Sevylla del Mazo
Founder and Teaching Artist
Sevylla del Mazo is a full-time musician, teaching artist, and mother who has been studying and performing West African and Afro-Caribbean traditional music for 15 years, and has over 10 years experience working with “at-risk” youth. In 2000 she received certification in Afro-Cuban drum and dance from the Casa de la Cultura, Old Havana, Cuba, and returned to Cuba in 2001 for additional training. In 2006, she was commissioned to produce a “carnaval” float for the inaugural First Night Austin festival, a New Year’s celebration of the arts, and in the fall of 2008, was awarded a grant from the City of Austin’s Cultural Arts Division to bring drum programming to the Dove Springs community which is now entering its 4th year.
In addition to her work with youth, she serves as board member, grant writer, booking agent, and veteran performer for Lannaya West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, an Austin-based 501(c)(3) arts organization. She also plays in the Austin area with Latin-Jazz trio, Acoustic Jungle; and finally, performs and facilitates for the Drum Cafe, an international, drum-based, team building organization. Her most recent work in the non-profit, arts in education sector include: Program Specialist for One World Theatre's After-School Arts Program (ASAP); Artist-in-Residence for Theatre Action Project; and Program Specialist for AISD’s 21st Century After-School Program. Sevylla holds a B.A. in Anthropology from UT Austin, and has been invited to speak at the UT Department of Theater and Dance; St. Edward's University; Mexic-Arte Museum; and the 21st Century “Hands-On, Minds-On” state-wide educators conference. You can find out more about Sevylla by visiting www.sevylladelmazo.com
Roots & Rhythms is a cultural arts and music education program that aims to increase community building by providing a percussion program to area children and youth. By utilizing language, culture, arts, and performance to develop a strong sense of self-worth, the program fosters a positive group dynamic in a safe, high-energy environment.
Children and youth in the Roots & Rhythms programs learn the importance of working cooperatively in a group, and also the importance of clear leadership within an ensemble. Participants learn that doing anything well takes hard work, and are held accountable for their behavior and actions. They also learn how to conduct and present themselves publicly; develop stage presence; learn how to be respectful audience members; and how to offer constructive criticism.
A vital component of the program is the opportunity to make, as well as play, a variety of percussion instruments. Students learn that the ability to make music should never be limited by economics, and they also learn to view found objects (recyclables and construction debris) as natural resources for instrument making and building.
All aspects of the program are supported through the use of multi-media to present music and performances from Africa, Cuba, and Brazil. Youth compare and contrast those cultures to their own, engage in critical listening of world music, and develop awareness of the larger global community.
"Great, the best Hands-on Training I've had, she's good—learned a lot—really good fun!"
21st Century "Hands-On, Minds-On" Conference
Brock has been playing and studying various kinds of music for most of his life. In recent years he has focused mainly on West African drums, Didgeridoo, which originated in Australia, and Indian Tabla, as well as assorted small percussion instruments. He has studied under Master Teachers who are at the top of their fields and has performed with a wide variety of bands, performing arts groups, dance productions, theatre productions, and, film productions nationwide, as well as playing for classes in West African and other genres of dance.
In addition to his music experience, Brock draws from a strong background in teaching and childcare. He's played a significant role in the lives of several children as a male "nanny," and has been a favorite of parents and students as an instructor of swimming and Martial Arts.
Roots & Rhythms 2011-2012
Hello from Roots & Rhythms Kidz