Ever since she was young, Jasmine Rosario’s dreamed of being “a badass female musician.” Based on our conversation at Lineage Brewery near her home in Clintonville, it’s safe to say she’s reached this goal. Rosario is a songwriter and guitarist for the Columbus, Ohio-based band The Original Soundtrack. The music she plays and writes for this project is inspired by her love of rhythm – a musical influence she attributes to her family and Puerto Rican culture.
During high school, Rosario moved from Tampa, Florida to Texas, and then finally to Canal Winchester, Ohio. Finding herself at a new school and a stark snow-ridden landscape, Rosario nonetheless continued to follow her passion for theater and music. The pursuit of these two interests helped her establish community in Canal Winchester and Columbus, Ohio where she now lives and works.
In addition to playing in The Original Soundtrack, Rosario volunteered this past year for Grrrls Rock Columbus – a creative arts camp that seeks to build self-esteem in girls, trans, and gender variant youth between the ages of 12-18 through musical expression and performance. As a band leader, she guided a small group of students in writing their own music, pairing her love of songwriting with a commitment to female empowerment. For Rosario, music is one of the most liberating and powerful means of expression. As she explained in our conversation – guitar, drums, and singing help her connect to family, culture, and community.
All photos for this feature are by Tiera D. Photo.
On overcoming a challenging moves from Tampa, Florida – to Texas – and Texas to Canal Winchester, Ohio:
🎧 Listen (1:47)
“Being the new kid, it was weird… it was a lot harder to fit in. But eventually I ended up taking part of things I was interested in like drama and theater and meeting people that I could make connections with… Once I was able to make friends, I fell in love with Columbus.”
A kid growing up to the beat of a drum:
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“I’m really a percussionist deep down in my heart. I grew up in a very Hispanic home… My dad had the timbales [and congas (his primary instrument)] and I used to have a little drum set he let me play on while he was playing… We would go to the music store, we would go to his band practices, this music just grew on me.”
Salsa music’s influence on Jasmine’s songwriting:
🎧 Listen (2:27)
“Where I come from musically is Latina, it was salsa and rhythmic… When I play [guitar], I think about rhythm… this comes from the salsa I grew up around.”