Exciting, original, dynamic, musically electrifying performances of cross cultural excellence.

Husband-wife duo, Sana and Papo Nickel returned to New England and Puerto Rico after a five year tour through Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Inspired by the rhythms and songs of the people they encountered, TAINO creates their powerful sound using exquisite vocals, guitars, congas, bongos, bamboo flutes, cuatro, requinto, and a whole array of instruments from diverse ethnic origins. One of TAINO’s distinguishing features is it use of kumba, a spontaneous musical language based on Afro-Latin dialects. Through its music, TAINO speaks to the universality of the human experience.


This festive fun filled performance adds the sparkle of steel drum to TAINO’S diverse ensemble of instruments. In a highly participatory performance, Sana & Papo explore Mento, Calypso, and Reggae rooted in the Anglo Afro culture of the islands.


This musical adventure retraces TAINO’s five-year journey through Central and South America and the Caribbean. Authentic Latin American songs from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, and Jamaica are integrated with some of TAINO’s original compositions which have been inspired by the countries and people that they encountered. Songs are interwoven with stories involving some of the history of Christopher Columbus and personal experiences.

The program is bilingual (some Spanish with English translations), and full of audience participation. A large map of the area is displayed and used for definition of the areas traveled.


Through story, song, and theatre, TAINO takes students on a journey with Christopher Columbus exploring the world that Columbus encountered in his many voyages to America, and the subsequent transformation of that world with the meeting of the Native American, European, and African peoples.

As TAINO journeys with Columbus to the lands we now call Puerto Rico, Guadelupe, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Columbia, and Venezuela, the students will be invited to actively participate in the songs and will be encouraged to reflect on the historical significance of Columbus’ voyages. Many will discover Christopher Columbus and his "new" world for the first time. Twelve pre-selected students will be part of the presentation on stage.


TAINO takes the audience on a journey of Caribbean music during the holiday season, visiting Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Trinidad, Guadalupe, and Jamaica. Without any reference to religious traditions, TAINO has retained the joyous and festive nature of the Caribbean during the holiday season.

Although the emphasis is to experience the music of these people, their foods, costumes, and a bit of the history of each country is explored. Throughout this educational and entertaining journey, some students will have the opportunity to actively participate in playing percussion instruments accompanying TAINO, experiencing the French speaking, Spanish speaking, and English speaking traditions of the Caribbean.


This presentation features music inspired by the sounds and flavors of the major rain forest areas of the world. Students travel along the Equator, visiting the most critically endangered forest regions, from the Amazon of South America, to the great forests of central Africa, to the magic jungles of Indonesia, to the rapidly disappearing forests of our own North American continent.

Through stories, ethnic instruments, special songs, and language from remote parts of the world, TAINO helps students to understand and appreciate the deep connection we all share with our living and imperiled earth. The program includes direct student participation in the music. Workshops are available for students and music teachers interested in more intensive vocal choral involvement in conjunction with a community concert.


This is a very festive, celebratory program geared especially for end of school year and other fun family events. It includes new instrumentation (Sana gets to demonstrate her dazzling keyboard skills). The emphasis here is on participation! For example, Papo leads four audience members in a short reggae percussion workshop while Sana directs a backup chorus of 2-4 vounteers in preparation for the full band performance and audience sing-along. As with all TAINO programs, the show varies to suit the age level of the audience, with special consideration given to sponsor preferences.

7. GRACIAS A LA VIDA (Thanksgiving Around the World)

For millennia, the people of the world have felt the need to affirm their connection with the earth and nature’s bounty. Combining story, music, masks, dance, ethnic musical instruments, and audience participation, TAINO celebrates the harvest time. Journey with TAINO to the Celtic harvest traditions of the British Isles, to the Latino harvest festivities of the Caribbean, to the rainforest rituals of the Mbuti in Africa, and tot he rice harvest ceremonies of Asia. This is truly a bountiful celebration!


TAINO brings to the world of family entertainment a show that will keep any audience hopping in their seats. Inspired by the likes of Buena Vista Social Club, Harry Belafonte, Bob Marley, the Mighty Sparrow, and Tito Puente, TAINO will take the audience on a journey that will fascinate and astound the ears, giving the audience a true taste of the upbeat, big band, island sound. In addition to the sizzling piano, cooking congas, and soaring vocals, TAINO adds trombonist and steel drummer extraordinaire, Dan DeWalt to create an uplifting entertainment event!

Workshops and residencies, as well as specially designed performances are also available!

Drawing upon their twenty-plus years of direct experience, TAINO will offer small, hands-on workshops, related to the themes of any of their 7 performances, including Latin-American music, rainforests, Spanish language and culture, and more.


College, Elementary School, High School, Kindergarten, Middle School, Nursery, Prekindergarten, Preschool


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