Juan Ruiz at Regattabar
Juan Ruiz became involved in music at the tender age of 11. He learned to play Latin American percussion in his hometown of Caldas (Antioquia) in Colombia. At the age of 14 he was handed a clarinet not a saxophone like he wanted, so here began his clarinet study with Elizabeth Isaza. While in Colombia Juan performed folkloric Colombian music, classical music, and Latin American music in various festivals. In 2006 he earned a scholarship to study English and Music in the United States; giving him the opportunity to perform clarinet and saxophone with prestigious groups such as, The Grammy winner Pacifica Quartet, and great musicians as Guinga, Omar Hakim, Toto La Momposina, Oscar Stagnaro, Greg Hopkins and George Garzone, Gregorio Uribe to name a few.
As a composer, Juan has different pieces that were commissioned by New England Conservatory faculty Kenneth Radnofsky and has worked as an arranger for the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble. His recent compositions are being performed in Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, China, Germany and around the United States. One of Juan's big challenges is to picture his homeland `'Colombia'' in his music but also to create a fusion that is influenced by all the music from Latin America and the American Jazz.