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.

Chattanooga State And South College Sign Articulation Agreement

Dr. Rebecca Ashford, president of Chattanooga State and Mr. Steve South, president of South College, signed an articulation agreement between the two institutions on Jan. 9. This articulation agreement will guarantee qualified students enrolled in Chattanooga State’s pre-pharmacy classes an interview with the School of Pharmacy to pursue a doctor of pharmacy degree. The agreement ... (click for more)

GNTC And Foundations Work Together To Train Northwest Georgia’s EMS Professionals

With the population closing in on one million people in Northwest Georgia, combined with the more than 300 EMT openings currently available in the Peach State, it was an easy decision for two regional foundations to team up to make a gift to Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC).   Betts Berry with the Jewell Foundation and Steve Tarvin with the Pierce Foundation ... (click for more)

Bitter Cold And Icy Roads To Continue Through Thursday Morning In Chattanooga; Some Flights Cancelled; Many Schools Closed

Bitter cold temperatures will continue for Chattanooga, the National Weather Service has warned, The NWS also is advising motorists to watch for patchy icy roads. Chattanooga Airport officials said on Wednesday afternoon, " As inclement weather continues to cause a few delays or cancellations at the Chattanooga Airport, American Airlines flight 5159 originally scheduled ... (click for more)

City Council Considering New 2-Year $600,000 Contract With Father To The Fatherless

The City Council is considering whether to approve a new two-year contract of up to $600,000 with Father to the Fatherless for the Violence Reduction Initiative. Council members had a number of questions during a lengthy hearing on Tuesday afternoon, but Police Chief David Roddy said the program has helped bring a 35 percent reduction in gun-related shootings and a 16 percent ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Once In A Blue…

On August 21st this past summer, four black women were walking down the street in Dayton, Tn., when a white man asked from his porch, “Are you ladies here to see the eclipse?” Told that yes, they most certainly were, the gentleman pointed to his back deck and another white couple and said, “If you don’t have plans, would you care to sit with us?” The ladies were delighted and ... (click for more)