picture of Otmaro Ruíz
Otmaro Ruíz
Otmaro (* 1964 in Caracas, Venezuela) is a pianist, keyboardist, composer, arranger and educator. He began his formal musical studies at the age of eight on piano, classical guitar, harmony, history and aesthetics. His formal musical studies were done in the Escuela Nacional De Música Juan Manuel Olivares in Caracas. At the same time, he studied organ and pursued a scientific career as a biologist at the Universidad Simón Bolívar, but kept playing keyboards on the side, landing his first professional work in a pop group in 1980.
Decided to focus entirely on music, Otmaro dropped out of school in 1983 while playing in his native Venezuela, where he toured and recorded with local and visiting musicians, and also became a busy studio musician as a jingles composer and arranger. In 1989 Otmaro moved to Los Angeles, CA, where he finished his academic training at CalArts, obtaining a master's degree in jazz performance in 1993. In between, he was also playing with percussionist Alex Acuña, appearing in two albums during the early 1990s, and later recorded with Arturo Sandoval, which was followed by a world tour supporting Gino Vannelli in 1996.
Perfectly at ease at both the acoustic piano and electric keyboards, and keeping versatility as one of his biggest assets, Otmaro marked the transition into the new millennium performing / recording with Rock icons Jon Anderson and, Robbie Robertson, Latin Crossings Project, featuring Latin legend Tito Puente, Steve Winwood and Arturo Sandoval, Herb Alpert and fusion giant John McLaughlin, also taking part in recordings and multiple world tours with multi Grammy Award winner vocalist Dianne Reeves, Frank Gambale, Alain Caron and Lee Ritenour.
Otmaro also participated in an international jazz group named JB Project, along with American bassist Brian Bromberg and Japanese drummer Akira Jimbo. Additionally, he appeared on Akira Jimbo's CD projects for eleven consecutive years as member of a trio/quartet format.
In 2012, the Cornel School of Contemporary Music of Shepherd University awarded Ortega with an Honorary Doctorate in Music Arts. Then, in 2016, he was nominated for the Best Arrangement Instrumental & Vocals at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for his version of the tune Girl from Ipanema, which was part of his production Catina DeLuna and Lado B Brazilian Project, featuring Otmaro.
Furthermore, Otmaro has worked extensively by conducting workshops and lectures worldwide and formed part of the faculty of USC Thornton School of Music for five years. Otmaro also worked as a member of the Cornell School of Contemporary Music based at Shepherd University faculty, as part of a team that includes long time friends and collaborators Abraham Laboriel and Jimmy Branly. In recent years, Otmaro released his long dreamt "electric" CD in Trio format with famed musicians Jimmy Haslip and Jimmy Branly entitled "Elemental", also became a member of Simon Phillips' influential Jazz Rock Fusion Band "Protocol" and Toured with SoulBop, a Modern Electric Jazz ensemble conducted by Randy Brecker and Bill Evans. In addition, Ortega remains active up to the present day, generally recording and touring with L.A.-based groups and vocalists, as well as commanding his own projects.
from Wikipedia
contact: info@otmaroruiz.com
homepage: www.otmaro.com
on tour Click on the logo to see Otmaro's tour dates.


Astro Boy Blues
Moo 5002
recorded June/July 1994 in Los Angeles, CA/USA
Paul Hanson, bassoon
Steve Cardenas, guitar
Otmaro Ruíz, Hammond B-3 organ, piano
Kai Eckhardt, bass
Brian Bromberg, bass
Peter Erskine, drums
David Caribaldi, drums

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