point in the pilot, all of the bands performed together. Cameras, crew, directors were all part of the action. Antics spilled over to the Hollywood Walk of Fame where Lucha VaVOOM’s notorious “Crazy Chickens” entertained the growing crowd.
Currently, the show is scheduled to start bi-weekly and ramp up to a weekly. The team is also producing additional programming around “The Ringmaster” show itself, and are in discussions with brands regarding unique forms of sponsorship.
“The artists loved the sound and the vibe. We were able to capture some incredible performances, beautifully recorded,” said BiteSizeTV CEO Ron Bloom, who also joined in as a musical guest. “With so many musicians, guests and performers running around, we really didn’t know what to expect. As it turned out, it was a magical evening!”
Stewart, fresh off of a European tour and releasing his latest album “Lucky Numbers,” not only brought his talented friends to the show but to make the evening even more interesting, he enlisted the aid of his guest host, Rita D’Albert, co-founder of Lucha VaVOOM, the acclaimed Mexican masked wrestling/burlesque/comedy troupe performing at sold-out shows throughout the world. Add a dose of tattoo artists and Lucha VaVOOM’s Mexican wrestlers, the Ringmaster had his hands full.
“We are already planning for the future and it looks like we will be taking the show to the next level,” enthused Stewart. “We expect the show to evolve, but we don’t want to lose the sense of the unexpected. After all, life is a circus, and it’s fun to be the Ringmaster!”
“Most bands and artists just don’t like the sound they get on television shows, but we designed our studio with the artist in mind.” said BiteSizeTV SVP of Production, Ross Elliot. “It was our first time doing anything like this, and we were nervous. But from the first note, you could just see the artists getting into it and we could tell something special was happening.”
About Dave Stewart
Multi-media entrepreneur Dave Stewart is recognized as one of the most respected and accomplished talents in the music industry today. Stewart’s music career spans three decades and more than 100 million album sales, highlighted by his collaboration with Annie Lennox in the groundbreaking pop-rock duo Eurythmics (“Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This],” “Here Comes The Rain Again,” “Would I Lie to You?”). Behind the scenes, he has produced albums and co-written songs for Bono, Bryan Ferry, Gwen Stefani, Tom Petty, Katy Perry, Mick Jagger, and Sinead O’Connor, garnering numerous Producer, Songwriter, Golden Globe and Grammy Awards along the way. Beyond his creative work as a musician, Stewart is a renowned producer, author, director, photographer, filmmaker, and philanthropist.
Stewart has scored films for several directors, including Robert Altman, Paul Verhoven, and Ted Demme, and has written and produced the title songs for many hit movies. Together with Mick Jagger, he wrote and produced the score for “Alfie,” starring Jude Law, which won the pair a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
BiteSizeTV, founded by Internet and media entrepreneur Ron Bloom, is a first of its kind, vertically integrated entertainment network producing proprietary, premium, Hollywood studio-quality entertainment.
BiteSizeTV delivers its programming fresh every day from its live studios on the ground floor of the Hollywood W Hotel, virtually on the famed corner of Hollywood and Vine. BiteSizeTV.com is the company’s online platform, featuring a range of unique technological innovations and delivering content to computers, mobile devices, set top boxes and virtually any connected device. BiteSizeTV programming reaches millions of viewers every month through a growing network of connected TVs, digital satellite, cable and IP television systems.
BiteSize also maintains an exclusive feature film development and production arm led by Academy Award® winning producer Gene Kirkwood that provides a pipeline of commercial movies and franchise properties that extend across all formats.
At its core, BiteSize is a unique fusion of highly accomplished Academy and Emmy Award-winning creators, the hottest new up-and-coming TV and new media talent, and cutting edge Silicon Valley expertise.
San Francisco OZO Meet and Greet 12/12!
How would you like to have coffee with us before our concert with the San Francisco Symphony?
Here is your chance, Bay Area! If you’ve already purchased tickets to see us at Davies Symphony Hall on December 12, then just send an email to email@example.com with your first and last name and the patron number you received when purchasing your tickets.
Haven’t bought tickets yet but want to enter? Purchase tickets at sfsymphony.org/ozo and then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your first and last name and the patron number you received when purchasing your tickets.
Each winner and one guest will have the chance to meet us before the concert and sample Ozo Espresso at this private meet and greet!
