Ozomatli engages audience to kick off Cultural Enhancement Series

Ozomatli band members Ulises Bella and Justin Poree play at Van Meter Hall on Tuesday night.

Quiche Matchen

Faculty, staff, students and the Bowling Green community were lined up for a performance from an award winning band to kick off the Cultural Enhancement Series.

Grammy-award winning band Ozomatli performed in Van Meter Hall Tuesday night, but before their concert met with students and a panel to sign merchandise, take pictures and answer questions.

Louisville freshmen Kayln Johnson said she was excited for the performance and her friend brought her out to the event.

“I’ve never been to a hispanic festival,” she said.

Johnson said she expected good music, and hearing a language other than English she said was a breath of fresh air.

David Lee, Potter College of Arts and Letters dean welcomed the audience.

“We’re really excited about our Cultural Enhancement Series this year,” Potter said. “We’re especially delighted Ozomatli for kicking off our series.”

As soon as Lee announced the band was coming out the crowd went wild.

The band let audience members come to the pit in front of the stage as they started off the show with a song that had a hip-hop, jazz and salsa feel.

Throughout their whole performance, Ozomatli performed songs that were uptempo that kept the crowd on their feet.

Glasgow native Tania Jimenez said she loved their performance.

She said although she didn’t know much about Ozomatli before Tuesday, she is now a fan of theirs and enjoys the same type of music they played.

“It’s danceable,” Jimenez said. “I would come back and see them.”

Union senior Ashley Evans said she also enjoyed the band, despite it being her first time hearing their music.

“It was nice to hear a different variety especially since I’m a music major,” Evans said.

“It’s different to see different genres of music compared to the classical side of things,” she said. “I just love the music and the accent of it.”

Ozomatli had a few surprises up their sleeve performing one of their new songs, playing happy birthday to audience members, interacting with the audience by coming off the stage and having a few members of the marching band to help them with the last song.

Bowling Green senior Connor McDonald was one of the marching band members who took to the stage.

“It’s not unfamiliar to me,” McDonald said. “I heard they needed musicians to jam with the band and I jumped on it.”