A Latin Christmas Program Features Local Sensations plus Rising International Stars
Wednesday, December 22, at 7:30 PM
Argentinean singer-songwriter-guitarist Juana Molina opens the show performing selections from her two albums, Secundo and Tres Cosas, before relinquishing the stage to five-piece Latino dance band Kinky. The group, which hails from Monterrey, Mexico, combines American and European dance grooves and rock-n-roll with South American rhythms. The headliner of the evening is L.A.-based sensation Ozomatli, which performs works from its previous albums with new songs from the current release, Street Signs. The group's socially-conscious eclectic sound reflects the cultural influences on it since the band was formed in the mid 1990s.
This concert is the seventh of nine diverse holiday programs presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in its "Deck the Hall" series, highlighting all types of seasonal celebrations. The series continues with The Spirit of the Holidays with Keb' Mo' (December 23) and Pink Martini (December 31).
Brewing a vital concoction of Latin salsa, urban hip-hop, and jazz funk, OZOMATLI formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s with a lineup comprising Raúl "El Bully" Pacheco (guitar, lead vocals), Ulises Bella (tenor sax, clarinet, vocals), Jiro Yamaguchi (percussion), Willy "Wil-Dog" Abers (bass, vocals), Sheffer Bruton (trombone, background vocals), Mario Calire (drums), Rene "Spinobi" Dominguez (turntablist), Justin " El Niño" Porée (percussion, MC, vocals), Asdrubal Sierra (trumpet, lead vocals), and Jabu (MC). Following success on the local club circuit, the group appeared on the late-night talk show Vibe! and released its self-titled debut in June 1998. Ozomatli's second album (titled, coincidentally, Embrace the Chaos) was released on September 11, 2001. While many bands in the U.S. responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by canceling their concerts, Ozomatli - a multiracial crew who have never been shy about itscommitment to social justice, progressive politics, and antiwar convictions - decided to keep playing. September 11 became the impetus for the band to help build understanding among cultures through an exploration of the musical traditions of North Africa and the Middle East. Street Signs (Concord, 2004), the band's first full-length studio album in three years, adds this new Middle Eastern influence to its trademark blend of hip-hop and Latin styles. Tracks feature Moroccan vocalist Hassan Hakmoun and French-Jewish gypsy violinists Les Yeux Noirs, in addition to guest appearances by Latin-jazz legend Eddie Palmieri and many others.
Formed in 2000, five piece Latino dance band KINKY have emerged from relative obscurity in the desert city of Monterrey, Mexico to a phenomenal worldwide success. With two triumphant albums under their belt and many more tours, soundtracks and award nominations (including two Grammys), 2004 looks to add to their success. With such diverse influences as traditional Samba beats to techno and rock 'n' roll, Kinky tapped its resources of rich talent and varied musical styles to create its distinctive new sound. By mid 2000 Kinky gained a reputation for their unique blend of Latin rock and was signed by British record producer Chris Allison to the Sonic360 group of labels. Aided by the production skills of Chris Allison, by 2002 Kinky had recorded and released a fine self-titled debut album, received by critical and public acclaim. As an album, Kinky combined the stylishness of discerning American and European dance grooves and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll, with traditional rhythms from throughout South America. The band created a more raw and rock-driven for its successful second album Atlas.
Hailing from Buenos Aires, Argentina, JUANA MOLINA is an extraordinary singer / songwriter / producer. Formerly a celebrated comic with her own successful Argentine TV sketch show, Juana and Her Sisters, she turned her back on her considerable TV celebrity to return to her first love, music. Her second album, Segundo, was the first to be heard outside her home country. The impact has been impressive. U.S. showbiz bible, Entertainment Weekly, named Segundo "Best World Music Album of 2003." After Molina toured the U.S. in the spring, culminating in an appearance at the Coachella Festival and a solo show in New York that received an excellent notice in The New York Times, David Byrne personally invited her to open for his huge U.S. summer tour. Molina now follows these triumphs with a new album, Tres Cosas (Three Things).
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE:
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, AT 7:30 PM
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
Tickets ($25 - $75) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office, online at LAPhil.com, or via credit card phone order at 323.850.2000. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For all information, please call 323.850.2000.
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Sabrina Skacan, 213.972.3408; photos: 213.972.3034