Jacksonville, Ore — The Country Crossings Festival kicks off Thursday and features dozens of the best and brightest in country music
For one local artist, her path to the Country Crossing’s stage stage was fraught with doubt, danger and a near death experience.
A few notes, a few words, a lifetime of music for Jacksonville Doctor Matia Brizman.
“I remember going to sleep at night in my bedroom listening to music at night to fall asleep to and thinking, I want to be doing that, that’s absolutely what I want to do,” said Dr. Brizman.
So she did, and Matia was good, the music seemed to flow naturally through her at a young age.
“Playing real gigs, the biggest gig we played was at Maryland University for thousands of people, I was just a baby and that’s where life was headed,” said Dr. Brizman.
That is, until the music stopped.
“A few months later I fell very ill and I needed a life saving surgery. When I woke up, I woke up a different person. I didn’t know then but it was the beginning of a very different life,” she said.
A kidney disorder nearly killed Matia, and despite the surgery she says, she never felt whole.
“I had lost my voice, literally like, my life force had been taken form me, and the surgery had technically saved my life, but had taken my life force and this is what doctors couldn’t understand, they couldn’t understand how to put me back together.”
Music was an afterthought, put in a box in her mind, too painful to open. Her focus now on healing herself, and others. That is until, now Br. Brizman’s daughter, found an old six string guitar. One chord at a time, the music box was opened.
“One after another lyrics, melodies started coming out of me, and I couldn’t write fast enough,” she said.
2 studio albums later, with the help of musician Kenny Mazer and a host of others, Matia found her voice.
“One of my songs, When I Can’t Speak, is about that very thing, about facing struggle and difficulty and not succumbing to that struggle not decided you’re stuck with that deficit you’re feeling,” said Dr. Brizman.
Now, along with her medical practice she’s using her words to heal others the way music healed her.
“Struggle is an invitation to create something positive in your life and something positive in other people’s lives.”
Matia and her band will perform at the Boxcar Stage at the Country Crossing’s Music Festival at 10am Saturday and at Edenvale Winery from 6-9pm Sunday.
Matt earned a Meteorology Certificate from Mississippi State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Before joining NBC5 News, Matt spent a year in Alexandria, Louisiana as a reporter and anchor for KALB News. Matt was also a production assistant at KEZI 9 News in Eugene and an intern at CNN.
In addition to being passionate about news and weather, Matt loves his Oregon Ducks, the outdoors, craft beer and time with his dogs.