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Bethlehem, Pa., February 24, 2006— Jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz will perform as part of the Piano Masters@Moravian series on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Peter Hall at Moravian College. Ruiz replaces Cyrus Chestnut who was previously scheduled to perform.
Hilton Ruiz is pianist and composer with impeccable jazz credentials, has managed to find room in his music for a vigorous "Latin tinge" without sacrificing its rhythmic and improvisational urgency. Born in New York City on May 29, 1952, Ruiz was somewhat of a child prodigy, appearing on the Sandy Becker television show, performing at Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of eight, and playing in an accordion symphony at nine. Well-trained in all areas, he studied classical piano as well as Latin and received jazz guidance from the great Mary Lou Williams. "I was pretty lucky," he says, "in being exposed to a lot of different kinds of music, and studying them with good teachers."
By his early teens, Ruiz was working with a variety of Latin soul bands and, at age 14, recorded with a group called Ray Jay and the East Siders. But jazz was always close to his heart, and his obviously superlative improvisational skills quickly opened doors. Before he was twenty, Ruiz had worked with Frank Foster, Joe Newman, Cal Massey, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson—an impressive list for an established player, a remarkable list for a relative newcomer. His first recording on the Telarc label Manhattan Mambo released July 1992 earned him rave reviews.
Tickets for the performance are $30 and available by calling 610-515-1025 or online at http://www.pianoculture.com. Peter Hall is located on Moravian’s Priscilla Payne Campus at the corner of Main and Church Streets in Bethlehem. The last two Piano Masters@Moravian performances of the season will be Frank Kimbrough and Jenny Lin on March 30, and Nadejda Vlaeva on April 6, 2006.
HILTON RUIZ Piano Master concert March 2 (replacing Cyrus Chestnut)