Entries must be received by 12/1. Winners will be randomly selected and will be notified by 12/6.
For more and info and to purchase tickets, visit the San Francisco Symphony site.
On November 6th, Ozomatli will be recognized as the 2013 Outstanding Resource at the Citizen Diplomacy Celebration in Los Angeles.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
6:00 – 9:30 p.m
Taglyan Cultural Complex . 1201 Vine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90038
For more information and to attend the event, visit the Citizen Diplomacy website.
Grammy Award-winning band Ozomatli will perform at MAOF’s annual Aztec Awards Gala on October 11 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Ozomatli’s 6 members will headline the evening’s entertainment which is set to include special performances by Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas and rising Mexican pop star Sofia Reyes.
“Ozomatli’s message of activism, equality, and service perfectly complements MAOF’s mission and vision. We are thrilled that this hometown band will help us celebrate our 50th Anniversary on October 11,” said MAOF President & CEO Martin Castro.
For five decades, MAOF has recognized the selfless contribution of individuals who share MAOF’s vision and values at its annual Aztec Awards Gala. This year’s gala will commemorate the organization’s accomplishments over 50 years and recognize the personal achievements of The Honorable Gloria Molina, Attorney Martin Castillo, and White Memorial Medical Center.
Click here for more information on sponsorships and tickets for the 2013 Aztec Awards.
For more information, visit the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation website.
Ozomatli engages audience to kick off Cultural Enhancement Series
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
by Quiche Matchen
Faculty, staff, students and the Bowling Green community were lined up for a performance from an award winning band to kick off the Cultural Enhancement Series.
Grammy-award winning band Ozomatli performed in Van Meter Hall Tuesday night, but before their concert met with students and a panel to sign merchandise, take pictures and answer questions.
Louisville freshmen Kayln Johnson said she was excited for the performance and her friend brought her out to the event.
“I’ve never been to a hispanic festival,” she said.
Johnson said she expected good music, and hearing a language other than English she said was a breath of fresh air.
David Lee, Potter College of Arts and Letters dean welcomed the audience.
“We’re really excited about our Cultural Enhancement Series this year,” Potter said. “We’re especially delighted Ozomatli for kicking off our series.”
As soon as Lee announced the band was coming out the crowd went wild.
The band let audience members come to the pit in front of the stage as they started off the show with a song that had a hip-hop, jazz and salsa feel.
Throughout their whole performance, Ozomatli performed songs that were uptempo that kept the crowd on their feet.
Glasgow native Tania Jimenez said she loved their performance.
She said although she didn’t know much about Ozomatli before Tuesday, she is now a fan of theirs and enjoys the same type of music they played.
“It’s danceable,” Jimenez said. “I would come back and see them.”
Union senior Ashley Evans said she also enjoyed the band, despite it being her first time hearing their music.
“It was nice to hear a different variety especially since I’m a music major,” Evans said.
“It’s different to see different genres of music compared to the classical side of things,” she said. “I just love the music and the accent of it.”
Ozomatli had a few surprises up their sleeve performing one of their new songs, playing happy birthday to audience members, interacting with the audience by coming off the stage and having a few members of the marching band to help them with the last song.
Bowling Green senior Connor McDonald was one of the marching band members who took to the stage.
“It’s not unfamiliar to me,” McDonald said. “I heard they needed musicians to jam with the band and I jumped on it.”
Visit the WKU Herald website.
Ozomatli, gods of dance (music): On the band’s name, a theme song for this museum, and other great ideas
by Maria E. Renteria, NMAI
Ozomatli, a two-time Grammy Award–winning band known for the musical mixing of Latin, hip hop, funk, reggae, jazz, rap, and other genres, visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian as part of the museum’s 2013 Living Earth Festival. The Los Angeles–based group played the headline performance at the festival’s Indian Summer Showcase concert Saturday night, July 20. If you missed the concert, or if you were there and want to relive it, video is available on the museum’s YouTube channel.
NMAI caught up with Ulises (Uli) Bella, saxophone, clarinet, requinto jarocho, keyboard, and melodica player, and one of the founding members of Ozomatli.
Ozomatli is a Nahuatl word for monkey. Who actually thought of it, or was it collaborative effort?
