It’s that time of year again when people across the nation gather around their dinner tables to give thanks, only to then trample one another the very next morning over meaningless deals.
But for one local band, the season inspires a different approach to the holiday. Together with a lineup of talented South Florida musicians, the State Of will help put on the second installment of Friendsgiving this year at Churchill's.
This year’s Friendsgiving is of particular importance for the local synth-pop duo, as the later end of the year has been a comeback of sorts for the band with the official return of drummer/vocalist Nabedi Osorio.
Having been in the scene since 1999, Osorio decided she needed to explore some personal changes and ventured off to California in 2012, only to return three years later because of the unfortunate news of a cancer diagnosis in the family.
“It helped me learn that I can make anything happen in my own life,” Osorio says. “It was a selfish move that I needed, and in being selfish, I ended up being selfless.”
Though, despite the distance, Osorio and the State Of pianist/vocalist Steph Taylor never doubted the continuation of the bond that was formed when they were 19 and 17, respectively.
“To me, it was clear that Nabedi had to go on that journey. We have always had a powerful connection through music and as friends, and as hard as it was to see her go, I knew in my heart that she was doing what she needed to do and that this decision to leave was essential to her growth as a human being,” Taylor says. “This decision was bigger than me, it was bigger than the band, and I supported it all the way.”
Despite the distance, Osorio and Taylor maintained communication and even put on shows during the few times Osorio visited each year. It wasn’t until Osorio came back in time for the inaugural summer of Miami Girls Rock Camp (cofounded by Taylor) that the duo picked up where they left off with full force.
“So much magic and synchronicity happened around MGRC that it was no surprise that Nabedi’s return to Miami was just in time for the camp. I was literally in an MGRC planning meeting with Emile Milgrim when Nabedi called and told me that she was moving back,” Taylor remembers. “We both love working with kids and have been doing so for quite some time now, so it was a perfect way to jump back in by empowering, teaching, and performing for the campers and their families in our first show back together.”
Now the two have made their way back to the studio and are more than ready to continue their musical journey together.
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“Being away was the best thing I could’ve ever done,” says Osorio. "I learned a lot about myself and now appreciate life, friendships, relationships, and musical connections on a deeper level. Nabedi is ready for anything."
“We look forward to continuing making people feel good through music," Taylor adds. "It’s on!”
Friendsgiving With the State Of, Afrobeta, Cog Nomen, Jesse Jackson, Cleaveland Jones, and Denabi, plus DJ sets by Heather Holiday and Phaxas. Saturday, November 28, 9 p.m. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission costs $7. Ages 18 and up.