Omar Ruiz-Lopez (he/him) teaches viola and violin, and is a chamber ensemble coach and conductor with Kidznotes. He is also a bilingual songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and co-founder of the original Americana group Violet Bell. Omar was born in Panama and raised in Puerto Rico with Spanish as his first language. His love of music began at an early age thanks to his father’s frequent vocal renditions of traditional Caribbean folk songs.
Omar is a composer at heart, and a true example of American diversity manifesting through music. He is experienced in music business, production and engineering, and as a virtual cultural diplomat, demonstrating his commitment to music education over decades of teaching. The diversity of his own experience as a multi-genre musician and Latine immigrant helps him connect with diverse international audiences.
Omar is a gifted, experienced, and encouraging teacher who believes that a well-structured music and arts education is essential for the development of a growing mind. He has taught with the El Sistema-based program Kidznotes in Durham since 2011.