When we first started we were called Todos somos Marcos [we are all Marcos], in honor of the Zapatista Movement in Mexico. But then our drummer [Anton Morales] said, “Yo, we should call ourselves Ozomatli.” We were, “What’s that all that about?” He’s like, “It’s a monkey on the Aztec calendar, the god of dance.” We were, “Wow, that is really, really hip.” He’s like, “The new harvest, the orchestrator of the jungle. . . .” Little did we know that it was his astrological sign the whole time. He basically named the band after himself. That is Anton from L.A. A big shout-out to Anton! We stuck with it. I don’t know too many bands that have a prehispanic name. It’s pretty crazy.
Do you have any pre-show rituals to pump you up?
Not really. People are pretty mellow in this band. We’ve been a band now for 18 years, so we don’t do too crazy, except we drink a lot of coffee usually and just start pumping ourselves up. Most of our shows are pretty high energy. So you catch a sweat, no manner what.
How did you start your own coffee?
We had this collaboration with a friend of ours who runs a coffee shop in L.A. called Zona Rosa. He does his own beans. One day he was like, “Yo, I want to do Ozomatli coffee, do an espresso thing.” I was like, “Oh yeah, yeah, let’s.” We are coffee-heads, so it worked out really well. Even though it’s kind of a small thing we do on the side, it’s really fun.
I know that you’re the go-to band for theme songs, since you did the Los Angeles Dodgers’ song. If you could assign a theme song for this museum, what would it be from your music?
Wow, it’s pretty heavy because you’re going to think, historically, what Natives or Americans Indians have gone through in their history. It would have to be a song that really resonates super, super, super deep, I think. To even try to grasp the magnitude of all the complex, complex issues that deal with that community.
So, if I was going to say one, just because it’s uplifting, beautiful, and hopeful, because that’s what I think the community needs, “Ya viene el sol,” which means, “Here comes the sun.” It’s all about seeing the sun come up. Obviously, the sun means so much to so many people around the world, such a heavy thing. Bringer of life. At the same time, the idea that tomorrow is going to be a better day through unity and helping each other out.
What projects are you currently working on?
We actually are recording an album. We just finished a kids’ album this last year. Now we are doing a full-length album this year.
Is there a particular reason why you did a kids’ album?
Part of it is because we realize that a lot of our fans are having kids. I think it was just a fun idea to try out. It ended being real liberating, because not all the songs have to be about heavy things. It could be about skateboarding, germs, and washing your hands.
Thank you so much for the interview.
—Maria E. Renteria, NMAI
Photos by Maria E. Renteria, NMAI
Maria Esmeralda Renteria is an intern with the National Museum of the American Indian’s Office of Public Affairs. She is pursuing an MA in Museum Studies from the San Francisco State University and received her BA in both Latin American Studies and Spanish at UCLA.
By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Like the nebulous boundaries of Los Angeles itself, encircling the city’s musical sound can be tricky business. There are the vibrations of surf and mariachi music, the crawl of Compton G-funk and laid-back ’50s cool jazz, Mexican boleros and the ladies (and men) of the canyon, along with K-town K-pop and the rush of Hollywood punk. Around every corner a new rhythm, a fresh melodic burst born under the California sun.
It’s a sound that’s virtually impossible to put onto one stage, but on Friday night archetypal East L.A. band Ozomatli and fellow artists at Grand Performances in downtown Los Angeles took a stab at it.
By resurrecting age-old songs about Southern California and weaving in more recent but no less revealing odes to the area — including punk band X’s “Los Angeles” and Richie Valens’ “La Bamba” — musicians illustrated the breadth of the region’s experience in the open-air California Plaza.
They were celebrating the publication of writer and USC professor Josh Kun’s new book in conjunction with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, “Songs in the Key of L.A.” Along with a few dozen musicians including La Santa Cecilia, Jackson Browne and the Petrojvic Blasting Company, Ozomatli brought to life songs, many from the sheet music collection of the Los Angeles Public Library, that have helped define the region.
Oh, then Stevie Wonder showed up and surprised a thrilled plaza with an electrifying version of his seldom performed ode to the city, “Land of La La.”
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because even before his arrival, the night had seen its share of peaks, mostly due to Ozomatli’s adept work along with pianist-arranger Rob Gonzalez in giving these songs air. For decades this music lived as notation on printed pages filed within the library’s voluminous holdings, many never recorded. You couldn’t tell that on Friday.
