Ozomatli – La Bamba

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Ritchie Valens made it a Top 40 Hit in the 50’s; Luis Valdez with the help of Los Lobos, brought it to the big screen in the 80’s; and now one of Los Angele’s most iconic, melting pot, bands has released a version of it that only they could pull off.

Ozomatli, known for their infectious live performances and virtuous albums have reconstructed the traditional Son Jarocho classic, La Bamba, with a Reggae groove.

Employing help from San Diego reggae monsters, Slightly Stoopid, Ozo transforms what has traditionally been played as a Huapango (a type of Son Jarocho) into a track you will most definitely hear this summer emanating out of bluetooth speakers at BBQs around LA.

Some purists might say it’s sacrilegious to reimagine this anthem germane to the identity of the state of Veracruz, Mexico. But others might consider that Son Jarochos’ roots (the combination of Indigenous Rhythms with African musical elements) already lend themselves to elements of improvisation both in style and lyrics, and thus a Reggae version is not too far fetched.

I would agree with the latter. You decide for yourself.

Ozomatli’s 8th studio album is scheduled for release this summer. Bonus: if you would like to be in their video for their cover of Selena’s “Como la Flor,” we have a chance for you to win via @KCRW Twitter. Stay close for more info, as this is happening next week at La Cita!