The Latin band Ozomatli is rocking out on the flatbed of a truck parked on a closed-down Spring Street in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a Saturday in early November, and the band is playing for a motley group of aging and 20-something hippies, union workers and even some Jews from the Westside, all of whom are dancing in the street a few hundred yards from the Occupy L.A. encampment on the grounds outside City Hall.
"Wil-Dog Abers is Jewish?" The question comes up often for the co-founder of the sociopolitical salsa-pop-reggae-hip-hop band Ozomatli, which has won two Grammys for best alternative Latin rock. Hispanic fans address the bassist as ese, the Spanish slang for homeboy, and are shocked to learn he's Jewish. But both Abers and the band thrive on contradictions.