Ozo, born as a politically active musical collective that hybridized the sound of urban L.A. starting in the mid-‘90s, began the evening with its own love letter to Los Angeles, “City of Angels,” and from there, a musical wormhole opened and the artists and the thousands surrounding them descended into a cobwebbed realm of once-dusty melodies. By the end of the evening these works had rejoiced in the glow of the Southern California present.
A versatile, expert band, Ozo illustrated its range throughout the evening. For a cool jazz take on “I Love You California,” a song penned in 1908 by F.B. Silverwood and A.F. Frankenstein, vocalist Asdru Sierra (who confessed to having a few overdue books) conjured the spirit of Chet Baker with both his croon and an elegant trumpet solo. If you closed your eyes this could have been the Haig, the early ’50s jazz club where, a few dozen blocks west on Wilshire Boulevard, Mulligan and Baker helped birth a West Coast sound.
L.A. country band I See Hawks in L.A.‘s rendition of “In the Valley of the San Joaquin,” was polished with the chrome tone of the lap pedal steel guitar. Jackson Browne’s take on the classic L.A. story of “Ramona” brought in a touch of Laurel Canyon folk rock. The artist raised in Highland Park offered his own ode to an area locale with “Culver Moon,” which celebrated a town “about five miles from where the Lakers play.”
It was also a night in which Cheech Marin arrived to sing his funny love letter to his home, “Born in East L.A.,” about a Mexican American resident who while taking a walk to the grocery store gets detained by immigration cops and “deported” from East L.A. to Tijuana.
Tijuana-Angeleno singer Ceci Bastida, with Ozo backing, conjured from the past “El Quelele,” an age-old Mexican ballad published in a 1923 collection called “Spanish Songs of Old California.” She and the band followed that with “Los Angeles,” the 1979 burst of Cali punk rock by X. “She gets confused flying over the dateline!” screamed Bastida.
Those who frequent the city’s farmers markets might have recognized the Petrojvic Blasting Company, the Slavic brass, accordion and drum group that overjoys many a morning shopper with their busking. The group’s take on “Strolling With the California Moon” started off surprisingly weak, but erupted into full-on joy when brass and drums kicked in halfway through, sending ripples across the pond as the plaza’s fountains pumped bursts of water into the sky.
“Chiapanecas” was a song published by a Mexican restaurant on Olvera Street, explained singer La Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia. In choosing it, she said, she was connecting with her own youth performing in the same neighborhood nearly a century after the song was written. She and the band brought to vivid life the music — and accordionist Jose Carlos earned big applause with his work on the crucial Los Angeles instrument.
All evening Kun and others had been teasing a “surprise guest.” Predictably, when Wonder’s name was announced, the plaza erupted. After a gentle, solo take on his “Overjoyed,” which had many rustling for their smartphones and pointing in his direction, Wonder introduced another song from his 1985 album “In Square Circle.”
“Land of La La” tells the classic L.A. story of those looking to reinvent themselves in “the land of la la.” Why? Because “being in La La Land is like nowhere else,” he sang, pounding out synth clusters alone on his keys. Halfway through, Ozomatli reconvened onstage and gradually lifted the song through percussive, tight funk in support while Wonder spotlighted “a land full of lost angels/Movie stars and great big cars and Perrier and fun all day/And that’s enough to make anybody go wild.”
At the conclusion, Ozomatli ripped into its high-energy jam “Como Ves,” and Wonder stayed with the band, with big electric piano chords and a solo — the guys in Ozomatli looking equally thrilled and awestruck. As he played, Wonder was handed a harmonica and he went into a solo.
Slowly, he morphed the harmonica melody into “La Bamba” as the band and most of the musicians from throughout the night eased onto the stage to bond, celebrate and sing with Wonder. It was a truly memorable moment, one that many in attendance won’t forget.
In fact, Wonder should think seriously about a collaboration with Ozomatli. The team sounded amazing together, like they’d been jamming for years.
Even more, not only did Wonder lift Ozomatli but just as impressive Ozomatli propelled Wonder into one of the rare musical realms he’s yet to explore.
Few are the musical experiences that you can safely say, “this is a night I’ll remember the rest of my life.” But that performance of Wonder’s “Land of La La” made a huge dent.
Equally special though was sharing an evening not only with living Angelenos of all shapes and sizes, but with voices from the past. Brought to life to sing the praises of Southern California, their spirit rushed forth through the time-traveling magic of music.
