Ozomatli + Ben and Jerry's Bonnaroo Buzz Party

19.April.2010 - New York

by Thomas Hauner

20 April 2010

“We’re here to celebrate a festival and we’re here to celebrate an ice cream.” -- Ozomatli

Ben and Jerry’s threw a flavor release party Monday night at the Bowery Ballroom, announcing the name of a new and incredibly delicious, music festival-themed ice cream: Bonnaroo Buzz (light coffee and malt ice cream with a caramel whiskey swirl and English toffee pieces.) Chosen to lead the celebration were omni-rockers Ozomatli.
Though the venue was a full-on ice cream social, the Ballroom itself seemed loosely packed as everyone congregated near the free whiskey tasting bar rather than the front of the stage as usual. My concerns that the crowd wouldn’t be up for the band’s rowdy salsa and funk and coordinated dance moves were absolved the minute the band took the stage and people started shouting and grabbing for MC Justin Poree.

The band (Mario Calire, drums; Wil-Dog Abers , bass and backup vox; Raul Pacheco, guitar and vox; Justin Por, percussion and MC; Asdrubal Sierra, trumpet and vox; Ulises Bella, sax, clarinet and vox; Jiro Yamaguchi, percussion) charged through a set heavy with new material as they were simultaneously celebrating the release of a new record, Fire Away, along with the festival and ice cream. Songs like “Cumbia De Los Muertos”, and, closer, “Como Ves”, seemed to have the entire place moving. As a finale the band marched into crowd, percussion instruments and horns in tow, to lead them in various standards (the ubiquitous “Ole” soccer chant, the “hokey pokey” etc.). It was like an East Los Angeles second line of sorts, and it left the sugar-hyped collective clamoring for more.


City of Angels
Are you Ready
Elysian Persuasion
Can’t Stop
Nadas Por Free
Saturday Nite
Como Ves

Photos by Thomas Hauner

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