Lee’s Ruiz And Acevedo Excel In The Music Business

Monday, October 9, 2017 - by Charity Parris, Lee University
Dr. José Ruiz, right, with Robert Acevedo in front of the Lee University School of Music
Dr. José Ruiz, right, with Robert Acevedo in front of the Lee University School of Music

Lee University’s Dr. José Ruiz and Robert Acevedo collaborated with GRAMMY winning artist Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G) on an award-winning album, “Mundo Verde/Green World.” Dr. Ruiz and Mr. Acevedo also recently released a Latin jazz album project, “Ahora Más Que Nunca.” 

In spring 2017, Mister G asked Dr. Ruiz, assistant professor of music business at Lee, to contribute to “Mundo Verde/Green World,” his eco-friendly, bilingual children’s music album. The album was recently awarded the Parents’ Choice GOLD Award, an award for children’s music and toys regarded to be equivalent to an Academy Award. 

After listening to Mister G’s songs, Dr. Ruiz asked Mr. Acevedo, pastoral ministry major from Ponce, Puerto Rico, if he would be willing to join him in the project. The three musicians then began sharing ideas, motivations for creating and performing music, and details about one another’s professional work. 

“I enjoyed creating an opportunity for a student to engage in professional work,” said Dr. Ruiz. “As a music business professor, it is my mission to engage students in experiential learning opportunities to strengthen their God-given gifts and help them, ultimately, become more marketable post-graduation.” 

Dr. Ruiz served as an additional recording engineer and flutist for the album’s song, “Patas en el aire/Paws in the air,” and Acevedo served as percussionist. The professor-student duo collaborated in Dr. Ruiz’s studio in Tennessee while Mister G worked in Massachusetts, communicating primarily through Facebook. 

“Both José and Robert went far above and beyond the call and gave me many excellent tracks to work with,” said Mister G. “Although we worked remotely, it was a process which couldn’t have been smoother if we’d been sitting in the same room, although that would arguably have been even more fun.” 

Dr. Ruiz and Mr. Acevedo recently achieved another accomplishment in the music business with their release of “Ahora Más Que Nunca,” a Latin jazz album project the duo began in the spring. According to Dr. Ruiz, the album encourages people to pursue their calling and express their creative identity. 

“As a student, I learned that my talents and abilities can be used now, not just in the future. If you can make a difference now, there’s no sense in waiting,” said Mr. Acevedo. “This experience has taught me that we have to seize the day and make the most out of every opportunity given to us as students and professionals in this world. I can’t wait for more opportunities like this to come.” 

The album incorporates elements of African drumming, Caribbean folk music, jazz, and funk. The cross-curricular project includes well-known flutist Jim Walker, drummer Jesse Pitts, and Latin percussionist Benny Maldonado. 

In addition to Dr. Ruiz and Mr. Acevedo, included in the project are Lee students Cameron Ball, co-arranger; Rume Ekong and Chike Okwudiafor, photography and artwork; Darius Hairston, guitar; Jalil Muhammad, co-producer; and Lee School of Music faculty Dr. Nathan Warner, flugelhorn, and Alan Wyatt, tenor saxophone. 

“It was a pleasure to utilize the unique talents of both my students and colleagues,” said Dr. Ruiz. “Each of them made my compositions come to life in a special way.” 

Prior to joining Lee’s faculty in 2016, Dr. Ruiz served as a film scorer, commercial music composer, and music supervisor for Hayden5Media, LLC. In these roles, he composed, arranged, and produced music for nationally publicized TV and internet commercials and four feature films that have garnered 13 international film festival awards.  

“Ahora Más Que Nunca” is available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, and CDBaby. 

For more information about Parents’ Choice Awards, visit http://www.parents-choice.org/aboutawards.cfm

For more information about Mister G, visit https://mistergsongs.com/mister-g-about/

For more information about Dr. Ruiz, visit www.josevalentino.com

For more information about Lee’s School of Music, call 614-8240 or email music@leeuniversity.edu.

Cleveland City Schools' Activities For The Week Of Sept. 24

Week of September 24 George R. Stuart Elementary hosts Take Your Parent to PE Week . Parents are invited to join their student in PE on Tuesday and Thursday during school hours. Parents and students can also participate in a PE class on Thursday night, 6:00-7:00 pm. Promoting an active lifestyle is a goal of PE. If we can involve our families and not just our students, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Resident Travels To D.C. To Walk In College Graduation

Local resident Erica Smith has earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from WGU Tennessee, and traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive her diploma at the university’s summer commencement. WGU Tennessee is an online, nonprofit university formed through a partnership between the state of Tennessee and nationally recognized Western Governors University as part of Governor ... (click for more)

Jeremy Allen Conn Dies After Being Tased By Hamilton County Deputies

A man died after being tased by Hamilton County deputies  on Sunday  night. Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched o n Sunday, at approximately 9:50 p.m.,  to the 6200 Block of Massengale Hollow in Harrison on a report of a person causing a disorder.   Based on initial reports, after arriving on scene, deputies made contact with Jeremy ... (click for more)

Classes Continue At East Ridge High After Power Outage

There was a major power outage at East Ridge High School Monday morning.  EPB officials and Hamilton County Department of Education maintenance personnel were on the scene and power was restored after a short while.  All students were safe and remained in their classrooms.  When power was restored, they resumed their regular schedule.  The power ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s So Sad For Me

I cannot remember a time in my life when I have been as saddened by such a travesty that has now erupted in the confirmation process that would place Brett Kavanaugh on our Supreme Court. I am sad for every single person who has been touched by this catastrophe, from 85-year-old Dianne Feinstein to Brett’s wife and two young daughters, ages 13 and 10. Not a person, in any way involved, ... (click for more)