Matthew Garza

Profile

I am a recent 2011 graduate of Brown University with a concentration in Education History & Policy and an interest in exploring how the arts can empower youth and communities to engage in the global conversation and to work towards a global citizenry and social justice, I took "Mande, Music, & Dance" during my freshman year and have since worked with the Mande Program at Brown as well as New Works/New World Traditions, directed by Michelle Bach-Coulibaly. I grew up in Corpus Christi, TX where my love for the performing and visual arts thrived and my passion for social activism ignited. During my time at Brown I have enjoyed working with the department of Education Studies and the department of Theatre and Performance Studies to further my interests in working with youth and utilizing performance as a tool for provoking social change.


Stories by this author

  • June 9th, 2011
    After many months of editing and mixing (and graduating), Papi Coulibaly's music video is complete! This music video not only represents the extraordinary talent of a young musician from Djoumanzana, Mali, but it is the culmination of a community's...
  • September 10th, 2010
    Dear Mali, Thanks for sharing so much with me this summer. I had a great time learning Doun Doun, dance, and songs from you and can’t wait to share them with my friends in America.Dear Mali, Thanks for sharing so much with me this summer. I had a...
  • September 9th, 2010
    OOOO OOOOOOOO! SURPRISE! I woke up this morning to Sophie banging on my door- its SELI! At first I was like, “but there was no moon!” but APPARENTLY the moon appeared on the outskirts of Bamako at 4am and Mali just threw it together! Djibi woke up...
  • group picture at the djoumanzana children's center
    September 8th, 2010
    [see you later] Maybe its because I ate a hamburger last night or maybe its because I’m having “leaving Mali devastation”/”back at Brown excitement” anxiety but I woke up feeling not so great. It was really hard for me to focus and I just felt...
  • September 7th, 2010
    After Doun Doun and Dance class this morning I spent the afternoon working with Sekou to learn and transcribe two more songs. The first was a Madan song called “Tungan Ma Dambe Don” which basically has the message, “Whatever you’re doing, do it and...
  • September 6th, 2010
    When it rains in Mali, things don’t happen. Today it rained so class didn’t happen at the center. Luckily, we called Awa Togo to come over for the afternoon to work on round 2 of the “Lullaby” project. Awa is a REALLY talented young singer in...
  • September 5th, 2010
    Today we spend the entire today shooting a music video! Now, I’ve never really filmed/produced/directed a hip hop music video but a) if you know me you know I’d jump at the chance to try and b) if you’ve seen the Malian version of vh1, you’d feel...
  • dam
    September 4th, 2010
    [malian checkers] There aren’t official classes at the children’s center today but I went to hang out for the afternoon and it was really fun to hang out with the kids, especially now that I know them by name! I’m going to take this opportunity to...
  • September 3rd, 2010
    Doun Doun lessons have been going SO well! I’m having such a great time learning from Madou who is so skilled and APPARENTLY Nahawa Doumbia’s drummer! WHAT?? He’s very encouraging and a fantastic teacher too. I hadn’t really had a GREAT experience...
  • September 2nd, 2010
    [some children are here today] This afternoon we held “auditions” for soloists for the second verse of “Sumaya.” I didn’t really want to hold auditions like this at first but I realized that this was another case where structure could provide a nice...
  • September 1st, 2010
    [poems] We were greeted at the Children’s Center today by a full class of students (the very same as yesterday- consistency! Yay!) eagerly and furiously writing down to finish their submissions for the “Poyi” (poetry) contest! It was really...
  • August 31st, 2010
    [truly malaria is a dangerous illness] This afternoon at the Children’s Center, we walked in on a flood of students ready to begin rehearsals for the Sumaya song. Last summer I was able to work with Joni Sissoko, a distinguished Malian composer, to...
  • August 30th, 2010
    [collaborate with the students] What a great Monday morning! After feeling good about learning the dance for Sungurru Banni, I started learning a super fun dance- Madan! I was so excited to get to the Children’s Center today! When I got there I was...
  • Ali Perou, artist
    August 29th, 2010
    [everybody should rejoice at the dancing ground] This morning in my Doun Doun lesson I learned the rhythms for Maraca and Sokou. Usually Sundays are a day of rest, especially during Ramadan, but Madou is awesome and wants me to learn as much as...
  • August 28th, 2010
    [I have an idea to express to you] Today in djoun djoun I learned the really difficult rhythm of Korajuga. I really love the feel of the oral tradition- not just in analysis and theory, but in applying it to a really fun instrument that is crucial...
  • Sekou Camara
    August 27th, 2010
    [knowing the tree, knowing the house, knowing oneself is better] Today I learned the djoun djoun rhythms of Sounou, a dance we taught in Mande last spring, and Sungurru Banni, a dance we’re learning this summer in Mali. After my lesson, Madou gave...
  • August 26th, 2010
    [little by little the bird makes its nest] Since the craziness and awesomeness of the other toubabous is gone it was kind of weird walking around an emptpy house but Sophie and I knew today would be a day for adjusting and catching up on work we...
  • August 25th, 2010
    [let’s go to school] This afternoon a few of us went to the Djoumanzana Children’s Center for some of the other Brown students last day in Mali (they’ve been here for about 2.5 weeks now). I was so excited to visit the center and hang out with the...
  • August 24th, 2010
    [everyday the ear goes to school] After rehearsal this morning a group of us went to the rehearsal space to observe District D’Bamako Dance Troupe’s rehearsal. I saw District D’Bamako last summer and it was great to see some familiar faces and...
  • August 23rd, 2010
    [a fearful person’s home will never be built] Today we woke up for a two-hour soutraman ride to Siby to hike up the highest point in Mande country.[a fearful person’s home will never be built] Today we woke up for a two-hour soutraman ride to Siby...
  • August 22nd, 2010
    [nothing is better than art and culture] This morning we traveled to Manyabougou to visit the studio of YaYa Coulibaly, a master puppeteer and one of the most illustrious Malian artists in the world. Michelle, our director, met YaYa in D.C. at an...
  • August 21st, 2010
    [the rain and wind surprised us all] Today was really exciting because after rehearsals we went to the Modibo Keita Stadium near Hippodrome (just outside of Djoumanzana) to see a rehearsal for the huge performance at Mali’s anniversary celebration...
  • August 20th, 2010
    [good morning mali] This morning was my first day in Mali and it was great to wake up to the Djoumanzana sunshine from my window. Despite a late-night arrival and little sleep, I decided to wake up “carpe diem style” at 9am to catch up and have...
  • August 17th, 2010
    [is everything peaceful?] After an exploit of public transit from Providence to Boston to New York to the JFK Airport, I’m waiting in terminal one feeling excited, anxious, and somewhat bemused. I am of course excited for the adventure I know is to...
  • June 30th, 2010
    The U.S. Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is financing the construction of a new, 23- month project, airport in Bamako, Mali to "open up the country and ease air links between Mali and other countries, improving commercial connections and...
  • June 17th, 2010
    The agency of musicians and artists in today's industry of charitable giving has really got me thinking about the distinctions between simply doing what you do FOR a cause and shaping what you do to be ABOUT a cause. Why does music as an art form...
  • June 10th, 2010
    "Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. " — Paulo Freire Even though I dont hop on my plane to Mali for a month and a half, reading my peers' entries about...
  • May 25th, 2010
    “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” -Victor Hugo I truly believe that music brings people to together. Not only this, but I am confident that music and art are invaluable tools in achieving critical...