Otmaro Ruiz

Venezuelan-born Otmaro Ruiz has performed with international jazz and pop icons such as Nat Adderley, Thomas Chapin, Miguel Bose, among others. In 1986, Otmaro Ruiz joined leading TV and radio production company Musica y Letra. It was this experience that would prove to be one of the most important factors in shaping his development as a composer, arranger, and, eventually, a producer.

In 1989, Ruiz moved to Los Angeles, enrolling in CALARTS, obtaining his master’s degree in jazz performance. However, it was his association with drummer/percussionist Alex Acuña that would introduce him to a select circle of musicians, including jazz giants Justo Almario and Abraham Laboriel. Since then, he has toured and recorded with the most significant jazz artists of our time, including John McLaughlin, Gino Vannelli, Arturo Sandoval, and Dianne Reeves (participated in her first Grammy album). With Alex Acuña, in the same year, also received a Grammy nomination.  Voted “Best Pianist of the Year 2008” and “Artist of the New Generation 2008” by the Latin Jazz Corner Magazine, Ruiz is continuously sought after, and has performed virtually in every international jazz festival, keeping versatility – his greatest asset, reflecting the love and respect he feels for all styles of music.

In 2012, Mr. Ruiz was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Shepherd University (Korea/USA). His work as arranger/producer was recognized by NARAS with a nomination for the Grammy Awards 2016 (Catina DeLuna and LADO B Brazilian Project) and in 2019 with a double nomination at the Latin Grammys for Best Arranger / Best Jazz Album (Elemental). To critical acclaim, Ruiz released his own album, Sojourn, in 2008. Lado B (2016) has, according to tons of international reviews, elevated Brazilian popular music. Elemental (2018) and Essencia (2020) also achieved international critical acclaim.

Tamir Hendelman
Lecturer - Keyboards (Jazz Keyboard Harmony, Jazz Improvisation and Analysis)
Cheryl L. Keyes
Professor - Global Jazz Studies and Ethnomusicology (Contemporary Jazz, Hip Hop)
Ruth Price
Adjunct Assoc. Professor
Charley Harrison
Lecturer, Director of UCLA Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Combo
Salim Washington
Professor and Chair of Global Jazz Studies
Jacques Lesure
Lecturer - Jazz Guitar
Arturo O’Farrill
Director, UCLA Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra; Professor
Clayton Cameron
Lecturer - Percussion, Director of Jazz Combo
Hitomi Oba
Lecturer and Director of Contemporary Jazz Ensemble
Kat De Nicola
Assistant to the Chair - Department of Musicology and Global Jazz Studies Program
Roberto Miranda
Adjunct Assoc. Professor
Steven Loza
Professor - Global Jazz Studies, Ethnomusicology, Director of the UCLA Center for Latino Arts
Alison Deane
Associate Adjunct Professor

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