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Taína Asili

Puerto Rican vocalist Taína Asili carries on the tradition of her ancestors, fusing past and present struggles into one soulful and defiant voice. Her newest artistic work is with la Banda Rebelde (the Rebel Band), a six piece ensemble based in Albany, NY. This dynamic force brings love, resistance, and ancestral remembrance to venues, festivals, conferences and political events across the globe. Powerful vocals laid over an energetic fusion of Afro-Latin, reggae, and rock, the band’s eclectic style offers a sound that spans continents, with heartfelt lyrics sung in multiple languages. 

Taína Asili’s voice exudes strength of Spirit, filling its listeners with the fervor of freedom and inspiring audiences to dance to the movement of rebellion. Taína Asili y la Banda Rebelde released their debut album War Cry in 2010. With an uncompromising lyrical integrity and dynamic sound, the multilingual album War Cry blends the energy of Ojos de Brujo, the soul of Lila Downs and the defiance of Rage Against the Machine. Journalist Josh Potter of The Metroland, Albany, NY’s alternative newsweekly, describes War Cry as “a pan-global roots-musical mélange that appeals to the struggle of tradition to envision a world of social justice.”

Taína Asili [tahy-ee-nah ah-see-lee] hails from Philadelphia, PA and Albany, NY where she has worked as a musician, poet, educator and community organizer for over 15 years.  She has shared the stage with renowned artists such as Ursula Rucker, Sonia Sanchez, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Pamela Means, Paula Cole, and Tyrone Hill of The Sun Ra Arkestra. Taína was a winner of the 2005 Transformation Award given by the Leeway Foundation each year to a select few of women artists who profoundly use their work towards social change. She has performed from Montreal to San Francisco and from Mexico to Spain capturing the hearts of her listeners.

“If you look at our history,” she says, “you see over and over that music has played a central role in changing how people think, for the good and bad. How we make change in the larger political landscape starts with how we affect one another individually, and music brings message in a way that opens people—their heart, mind, spirit.”

Taína’s performance history and experience is as eclectic as her artistic work. Her father a Latin-jazz conductor, vocalist and congero, and her mother an Afro-Caribbean dancer, Taína was strongly influenced by the music which surrounded her childhood. She was raised in Binghamton NY, and trained as a European classical vocalist. Taína later found punk rock, and for eight years wrote and sang songs of rage and resistance with Antiproduct, touring the country several times and putting out four albums internationally. Throughout her career, Taína has performed and recorded soulful  back-up vocals for numerous bands including jam band Yolk, Puerto Rican punk band Ricanstruction, and hip hop/rock band Broadcast Live.

In her move to Philadelphia, Taína fell in love with spoken word and began writing and performing as a solo poet around the country. Her poetic work has been featured in a number of CD collections. She can also be witnessed in Scene and Not Heard, a documentary about women and hip hop culture in Philadelphia, also featuring Bahamadia and Monie Love.

She began facilitating poetry workshops at Taller Puertorriqueño, a Puerto Rican cultural center based in North Philadelphia where she taught local Puerto Rican youth about the current struggle and resistance movement in Vieques, Puerto Rico, using poetry and drawing as their expressive voice. Taína has since taught poetry writing workshops for both children and adults, with a focus on marginalized populations including incarcerated women, refugees and union workers. She has her MA in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College.

The folkloric arts of Latin American and Spain have captured her heart in new ways. Currently, Taína Asili and guitarist Gaetano Vaccaro have come together as a duet (AsiliVaccaro.com) to perform folkloric music from Latin America and flamenco from Spain. Together they have studied at Flamenco Latino in NYC, and Taller Flamenco and El Centro de Arte y Flamenco de Sevilla in Seville, Spain.

Taína is dedicated to using her art as a tool for personal and social transformation. Her art is not only political, but based in the concrete organizing she is in involved in, working in political prisoner liberation, prisoner rights, indigenous rights, environmental justice, and holistic health movements for over a decade. However, Taína’s main revolutionary and artistic work involves raising her children… her best artistic inspiration.

