Los Angeles-based Latin rock outfit Ozomatli will release a new album June 22 via Concord Records. Beyond a previously announced collaboration with original MC Chali 2na and DJ Cut Chemist (both now of Jurassic 5), the set features contributions from Moroccan sinter player Hassan Hakmoun, Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and pianist/labelmate Eddie Palmieri.
“Concord just seemed happy to let us go off and do our thing,” says horn player/vocalist Asdrubal Sierra, adding, “There’s a real sense of acceptance of what we do. Plus, I’m really honored to be on the same label as Eddie Palmieri. He’s my idol.”
Ozomatli is joined by Hakmoun, violinists the Les Yeux Noir and the Prague Symphony on album opener “Believe,” while Palmieri guests on “Nadie Te Tira.” The album also features new MC Jabu and former Wallflowers drummer Mario Calire.
“Since we started, our perspectives have changed as our lives have changed,” saxophonist Ulises Bella says of Ozomatli’s musical growth. “We just trust each other more now. Everyone gives everyone the space we all need. This band did not start, at all, to get a record deal. It started out of love for the music we made, and that’s exactly where we still are.”
Ozomatli is in the midst of a U.S. tour that plays Santa Barbara, Calif., tomorrow (April 9). On April 22, the group will return to play Austin, Texas, where two of its members were arrested last month after a performance at the South by Southwest festival. Bassist Willy Abers was charged with failure to obey the order of a police officer, while percussionist Jiro Yamaguchi was charged with assault on a public servant.
Here are Ozomatli’s tour dates:
April 9: Santa Barbara, Calif. (Coach House North)
April 10: Pomona, Calif. (Glass House)
April 13: Agoura Hills, Calif. (Canyon Club)
April 14: Las Vegas (House of Blues)
April 19: El Paso, Texas (Club Xscape)
April 22: Austin, Texas (La Zona Rosa)
April 23: New Orleans (Howlin’ Wolf)
April 27: Towson, Md. (Recher Theatre)
Sept. 3: Universal City, Calif. (Universal Amphitheatre)