5 Questions With ... Ozokidz

GRAMMY winners Ozomatli visit The Recording Academy to talk about their children's music side project
  • Photo: Mark Sullivan/WireImage.com
    Ozokidz attend the GRAMMY Block Party on July 30
September 01, 2011 -- 4:37 pm PDT

(A portion of the proceeds from The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party benefitted PATH, a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness for individuals, families and communities.)

The children's music side project of GRAMMY winners Ozomatli, Ozokidz, recently participated in an installment of The Recording Academy's 5 Questions With … series. Held during The Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter's GRAMMY Block Party at The Academy's headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., Ozokidz discussed how the project developed, the Los Angeles music scene, utilizing social media, winning a GRAMMY, and how music brings people together, among other topics.

"We try to give them as much of a concert experience as possible," said Ozokidz vocalist/guitarist Raúl "El Bully" Pacheco on performing for children. "What we're doing is trying to create a moment for young people that is really just focused on them, [while playing] some music and having a great time."

Formed in Los Angles in 1995, Latin pop/rock outfit Ozomatli features Wil-Dog Abers (bass), Ulises Bella (saxophone/clarinet/requinto jarocho/melodica/keyboards), Mario Calire (drums), Pacheco (vocals/guitar/tres/jarana), Justin "El Niño" Porée (percussion/vocals), Asdrubal Sierra (vocals/trumpet/keyboards), and Jiro Yamaguchi (percussion). The group released their self-titled debut in 1998, peaking at No. 7 on Billboard's Latin Albums chart. Embrace The Chaos followed in 2001, earning the group a GRAMMY for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album and topping the Latin Albums chart. Three years later the band released Street Signs, which shot to No. 2 on the Latin Albums chart and earned the group their second GRAMMY. Two more albums followed, 2007's Don't Mess With The Dragon and 2010's Fire Away. Ozomatli was inspired to launch Ozokidz after playing to a scant audience at a show in Chicago. The band received emails from fans who said they weren't able to attend because they weren't able to find a babysitter. Ozomatli subsequently began performing kid-friendly shows as Ozokidz where the first few rows at every concert are reserved for those 12 and under. The band is currently working on their debut children's album.

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