A year or two ago, on an episode of HBO's Sex and the City, Carrie and company were hanging out at a hot little local bar where Ozomatli was playing. Strangely enough, none of the beautiful people were dancing, which seemed even more unbelievable than the fact that Ozomatli would be the house band in such an establishment.
In real life, most people are totally incapable of holding their asses still while this band plays. The members of Ozomatli are students of such highly percussive musical styles as salsa, samba, and a host of other Latin-based rhythms. Driving and intense, Ozomatli is more serious about creating a party atmosphere than almost anyone since Parliament-Funkadelic.
And as with George Clinton's crew, Ozomatli combines political activism with passionate, joyful music. The band's latest, Embrace the Chaos, takes its title from Ozomatli's experience playing at a gathering that coincided with the Democratic National Convention in 2000. After one song by Ozomatli, police shut the event down and began dispersing the crowd with rubber bullets. This chaotic, horrifying action reinforced the band's commitment to true democratic principles. Musically, Ozomatli is expanding its horizons to match.