View the article in the LA Times website.
Super Old Songs About L.A. Are What’s Up
By Orly Minazad | LA Weekly
Before Tupac vowed to live and die in L.A. there was “Angeltown” a wistful ballad that was considered by some to be the official anthem of Los Angeles. It was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in 1959.
This track will be resurrected on Friday when multicultural fusion band Ozomatli — whom Randall Roberts traveled with to Burma for a cover story a few years ago — performs it and other lost classics at a free concert at California Plaza downtown. (Also on the bill will be buzzed-about Latin alternative act La Santa Cecilia, I See Hawks in L.A. and The Petrojvic Blasting Co.) The event features a modern spin on the L.A. love songs from the 19th to mid-20th century.
It’s the brainchild of USC professor Josh Kun, who is the Indiana Jones of excavating musical treasures. His stunning coffee table book Songs in the Key of Los Angeles (which is also the title of the event) is a collection of sheet music and a map of L.A.‘s musical history,
“As important as it was to create the collection,” says Kun, “we also wanted to make sure the collection leaped out into life.”
For the book, Kun and his students scoured the Los Angeles Public Library’s extensive sheet music collection and came across hundreds of vintage odes to Southern California’s striking sunsets, beautiful women, mountains and beaches.
Designed by Amy Inouye, it includes wistful sheet music illustrations that sell Los Angeles as a utopia. Many of these covers are already on exhibit at the Los Angeles Public Library.
Ozomatli, which headlines the event, will pay tribute to L.A.‘s Mexican heritage.
“You can’t tell the story of music in Los Angeles without telling the story of Mexican music in Los Angeles,” says Kun.
We spoke with Ozomatli’s bassist Wil-Dog about the project.
We’re curious to hear your rendition of century old music. How are you going to approach these songs?
Well, there’s no such thing as an out of date melody. You take the melody and recreate or rewrite the tune. We’re doing some songs in the Samba, Latin Bossa Nova, reggae and hip hop style and backing up some of the bands who have already done an amazing job with the old sheet music.
Is this event particular important for Ozomatli, considering your standing as the multicultural voice of Los Angeles?
Just like everybody else in this country, especially in L.A., we’re all immigrants. And these songs are part of the reason why all of our families came here. The music was all about coming to the West Coast for a better life; they’re the reason why my family left Yugoslavia and Poland, and the reason why Uli’s family left Mexico and all the way down the line. We wouldn’t be a band otherwise. Part of the dream, more than the American dream, is the California dream. In some way, it isn’t a reality, but this is what people thought and continue to think.
What do you mean?
We love our city. The songs we play and everything we do is a tribute to our community. But at the same time there’s a level of idealism. When people first think about coming here, they romanticize how better their life could and will be if they could only get here. And it’s not always the case that they will fulfill their dreams. But that’s part of the history and reality of L.A.: the hopes and dreams of finding a better life.
Was L.A. where you found your roots in Latin and hip hop music? You know, there aren’t too many Eastern European Jewish musicians singing Mexican regional music.
Definitely. I grew up in MacArthur Park, a Central American community and I’ve been around that community ever since. In the late ’80s MacArthur Park was the epicenter of hip-hop. At the time, hip-hop was more of a cultural phenomenon, and the kids who were participating in its music and culture were Central American, Mexican, Thai, Filipino, African-American and I was a part of that mix. Those were my roots.
I also dated a Mexican girl in high school who introduced me to regional Mexican music and I fell in love with it and ever since I’ve been enamored by the music by well over 20 years.
How do you feel about Los Angeles not really having an official anthem?
Who gets to decide all that official crap? L.A. is a city that is in constant movement; nothing can ever be in stone here. Communities are changing and people are coming in and out constantly. The city is made up of the people who are here now, and we’re just excited to celebrate them and perform with some amazing musicians who also have their roots in Los Angeles.
Visit the LA Weekly website.
More Info 12/12/2013 Davies Symphony Hall - San Francisco, CA (w/ the San Francisco Symphony)
More Info 01/24/2014 Belly Up - Solana Beach, CA (Friday)
More Info 01/25/2014 Belly Up - Solana Beach, CA (Saturday)
More Info 03/15/2014 The Cosmopolitan (w/ Flogging Molly) - Las Vegas, NV