Miguel A. Bolívar
:educator, composer, social equity ambassador.
The visceral experience of music has the power to create change.
In his classroom, his compositions, and concert halls, Miguel Bolivar strives to level the playing field by breaking cultural barriers and biases and creating equity through music. As an educator, he leads by example and inspires his students to try new things, take ownership of self-realization, learn how to be leaders in their communities, and become the best versions of themselves. As a composer, he looks back upon his roots in order to fashion his future, giving voice to music overshadowed through centuries of dominance by Western traditions. As an executive director of a music organization which provides a stage for current creative voices in music and for culturally and gender underrepresented youth, Miguel proves to the world that change is not only possible but necessary.
Growing up in a Latin household of Peruvian immigrants, music was not simply something that was heard in the background for Miguel. It was an integral part of his everyday life and was experienced with the entire body through listening, singing and dancing. The inspiration to learn a musical instrument did not come from familial origins, but rather through records and songs. Music by artists such as saxophonist Julio Mori peaked Miguel's interest and, when presented with the opportunity to learn how to make music in school, he became a proud band member from the third grade and never looked back. Music was not only a place where he felt he safely belonged as part of a special community, it made him feel things that no other activity did, whether it be listening, playing, or composing. This special feeling along with the realization of music’s power to unite communities led Miguel to dedicate his life to music through its teaching, writing new pieces, and empowering voices that usually do not have a chance to be heard. These voices now come alive on the concert stage, inspiring others to rise above their current state. Giving back to the community that nurtured his education and drive, Mr. Bolivar teaches at his Alma Mater in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Compositionally, the creation of new music is the ultimate expression of self. Miguel writes for solo instruments, ensembles, as well as arrangements for bands. He is in the last throes of earning his Doctorate degree in music composition at Rutgers University. He is currently working on his thesis, an Opera based on the story of Atahualpa, the last of the Inca Emperors. It tells the story of colonization, globalization, and clash of cultures.
As the executive director of Mantra Percussion Ensemble and Mantra Youth, Miguel has the opportunity to empower others to present their stories, culture, and music.
Read their story and hear their music as featured in NPR article, link in Navigation Bar.
Get in touch
Any inquiries about available sheet music, compositions lessons, saxophone lessons, or just to say hello- fill out the form below! I'd love to hear from you!