Mario Calire (Ozomatli)

Mario Calire is a veteran LA-based drummer, currently in his tenth year with the band Ozomatli.

A native of Buffalo, NY, he moved to California when his dad, keyboardist/saxophonist Jimmy Calire got a gig with the band America. Raised in the bohemian Ojai valley by his musical father and artist mother alongside his two talented brothers, Mario was blessed with surroundings that proved the ideal incubator to nurture his creativity. Mario went on to study jazz and world music at the California Institute of The Arts. He networked quickly and began playing all around Los Angeles, eventually landing a gig with the Wallflowers in 1995. He stayed on through the band during its peak years, leaving in 2003 when he joined three-time Grammy winners Ozomatli.

Ozomatli has always toured extensively. Their multilingual and culturally diverse music and their notoriously infectious live shows connect with people all around the world. For several years they served as US Cultural Ambassadors, sharing their music across many less travelled nations such as Burma, Mongolia, Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Lithuania and India.

The idea of service is central in Mario┬┤s approach to his playing career. Having the tools and the will to give to the music just what is required has kept him working not only with his primary bands but also freelancing with artists like Rickie Lee Jones, Liz Phair, Nikka Costa, Brett Dennen, Pat Green and many others.