Named after the Aztec monkey god of dance and passion, Ozomatli play a unique mix of salsa, hip-hop, reggae, rock, merengue, funk and more. Formed in Los Angeles in 1995, they have since gained a reputation as the hottest live band on the west coast, traveling worldwide to great acclaim, known for their riotous and high energy live shows. They play Latin brass and percussion versions of everything from old James Brown tunes to current rap hits to the theme from Sesame Street! Ozomatli inspired Carlos Santana to describe them as ‘the future of music’ when they opened for him in 1999.
LA SONORA DINAMITA
La Sonora Dinamita is a Mexican and Colombian musical group that plays cumbia, a Tropical music genre popular throughout Latin America. As one of the first Cumbia groups to reach international success, it is credited with helping to popularize the genre throughout Latin America and the world. The original orchestra was formed in 1960 in Cartagena de Indias under the direction of bandleader Lucho Argaín. It disbanded in 1963, but was re-formed in 1975 under the direction of Julio Ernesto Estrada "Fruko" Rincón, the artistic director of the Discos Fuentes record label. In 1981 the group released its first successful recordings, such as the classic "Mi Cucu." While the group's lineup has changed, it has always featured a strong female vocalist to accompany its ten-piece brass instrumentation.
Buyepongo, originally founded in 2008 as a folkloric cumbia band, is a Los Angeles-based quintet that makes contemporary pan-Latin music in the style they intriguingly call“buyangú” — an eclectic but cohesive mezcla of global beats and spicy flavors influenced by their California home base as well as the band members’ travels to Central and South America. Appropriately, Buyepongo loosely defined means to ‘cause a ruckus’ and this merry band of musical noisemakers does exactly that, deploying a bewildering array of riff-heavy sounds and expertly blended influences that work equally well in intimate or modest settings as they do in front of large festival audiences or at cultural and municipal institutions.
EL TRISTE AND LA SMILEY
Puppetmaster Cain Carias, a protege of The Bob Baker Marionette Theatre, learnt the craft of puppeteering from Bob Baker himself. Working with a friend and dollmaker, Ms. Reyes Arte, together they collaborated to create El Triste and his ‘girlfriend’ LA Smiley. While billed as ‘The saddest clown in Los Angeles’ El Triste brings joy to the streets to be enjoyed by young and old alike.