In 2016, local world beat dance ensemble Universal Language played its first show in 6 years. The show, at Moe’s Alley, was a huge success, with the band playing every song off of its 2005 album Revolución, as well as nearly another album’s worth of unreleased material.
“It was fun. There was no pressure. There was no ego. It was like everybody was there for the music and to have a good time,” says lead singer Moshe Vilozny.
Now the group is doing it again, this time at the Crow’s Nest.
“This will be our first all-ages event in a long time,” Vilozny says. “It’s a perfect fit for us. I’m just stoked. It’s just going to be a party on the beach.”
Back in the mid-2000s, Universal Language was one of the biggest local draws. The group melded elements of Latin, African music, reggae and funk into an incredibly fun live experience. Then the group’s percussionist Pacha moved back to Mexico, which effectively ended the band’s run.
“It’s not the same band without him,” Vilozny says.
But when Pacha is back in town—like he was two years ago, and for this coming show—the band is more than happy to reunite.
“Everyone in the band is just a good friend and great musician. That’s the perfect combination. Since we get together so rarely, it’s just for fun,” Vilozny says. “We’re doing it just for the joy of getting together and playing music and to give the community.”
INFO: 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Crow’s Nest, 2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. Free. 476-4560.