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.
Erik Ramquist is a Raleigh native who has worked regionally and nationally in sound for nearly 20 years. He is currently exploring the food cultures of many US cities as he travels across the country working on Hamilton’s sound team. He previously served as the Head of Audio for DPAC from 2008-2018 where he worked with shows ranging from The Lion King to Elvis Costello. During his 10 years at DPAC, he had the pleasure of working with ADF and experiencing the talents of many dance companies ranging from Paul Taylor to Pilobolus. Other recent projects include coordinating production for the Creedmoor Music Festival and mixing sound for Iyanla Vanzant’s 2019 Acts of Faith Tour.
Erik is excited to collaborate with the talented artists of enVISIONs who’ve worked to creat this multi-disciplinary performance. He’s enjoyed helping to highlight the sensory experience that challenges the conventional perceptions of modern dance. He hopes that his sound design evoke’s the feeling of movement throughout the performance. In his free time he enjoys cooking, playing the banjo, and dabbling in other musical projects. He would like to thank everyone for supporting the arts.
Eric Hirsh is a restless and ambitious musician whose growing, genre-crossing body of work is finally being showcased in “Distillation,” his debut album as a bandleader.
For the past 16 years, Hirsh has lived in Durham, NC where he co-creates as a founding member of progressive hip hop quartet The Beast and as a director of Orquesta GarDel, a large-format salsa band. Increasingly, he has focused on writing and performing with a jazz quartet comprising longtime friends and Beast rhythm section Pete Kimosh (bass), Stephen Coffman (drums), and Aaron Hill (saxophone).
Hirsh is a 2012 recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Composer Fellowship, and a four-time winner of the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. Residencies at the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, Chicago’s Ravinia Steans Music Institute, and Brooklyn’s School for Improvisatory Music each pushed Hirsh closer to the material on “Distillation.”
An enthusiastic collaborator, Hirsh has performed or recorded with the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Nnenna Freelon, Jim Ketch, Shana Tucker, Emily Musolino, Greg Humphreys, and The Community Chorus Project. He has performed at Duke Performances, North Carolina State University Center Stage, The Stone (New York), the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the North Carolina Art Museum, UNC Center for the Study of the American South, Lake Eden Arts Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots Music Festival, and The Art of Cool Project. For more information, visit https://www.erichirsh.com.
Sand Pact is the experimental audio and visual project of Alex Fresa (Debt Stalker) and Kaanchee (Gudiya). Residents of North Carolina, the two artists found solace through deconstructed media from a young age, gravitating towards the online, underground club scene. Initially lacking access to this community outside of a virtual space, however, the pair have been working with individuals and organizations in the Triangle to carve out safer and supportive club spaces. Sand Pact is known in the local scene to bring about some of the most contemporary, hybrid sounds being produced worldwide. For more information, follow their Facebook page here.
Robbie Link is a performer and teacher on the double bass, cello, electric bass, viola da gamba, and violone. He performs and records with many period instrument, chamber, jazz, and folk music ensembles and enjoys performing everything from Renaissance to Jazz. He maintains a private teaching studio near Chapel Hill, NC.
A staple in Triangle area music scene for over 35 years, Link has worked with dancers many times, both improvising and performing fixed compositions. But Bamboo Wind was his first truly collaborative experience with a dance company and what a wonderful place to begin with such talented dancers and choreographer. He is very grateful to be a collaborator with the company.
Internationally acclaimed Pianist and Composer Alejandro Santoyo is a World-Class musician, who has lived in the US, Europe, and Latin America. He began playing the piano by ear and composing when he was 7 years old and ever-since has developed a unique sound that evokes profound moods and images. He studied music at Berkeley College of Music in Boston and later obtained a Masters Degree in music form UNM. Alejandro is an active performer, composer, and producer for different projects in the US and Internationally. His music has a very special energy that deeply penetrates, heals, and caresses the listener’s soul. It is very moving, gentle, and romantic. His passionate sounds and piano playing invite the listener to write their own story while they listen to him. When you close your eyes and listen to his music, it will take you to a distant realm of your own creation.
Mike Wall is a sought after composer of music for dance, video, instillation, jazz, and multimedia collaborations. He has been praised by the New York Times for his “haunting piano score”. His works are performed widely in the U.S. and abroad. He has scored, along with Oscar Award Winning composer Darren Morze, “Bel Borba Aqui” and “Neurotypical” which aired on PBS. Michael has worked for NYU, Princeton University, Rutgers University, The Ohio State University, The American Dance Festival, Bates Dance festival and is currently faculty at The University of Utah. He received a degree in Jazz Piano from Rutgers University, where he studied with Kenny Barron. Michael performed on Kenny Barron’s Grammy Nominated recording, “Spirit Song”, which also received a special award from Verve Records. He is the founder of soundFORMovement.com, a website dedicated to music for dance with over 300 tracks released in the last year. More at soundFORMovement.com.