Secret City Concert Series Blasts Into July

Ozomatli kicks off July for the Secret City Concert Series. Courtesy photo

Secret City Concert Series Blasts Into July

The Secret City Concert Series is booming along! With six concerts down, things are running smoothly. Four more great bands are scheduled to headline in July and five more in August.

Kid’s programing begins at 6 p.m., the opening act comes on at 6:30 p.m. and the headliners take the stage at 8 p.m. All concerts are at the Ashley Pond Park Pavilion and all are free.

July 5, Ozomatli: Ozomatli is an American six-piece band playing primarily Latin, hip hop, and rock music, formed in 1995 in Los Angeles.

They are known both for their vocal activist viewpoints and their wide array of musical styles – including salsa, jazz, funk, reggae, rap, and others.

The group formed in 1995 and has since released seven studio albums. The group is also known for advocating for farm-workers’ rights and immigration reform. The band has performed in various countries all over the world, including China, Tunisia, Jordan and Burma.

Although the band has had many member changes over the years and has sometimes had as many as 10 members, the current six members have been in the band since its debut album.

In 1998, Ozomatli released its self-titled debut album, and soon after opened for Carlos Santana on his Supernatural world tour. The group released Embrace the Chaos in 2001, followed by Street Signs in 2004. Don’t Mess with the Dragon followed in 2007, which saw the band experimenting with a more diverse array of musical styles. The group composed music for Happy Feet 2 and recorded Ozomatli Presents Ozokidz, a family-friendly album.

From 2011 to 2014, Ozomatli also served as the house band for stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias’ television show, Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand Up Revolution.

July 12, Chevel Shepherd: New Mexico’s own Chevel Shepherd is the winner of season 15 of the American talent competition The Voice at the age of 16. The petite girl with a big voice is setting the country music world on fire.

Shepard is from Farmington, where she was raised on country music and the outdoors – often doing crafts, feeding the animals and fixing up cars with her dad.

Shepard has had big dreams since she was a little girl, such as singing at the Grand Ole Opry, recieving Grammys, putting out albums and touring nationwide. She’s well on her way to achieving those goals.

On May 26 Shepard performed God Bless America before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500.

July 19, The Damn Band: Upbeat, hard-hitting and lots of fun, The Damn Band performs R&B, pop and rock covers, plus original tunes.

Formed in the late ‘90s by K. Bolan as a house band for Red River’s Bull O’ The Woods Saloon, The Damn Band is now based in Taos. Known as “The Party Band of the Southwest” The Damn Band is a guaranteed good time.

The Damn Band consists of Bolan (lead vocals, guitar), Mina Tank (lead vocals), Peter Vigil (bass), Randy Morris (drums) and Bob Andrews (keyboards). Harlan Kesson is the band’s sound engineer and adds percussion and raps on occasion.

July 26, Sol Connection & Concepto Tambor: Hailing from Colorado, New Mexico, and Argentina, the four musicians who make up Sol Connection combine their love for ska and Latin rhythms into an original and tight package that makes for great listening and irresistible dancing. Cumbia, ska, bossa, reggaeton, samba and cha-cha-cha infuse the band’s originals and covers.

Sol Connection plays at venues and private parties throughout northern New Mexico and Colorado.

Concepto Tambor blends Afrolatin / Brazilian grooves, hip-hop, a call and response style of singing / chanting with a rock-n-roll attitude and energetic

performance. The band has shared the stage with internationally known artists such as Lila Downs, Los Mocosos, Buju Banton, Quetzal, John Trudell, War, B Side Players.

After becoming one of Albuquerque’s most popular acts, the band relocated from New Mexico to Long Beach, Calif. in early 2009, and has now returned back home to Albuquerque in 2016 with a new worldly flavor.

Chevel Shepherd, winner of The Voice. Courtesy photo
The Damn Band. Courtesy photo

Sol Connection. Courtesy photo

Concepto Tambor. Courtesy photo