The Wheeler Opera House and Belly Up Aspen present a big music line-up with Big Head Todd and The Monsters on Wednesday, December 27, and Ozomatli on Saturday, December 30. “Thanks to our longstanding partnership with Belly Up Aspen, we can feature great bands on the Wheeler stage for the holiday week!” says Lisa Rigsby Peterson, Executive Director of the Wheeler. “From December 26-31, there is something for everyone at the Wheeler Opera House.”

Big Head Todd and The Monsters
Co-presented with Belly Up Aspen
Wednesday, December 27, 2023 at 7:30 PM

An American musical institution, Big Head Todd and The Monsters have seamlessly woven a musical tapestry for over three decades, amassing an impressive record of achievements. With over 3,500 performances, countless sold-out shows, and even beaming their tunes into outer space, the quartet has earned accolades from music legends like Robert Plant and institutions like The Denver Broncos. For the Colorado quartet, Todd Park Mohr [vocals, guitar, keys, sax, harmonica], Brian Nevin [drums, percussion], Rob Squires [bass, vocals], and Jeremy Lawton [guitar, keys, vocals, steel guitar], friendships forged in the crowd are one of their proudest accomplishments.

From their independent debut in 1989 to the platinum success of “Sister Sweetly” in 1993, Big Head Todd and The Monsters carved a niche with their original material, standing out in a scene dominated by cover bands. Over the years, their discography, including albums like “Strategem” and “Beautiful World,” showcased their versatility, incorporating blues, folk, rock, and country.

The band’s musical journey reached new heights in 2005 when they wrote “Blue Sky” for NASA, performing it live from Mission Control to awaken astronauts aboard the shuttle. In 2017, “New World Arisin'” further solidified their standing with fan adoration and critical acclaim.

Beyond music, the band’s impact extends to memorable moments like headlining the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl victory parade and hosting their own cruise and musical extravaganza in Jamaica. The iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a stage they graced 32 times, holds a special place in their hearts, with a notable return in June 2021 marking their first full-capacity gig post-COVID.

In 2019, the band introduced “Monsters Music Monthly,” sharing free songs and videos, showcasing collaborations with blues legends like Buddy Guy and John Popper. Reflecting on his unique journey, Todd, a half-Asian kid from Colorado, expresses gratitude for the opportunities to collaborate with idols like Neil Young, B.B. King, and John Lee Hooker.

The band’s legacy is not just in their music but in the communities they’ve built and the joy they’ve shared over decades.

Co-presented with Belly Up Aspen
Saturday, December 30, 2023 at 7:30 PM

Ozomatli, born in the cultural crucible of Los Angeles in 1995, is more than a band; it’s a sonic odyssey navigating the diverse influences that shape its members. Emerging from the nexus of youthful activism and musical passion, Ozomatli’s music is a vibrant fusion of urban-Latino, hip-hop, salsa, dancehall, cumbia, samba, funk, merengue, comparsa, East LA R&B, New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga, and Indian raga—a testament to their commitment to exploring global sounds within the rich tapestry of Los Angeles.

The band’s musical prowess has earned them prestigious accolades, including two Grammy Awards and a Latin Grammy. Recognized as official US Cultural Ambassadors, Ozomatli enchants audiences worldwide, contributing significantly to Los Angeles’ cultural vibrancy. April 23rd is celebrated as Ozomatli Day in the city, honoring their profound impact.

With a remarkable 27-year journey, Ozomatli has crafted a robust discography, achieving sales in the hundreds of thousands across their album releases. Their 25th-anniversary celebration culminated in the release of their ninth studio album, “Marching On.” The band’s dynamic live performances consistently draw sold-out crowds globally, and they’ve graced esteemed TV platforms like The Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, PBS, and Austin City Limits. Their cinematic presence includes an appearance in Drew Barrymore’s Never Been Kissed.

Expanding their creative horizons, Ozomatli recently ventured into children’s literature with the release of “Moose on the Loose” on September 19, 2023. This imaginative book, an extension of their family-friendly album “Ozomatli presents Ozokidz,” captures the exuberant spirit of their music, infusing magic and melody into each captivating page. Ozomatli continues to evolve, weaving a musical and literary tapestry that transcends genres and captivates audiences of all ages.