Grammy-winning UF professor scores another nomination

University of Florida professor José Valentino Ruiz, who won a Latin Grammy last year, has been nominated in the category of Best Classical Contemporary Composition as a composer/flutist alongside co-composer/pianist and Grammy Award Winner Carlos Fernando López for their composition "Sacre."

This marks the fourth Latin Grammy nomination for Ruiz, head of the Music Business & Entrepreneurship program in the UF School of Music and an affiliate faculty member for the UF Center of Arts, Migration and Entrepreneurship as well as the UF Center of Latin American Studies.

Ruiz, Ph.D., was nominated for Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album in 2015, Best Instrumental Album as producer and engineer in 2016, and won for Best Christian Album in Spanish Language as a Recording Engineer and Flutist in 2019. He is also an Emmy Award winning television composer, producer and saxophonist. 

“Sacre” is part of the album "Lignarius," which is the first release of the label, L Music and distributed by Sony Music LLC. 

The song celebrates cultural diversity, inclusivity and equity, Ruiz said, combining Western European traditions with Afro-Latin American polyrhythmic drumming and indigenous textural expressions on the flute “akin to the Colombian zampoña, Peruvian kena, and Puerto Rican coqui.”

"We aimed to provide a chronological road map of the human condition, evoking the sacredness and inception of birth to a person's emotional uncovering of the world being both breathtakingly beautiful (hence the breathy flute sound) and turbulent (hence the piano insinuating pain, war, and struggle). Ultimately, listeners arrive to a halt and an inner destination where they realize that life well-lived requires for humanity to humble themselves and exude unending love towards one another (evoked with the rubato drone of 'eternity' played by the piano and the vocalizations on flute) as a plea of restoration for the world.”

The 21st Annual Latin Grammy Awards ceremony airs Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. EST/PST on Univision.


Alisson Clark October 9, 2020