Born in Mexico City, Silvio Diaz grew up in Ensenada and Tijuana in an artistic household. His family produced educational performances for children, featuring puppetry, theater, and music. At a young age, Silvio played various musical instruments, including the clarinet, guitar, and drum set, along with other forms of percussion. Additionally, he participated in his family’s puppetry, theater, and music productions, performing in Mexico, Spain, and the United States.
While performing with his family, Silvio pursued his interest in visual arts and Latin percussion. He attended an arts high school in Mexico City before earning a bachelor’s degree in music composition from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. His journey as a musician involved playing in several bands, each specializing in different genres—including reggae, rock, and Latin music—while pursuing his own musical goals.
In 2018, Silvio relocated to San Diego to join his father and brother in their percussion ensemble Drummers Without Borders. Since its formation, Drummers Without Borders has been dedicated to providing music education to underserved communities, schools, correctional facilities, and the general public. The group uses rhythm as a fundamental tool to engage students and help them feel a sense of accomplishment. Their programs sometimes end with a parade with large puppets and rows of children marching with drums.
Drummers Without Borders has performed for the Center for World Music in two recent series: “Music on the Move: Border Stories” at The Front Arte Cultura Gallery and “Sound of the Border | Sonido de la Frontera” at Mingei International Museum.As a teaching artist with the CWM’s World Music in the Schools program, Silvio introduces students to the percussive rhythms of Latin America. He encourages his pupils to start simple, try new things, collaborate, and express themselves. His goal is to inspire confidence and teamwork.
Thanks to a partnership between the CWM, San Diego Unified’s Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department, the VAPA Foundation, and the California Arts Council, Silvio participated in a program at Balboa Elementary highlighting the music and rhythms of Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.
San Diego’s KUSI News featured this class for bringing culturally relevant music programming into schools:
Silvio teaches for organizations such as the San Diego Guild of Puppetry, Arts Education Connection San Diego, The House of Music, and Bocón Arts. He also enjoys playing music at home with his daughter. His ultimate dream is for everyone to recognize the power of art in education and human development.