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Matthew Espina Harris
Music Lead

LEADERSHIP SPOTLIGHT

Matthew Espina Harris

Matthew Espina Harris had his first exposure to Philippine-inspired music through Pilipino Culture Night at UC Davis, where he fell in love with Rondalla and Kulintang music. Soon after, Matthew joined the American Center of Philippine Arts (ACPA) as a member of their music ensemble and studied traditional Maguindanaon and Meranao Kulintang music under House of Gongs. In 2018, he went on to establish one of the only completely student-run, traditionally based Kulintang ensembles in the United States through Mga Kapatid at UC Davis. His cultural performance projects while attending the university were supported by the City of Davis Arts Grant in 2019.

Matthew now serves as a cultural advisor to numerous collegiate Filipinx-American organizations across NorCal, including UC Davis and USF among others. He is also an active performer and researcher with Parangal. In early 2022, he joined the company’s Artistic Team as Music Lead, with a focus on developing our kulintang repertoire. His cultural endeavors here in California are coupled with extensive field research conducted in the Philippines. He has been a part of three research trips over the last few years to better understand the evolving traditions of Indigenous communities across the Philippine archipelago.


Matthew Espina Harris
Parangal, Music Lead

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In addition to his work as an educator and musician, Matthew has extended his community outreach through the promotion of tangible heritage from the Philippines. He is the owner of PamanaTreasures, an online store that aims to bridge diasporic interest in jewelry and textiles with the growing movement in support of Philippine artisans. Proceeds from the store are reinvested into the communities of the store’s partnering collectives.