MoJo Audio: Ozomatli

Ozomatli band member Ulises Bella talks about what it’s like to be an international cultural ambassador for the US.

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To hear the audio podcast of MoJo‘s interview with Ulises Bella, click below:

 

This October, the US State Department sent Ozomatli, the Los Angeles-based, 9-piece Latin band, on a tour of South Africa and Madagascar as “cultural ambassadors.”

The two-time Grammy Award-winning band has opened for Carlos Santana, played on the Late Night With Conan O’Brien show, been featured on Austin City Limits, and performed at Coachella. The band hosts a music show on 98.7 FM in Los Angeles.

In 2007, the State Department sent Ozomatli to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Nepal, and Tunisia. A performance in Nepal drew a reported 12,000 people. On their recent tour of South Africa and Madagascar, they performed live shows, hosted music workshops for local youth, and visited AIDS clinics and orphanages.

Before their trip, Mother Jones spoke with Ozomatli band member Ulises Bella, who plays saxophone, the requinto jarocho, keyboard, and melodica, in addition to providing background vocals for the band. Bella has been a member since the band formed in 1995.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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