New! This program focuses on the long tradition of Latin American and U.S. Latino artists engaging in social change through music, dance, theater, poetry and visual art. From the Mexican muralist movement to the political critiques of Puerto Rican plena, nueva cancion in Chile, popular theater of the Chicano Movement and politicized reggaeton, we will explore how music ties to social justice struggles.
Born in South Texas to a Chicano activist and an Italian American VISTA volunteer, Tony moved often growing up. Music and language became constant companions in decoding ever-changing cultural ecologies between South Texas, the Bay Area, and Tucson. This trajectory formed his calling to develop cultural dialogue and empathy. Tony specializes in not belonging anywhere, but making friends everywhere. Mestizaje – a mixed identity formed at the intersection of cultures – shapes his work as a musician, curator, educator, and producer. Having studied on four continents, he plays Afro-Latin, Mediterranean, and Arabic percussion. Previously a K12 teacher, he has served as an educator and curriculum writer for public television and is now the Education Manager at Tacoma Arts Live. Being a working musician is indivisible from being educator, an arts administrator, and a parent. The same heart that draws him to teach compels him to speak through the drum.