picture of Otmaro Ruiz

Otmaro Ruiz
Otmaro (*1964 in Caracas) 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 de Música Juan Manuel Olivares in Caracas. In the meantime, he also was exposed to other artistic activities such as drawing and acting. At the same time, he studied organ and pursued a scientific career as a biologist at the Universidad Simón Bolivar, 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 Ruiz 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.
Otmaro marked the transition into the new millennium performing on both acoustic piano and electric keyboards 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.
In 2012, the Cornel School of Contemporary Music of Shepherd University awarded Ruiz 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".
Furthermore, Otmaro has conducted 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 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.
from Wikipedia
contact: info@otmaroruiz.com
homepage: www.otmaro.com
on tour Click on the logo to see Otmaro's tour dates.


JVC JVC-2036-2
released 1994
recorded in Glendale, CA/USA
Frank Gambale, guitar, vocals
Brandon Fields, sax
Otmaro Ruiz, synthesizer, Hammond B-3 organ
Alphonso Johnson, bass
Walfredo Reyes, drums, percussion

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