They said “Ozo” and the audience said “Matli” as Ozomatli grooved with the Kona crowd!


On another beautiful Hawaiian evening, Laverne’s Sports Bar became the hot spot for LIVE music. Local band Leche De Tigre opened the night with their “Latin Gypsy Funk” sound. An eight-piece band made up of horns, percussion, bass, guitar, and vocals, they quickly had their local fans up and dancing. Performing a set of originals with a few covers mixed in, the band was a great fit for the night.

The Los Angeles, California-based band Ozomatli came on strong, opening their set with “Como Ves” off their 1998 self-titled debut studio album. Established in 1995, Ozomatli has had members come and go over the last 24 years, but are currently touring with the original line up. (Wil-Dog Abers: Bass, Raul Pacheco: guitar, Justin ‘El Nino’ Poree: Percussion, Asdrubal Sierra: trumpet/piano, Ulises Bella: Saxophone, Jiro Yamaguchi: drums and all sharing vocals). I can say that I saw the band in Southern California on a festival back in 1998, so they definitely brought back some fond memories. Playing through the songs, “Tus Ojos”, “Gallina” and into the Hip Hop sound of “Saturday Night”, the band had the audiences’ full attention. With their hands in the air and the call-and-response “We say Ozo, you say Matli,” the crowd was connected to the band. Members took turns moving around the stage, changing instruments and sharing lead vocals.

As their set was coming to an end, each member of the band picked up an instrument, walked off the stage and into the audience. Percussion and horns jamming amongst the crowd that surrounded them, the band began a conga line, parading out the door. It was definitely an original way to end the night. The people loved it!

It’s shows like this that bring the musicians and LIVE music fans together as a community. Get out and support LIVE music, the promoters and the musicians who bring it to us!

For Ozomatli music news and tour info, please visit:

Gary Hicks has a true passion for music! He works as a talent scout, artist management & development, musician, studio manager, executive producer, music journalist, and radio personality.



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