Interview and photos by Scott Preston
Taina Asili carries on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing present and past struggles into one poetic song-voice. She is a puertorriquena vocalist, poet, visual artist, educator, activist and mother from Philadelphia, PA and Albany, NY. Her newest artistic work is with her live band, Taina Asili y La Banda Rebelde, soulful vocals laid over a unique infusion of hip hop, rock, neo-soul, flamenco and Afro-Caribbean sounds. Taina Asili carries a fire breathing voice of rage and resistance to venues, festivals, conferences and political events across the country. She weaves resistance, anti-colonialist struggle, love, identity, reclamation of the body, ancestral remembrance, and more into an unparalleled vocalization style melding poetry and song.
Cincy Groove: What have been some of the bands highlights over the past year?
Taina Asili: Well, we just came back from a U.S. tour. We started here in Albany, NY, then did some shows in the south and went across the country and into California. It was exciting because it was our first cross country tour with this group.
Cincy Groove: I was able to catch your set at this past years Mid Point Music Festival here in Cincinnati. Did you have a good time at the festival?
Taina Asili: We did have a great time. One of the things we enjoyed the most was when we played out on the street corner before we came in to do our set. A number of neighborhood folks came up to watch us perform. We’ll do that from time to time before we play our regular gigs. We even had a chorus of children playing with us. We gave them acoustic instruments to play and they really had a blast. Read more