Meet The Fellows...

Stories of Jubilation: Antonio Davidson-Gómez
Washington State
Fellowship: 2014/2013

"My job is to foster inquiry and guide journeys of discovery," says Tony, who began presenting Latin American music in the classroom in 1993. Music and movement were constant elements of his bilingual kindergarten classes in Oakland, California. And while teaching high school in San Francisco, he facilitated a student Brazilian-samba-reggae percussion ensemble.

A veteran teacher of California's K-12 classrooms, Tony has developed bilingual education resources for public television, and works as a teaching artist at the Broadway Center for Performing Arts in Tacoma and Seattle's Creative Advantage. He recently wrote curricula for the PBS series, Latino Americans, and the national touring exhibition, American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music. "The guiding principal of my work is the inspiration of convivencia -- the co-existence of different worldviews and cultures. Music can facilitate dialogue, and illuminate history."

After working with social studies and performing arts departments, Tony crafted a state-approved world music course: tracing the Silk Road, and exploring the global impact of hip hop are just two of the topics. "I especially enjoy helping young students do hands-on detective work -- using instruments as artifacts -- to discover how disparate cultures create similar instruments or even have roots in common. I can"t seem to teach music without addressing history, language, and geography!"

Tony has played and studied percussion for more than 20 years, and when he's not teaching or presenting, he plays with Tango del Cielo, Alejandro Fleites, Touché, and Saloma de Panamá. Tony has performed and recorded in various genres, mainly on congas, bongó, cajon, darbuka, frame drums/tambourines, and various rattles. "I focus on Mediterranean and Afro-Latin music," he says, and expresses a particular interest in the historic intersections of Spain, Italy, and North Africa.

"Over the past six years, my work has focused on the power of music to connect diverse communities. We each carry slivers of past collaborations and collisions of race, economics, culture, and systems of belief. How better to connect with each other than to play and listen to each other's musical stories?"


Drums. "I was a kid in San Francisco in the 1970s. There were drummers in the park on the weekends, and the drums always spoke me."

Tony is Reading:
The Arts of Intimacy: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the Making of Castilian Culture by Jerrilynn D. Dodds, María Rosa Menocal, and Abigail Krasner Balbale
The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization by Jonathan Lyons
1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created by Charles C. Mann

Tony is Listening to:
"I love everything from Afro-Brazilian to Ska to Italian folk music to early music."
Favorite artists include Jordi Savall, Radio Tarifa and Macaco from Spain, Jorge Drexler (Uruguay), Italy’s Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, Gustavo Santaolalla (Argentina), Chilean hip hop artist Ana Tijoux, and Carlinhos Brown from Brazil.

Tony is Watching:
"Geeky superhero movies and PBS documentaries. The Lego Movie with my kids. Over. And. Over. Again."

(interviewed 2014)

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