OZOMATLI SIGN WITH MERCER STREET - NEW DOWNTOWN MUSIC IMPRINT
Ozomatli currently in the studio recording new music for '09 release
US State Department trip now confirmed for May '09
With Ozo performances in Myanmar, Vietnam and Russia
Ozomatli will be bringing their pioneering mash-up of hip-hop, salsa, and cumbia to Downtown Music's new imprint, Mercer Street Records, inking a just completed deal with the fledgling NYC-based label.
Mercer Street's goal is to focus on distinguished music across all genres, and three-time Grammy Award winners and two-time Billboard Latin Award winners Ozomatli will undoubtedly be a major addition to the roster. Ozo’s upcoming full length for the label assures Mercer Street will be offering some of the most culturally unique releases of 2009.
Downtown Chairman/CEO Josh Deutsch says, "I am thrilled to welcome Ozomatli to the Downtown/Mercer Street family," adding, "Ozomatli is one of the most the most unique and culturally significant bands in the musical landscape today. Ozo, throughout its career, has created its own culture through their seminal album releases and legendary live shows. The band's totally original blend of styles and musical genres is a perfect fit for Mercer Street Records' diverse platform. We look forward to tremendous success with Ozomatli's Mercer Street fall debut and a very productive partnership."
Ozomatli are currently recording new music in Jack Johnson's studio in Los Angeles, the Solar Power Plastic Plant, with Robert Carranza (Mars Volta, Zach De La Rocha) behind the mixing board. Some of the titles Ozo has recorded so far include, "Malagasy Shock," "Ashes," "It's Only Time," and "La Guagua."
Ozomatli singer and guitarist Raul Pacheco says, "our new music is filled with what could best be described as a sense of 'happy urgency.' There just seems to be a thread of calmness and maturity running through these songs that says, "do what you want in your life right now, there is no need to wait any longer."
The band has also just confirmed they will once again be serving as US Cultural Ambassadors, in May of this year, with a US State Department trip slated for Ozomatli performances in Rangoon, Myanmar, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Vladivostok, Russia. Ozomatli has previously served this role in a series of government-sponsored international tours to Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East - tours that linked Ozomatli to a tradition of cultural diplomacy that includes the esteemed likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Louis Armstrong.
Further details on Ozomatli's May trip to Myanmar, Vientam and Russia will be forthcoming shortly.
In addition, Ozomatli are about to embark on a Spring '09 tour, with all shows featuring the welcome return of rapper Chali 2na, a key member of Ozo's eponymous debut release and legendary early live performances. The band will be unveiling new songs with Chali, as well as revisiting some old school jams that have not appeared in Ozo's set list for some time.
3/06/09 - St. Petersburg, Florida @ Jannus Landing
3/07/09 - Ft. Lauderdale, Florida @ Culture Room
3/08/09 - Orlando @ Florida Club Firestone w/ Bad Brains
3/10/09 - Atlanta @ Georgia The Masquerade
3/11/09 - Asheville, North Carolina @ The Orange Peel
3/12/09 - Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
3/13/09 - Baltimore, Maryland @ Sonar
3/14/09 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ World Cafe Live
3/15/09 - Troy, NY @ Revolution Hall
3/18/09 - Boston, Massachusetts @ House of Blues
3/19/09 - Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
3/20/09 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
3/21/09 - So. Burlington @ Vermont Higher Ground
3/27/09 - Chicago, Illinois @ House of Blues
3/28/09 - Teton Village, Wyoming Jackson @ Hole Mountain Resort
4/09/09 - Tempe, Arizona @ Marquee Theatre
4/10/09 - Tucson, Arizona @ Rialto Theatre
4/11/09 - Albuquerque, New Mexico @ Route 66 Casino
4/12/09 - Steamboat Springs @ Colorado Steamboat Music Tent
4/16/09 - Anchorage @ Alaska Bear Tooth Theatre
4/17/09 - Vancouver, BC @ Canada Commodore Ballroom
4/18/09 – The Nightlight Bellingham, WA
4/19/09 – World Ski and Snowboard Fest Whistler, BC
5/5 thru 5/20 - Rangoon, Myanmar / Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam / Vladivostok, Russia... details forthcoming
5/22/09 - Las Vegas, Nevada Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
6/05/09 - Telluride, CO Telluride Jazz Celebration @ "Bill Frisell" Town Park
7/21/09 - Central Point, Oregon @ Jackson County Fair