Los Angeles – Ozomatli, the band that gained international fame with its fusion of styles ranging from salsa, jazz, funk and reggae to rap, cumbia, merengue and hip hop, now adds to its repertoire a new album for youngsters dubbed "Ozokidz."
The original idea, according to vocalist and trumpet player Asdrubal "Azdru" Sierra, arose when band members commented on the constant absence of friends and fans from their concerts.
"We knew a lot of fans didn't come to our shows because they couldn't get a babysitter, so that's where we got the idea of doing concerts that were kid-friendly as well," he said.
Their idea finally came together when PBS television asked them to record some educational numbers for its online children's programming.
At the same time, Sierra said, the band wanted to be proud of their recording as musicians.
"My kids played their records for me and they were horrible to listen to, which is why we wanted to make a disc that grownups could enjoy too," he said.
"Ozokidz" is made up of 14 songs including "Piraña," "Let's Go to the Movies," "Germs" and "Changuito," which don't sound like traditional children's music but they do have educational messages.
"We don't want to get mixed up in politics but we do want to teach good manners, good behavior and the difference between good and bad," Sierra said.