Concert honors memory of late alum
By: Angie Baroffio
Two years ago, Tulane graduate Matt Costa was killed in a boating accident in where he had served for three years in the Peace Corps. Though he had completed his time teaching young children in a small Chadian village, Costa requested another year of service. He was transferred to Mali, where he taught villagers more advanced farming techniques and dee-jayed at a radio station.
In Mali, September 2006, Costa and another Peace Corps volunteer, Justin Brady, were killed on a sailboat Costa had constructed with friends. He was set to return to the United States later that month and was only 24 years old.
Costa's legacy as a hard-working and dedicated individual who touched hundreds of people lives on with the first annual "Music for Matt" concert, hosted by Costa's fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, tomorrow night.
"This get-together is to celebrate Matt's life, a life way too short, but very long on compassion, adventure and giving and getting the most from every single day," said Pamela Cameron, Costa's mother. "But Matt's most important legacy is the number of people he touched."
Concert coordinators have recruited "musicians of all stripes for the benefit, proceeds from which will go toward two causes in stride with Matt's spirit, The Peace Corps and the Costa Memorial Scholarship, set up by his mother, Pamela Cameron," according to a press release from representatives of Music for Matt.
"We picked Rebirth [Brass Band] because it is a mainstay of New Orleans," Event Coordinator Daniel Lieberman said. Rebirth was founded in New Orleans in 1982 and has since gone on to tour the world.
"It's a really authentic experience that automatically makes you think of New Orleans," Lieberman said.
n addition to Rebirth, a variety of other bands plan to play the event. Kevin McDevitt, one of Costa's fraternity brothers, is the Rogue Heroes' drummers. Denver-based Frogs Gone Fishin' includes lead singer Trevor Jones, a Tulane alum who played in the band, The Zoo, while he went to school here. The last act, Soul Capital, is Miles Beats' and Ben Brubaker's band. Beats is a local DJ and Tulane sophomore and Brubaker graduated from Tulane this past year.
"This is the first year the [Matt Costa] Scholarship will be given," said Lieberman. "It will be given to a Tulane student Saturday night."
Costa's family and friends hope that the ideals that defined and exemplified Costa will continue to make a difference each year, both in New Orleans and in the world at large, despite his untimely death.
"The whole point of the thing is to commemorate the life of a Tulane grad and alum who died doing one of the most beneficial things you can do," Lieberman said.
Doors open at 8:30 p.m. at the Howlin' Wolf at 907 S. Peters St. Tickets are $10 with a student ID or $12 without it. Free buses will leave from Howard-Tilton Memorial Library starting at 9 p.m.