For more information, visit: Taina Asili

Taze Yanick

Taze Yanick spent his early years in Seattle, Washington before eventually moving to Binghamton, NY to take up studies in guitar.  He has been active in an impressively wide variety of groups that have spanned styles ranging from Latin jazz, traditional Greek music, heavy metal, blues, country, rock and bluegrass.

Taze's versatility as a performer has opened numerous doors of opportunities including time spent working the cruise ships of Hawaii as well as leading nine-piece Jazz ensembles back in Binghamton.  He constantly plays hired gun to a variety of local groups, floating effortlessly through Bluegrass, Country, Jazz, Folk and Rock.

Taze is currently playing with a number of local groups in and around central New York.  His virtuosity on tenor and electric guitar has also earned him high regard and a place with the top jazz performers in the area as a soloist and session player.

For more information, visit: Taze Yanick

Thoughts as Devices

Calling Binghamton home, Thoughts as Devices are: Mike Burrell (vox/low guitar), Greg DeAngelo (drums), & Phil McGovern (lead guitar), Brett Pornbeck (bass).  Influenced by such artists as: Biffy Clyro, Coheed & Cambria, Perfect Circle, Jeff Buckley, Bear In Heaven, Beastie Boys, The Beatles, Nirvana, David Bowie, Prince, Alice In Chains - their music is a mix of Rock, Dance, Indie, Math, Pop. 

For more information, visit: Thoughts As Devices


Tim Ruffo

Tim Ruffo has been influenced by a variety of Outlaw Country icons such as Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. He also found inspiration from Pink Floyd, Johnny Winter and the Rolling Stones. Growing up listening to his mother playing guitar and singing old country songs around a campfire, Tim had first hand exposure to music as an outlet and expression of life, whether it is during hard times or times to party hard. Tim left home at 16 years old, joining the Air Force. He traveled all the way to Alaska, meeting people and making memories, he learned how to live hard, work hard and play hard.

After recording his first solo album, “Take Me Away” in 2011, Tim Ruffo continued to play shows all over New York and Pennsylvania as a solo artist, with the Tim Ruffo Band and The Ruffo Brothers. Two years later, Tim decided it was time to get back in the studio and create more original music culminating in his most recent EP produced by Jeff DaBella. Auto Pilot Off (Def Jam/Universal) http://www.universalmusic.com and Dena (Sono Recording Group/Earl Cohen Productions),

The August 2013 release “Long Long Day” moves you with the emotions connected to working hard, reconnecting with old friends, lost love, survival and hope. Tim Ruffo has opened up for Gretchen Wilson, Eddie Money and Joe Nichols as well as playing shows with Bloodshot artists The Deadstring Brothers and Whitey Morgan and the 78’s. In the New Year, Tim aspires to share his music with a larger fanbase in the Northeast part of the country and garner a spot on an indie label. Tim is backed by his four-piece country rock band. Catching the Tim Ruffo Band on a live stage is sure to get you off your feet and dancing. The love of live performing is what Tim Ruffo is all about.

For more information, visit: Tim Ruffo Band

Tom Sorber

Tom Sorber was a versatile musician, performer, composer and arranger. His musical influences and studies (both in college and out) and years of gigging shaped him into a well schooled funky two-fisted good time keyboardist. He was equally comfortable playing smooth piano behind a torchy love song as he was playing high energy, funky rhythms and leads on a Hammond B3 organ, or a ripping synth line.

In addition, Tom did a great deal of recording, taught piano music theory/technique, arranged for and directed church choirs and orchestras, co-founded the Gospel group "Jacob's Ladder", had been a signed musician with the ABC Dunhill Recording Company, recording in New York City, and has written/recorded many original songs (won a National song writing competition, wrote the fight song theme for the original Broome Dusters hockey team, and has been published by a major Gospel label).

Tom performed and recorded with many successful groups over the years. He even had the honor of being invited to play "Wooly Bully" and "Little Red Riding Hood" with "Sam the Sham" and "At The Hop" with "Danny and the Juniors" in concert. Most recently Tom was part of a classic Rock & Roll show that included "Lou Christie", "The Toys", "The Earls" and "The Happenings".

Tom was active in the Binghamton music community, always had a number of projects in the works and was highly sought after as a soloist, accompanist, arranger or sub by other musicians and groups.