Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Woman Warrior: Singer/Activist Maya Azucena

Singer Maya Azucena, photo by Shannon Finney, February 2013, Miami, Florida

The first thing I noticed about singer/songwriter Maya Azucena was the flower in her hair,
and then I heard her sing. Azucena is a blend of hip-hop, soul, r&b, and swagger. Her
high-energy performances can bring a crowd to their feet, but the raw truth of her lyrics
can bring you to tears. Whether she's detailing the painful abuse she suffered at the
hands of a boyfriend in the song, "The Half", or imploring listeners to channel their
inner fighter in "Warriors," Azucena blends vulnerability with power. She has traveled the
world as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. State Department's American Music
Abroad program, producing and performing in cross-cultural events. Her focus has
been on women's health, including a series of concerts and workshops in Africa
in support of abuse and rape victims. Azucena and Emmy Award-winning director,
Lisa Russell, founded, a multi-media website that uses performance
and visual arts to raise awareness for better maternal health.

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