Felipe Ruibal
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Felipe Ruibal

Band Latin World

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Aug
21
Felipe Ruibal @ Albuquerque Museum

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Jun
25
Felipe Ruibal @ Q BAR

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Jun
19
Felipe Ruibal @ Rio Grand Theater

Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

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Music

Press


For Santa Fe musician Felipe Ruibal and his salsa and cumbia band, Quemozo, the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver was about more than a bunch of talking heads. It was a place to play a high profile gig. The former lead singer of the band Nosotros was selected—along with several other musicians from across the US—to play on the opening night of the convention at a party in honor of the DNC Hispanic Caucus.

SFR: How in the hell did you land a gig at the DNC?
FR: I was playing solo at this private party in Santa Fe and was explaining this original song, which is in Spanish, called “El Caido” (The Fallen One). So I’m telling the audience about the song and said nonchalantly that this is my Obama song. A person there was with AT&T, one of the big sponsors for the event in Denver. I gave him a press packet and a week later someone from the Spanish television network Univision called me up. This was in May. It was finalized three weeks ago.

Did you meet anyone interesting at the convention?
It was kind of a who’s who in the Democratic-Hispano scene in Washington. We did meet a lot of people, but we were quite busy on stage. We headlined so they had us resting in the green room. It was an honor to play for the event.

This isn’t the first time you’ve performed for a political audience.
I played for [Gov.] Bill Richardson’s first inauguration party with Nosotros. It’s a funny story, actually. I was working for this nonprofit, the Acequia Association, at the time and I saw him the day after the inauguration at a function. There was a line of people waiting to meet him and he walked up directly to me and said, ‘You’re that guy from that band from last night…Los Chingones.’ We become fast friends. I’ve played a few events for him.

Are you disappointed that Richardson didn’t get the VP nomination?
A lot of us in New Mexico were pulling for him.

People tend to get wrapped up in the moment at these kinds of conventions; it’s very theatrical, kind of like a show or concert. Aside from making the Democratic nomination official, do you think anything of substance came out of this convention or is it just entertainment?
It’s entertainment; I can’t say that it’s not. It’s a big song and dance over there. We were star struck ourselves by the different artists that were playing in a place right next to us. It’s easy to get caught up in stuff like that, but I think there are a lot of people who are very sincere, just as much as people are there to see a show.

There hasn’t been a lot of talk in support of the arts during this campaign. As a working musician, are there issues in the music community that you would like to see addressed?
I see a lot of union support for musicians in bigger cities. We do have a musicians union here in New Mexico, but I would like to see it much more developed. We need a lot more support out here. As a New Mexican and as a musician, I would like to see more support on that end for us.

Would you consider this the biggest gig of your career thus far?
I’ve been able to play big shows before. One thing that was great is that we were a headlining act for this event. There were several bands in consideration from all over the country and we were just really happy to be representing New Mexico. - Gabe Gomez/ Santa Fe Reporter


Their music made me feel like the band's energy- and the energy of the world- would never run out, and that life would always be good."

-Robert Nott, The New Mexican

"New Mexico has a reputation for exporting its green chile and southwest style to the masses, so people in other states can get a taste of New Mexico flavor. But what do other states know about New Mexico Music? A lot more now..."

-Adrian Gomez, Las Cruces Sun News


"Listening... you hear the ancient white-hot gypsy flamenco guitars of Spain, James Brown funk, salsa and polyrhythmic Cuban beats layered with original Latin jazz."

-John Knoll, The New Mexican
- Varios


Speaking of The CD "La Serenata"

...Ruibal's poignant original Spanish song, "Cinco Sentidos," expressed the sentiment of someone left only with the memories of the five sensed of someone who's going-- because of life circumstances, such a military duty. This CD would be a perfect gift for someone serving overseas." - New Mexico Magazine


...When Felipe Ruibal was 4 years old, he sang in Our Lady of Guadalupe's church choir. Anita Roybal, a teacher from Arroyo Seco, said she remembers him singing in church when he was "just a toddler. "At the age of 6, he made his solo singing debut on All Saints Day in Our Lady of Guadalupe. "I was born singing," Ruibal said. "And I hope to die with a song on my lips."

...Growing up in the Pojoaque Valley, Ruibal said he has deep roots in his family and the land.After being involved in an automobile accident in Santa Fe on April 5, 2002, he was confined to bed for three months with three broken vertebrae."I was very vulnerable," Ruibal said. "My family took care of me and gradually I was able to walk with a cane. I'd walk a short distance down our driveway past the blossoming plum trees. The beauty of the trees was a promise to me that I had a new life coming."

A devout Catholic, Ruibal was unable to make the pilgrimage to the santuario in Chimayó in 2002. He made a promise to make the 550-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain if he recovered from his injuries. This July, he plans to keep his vow. A former track star at New Mexico State, where he was the conference steeplechase champion, he said he'll bike the first 450 miles and run the final 100 miles.

With the gypsy spirit alive in his music, Ruibal said he believes he will one day be traveling the world, spreading this infectious brand of Latin soul music.

After the interview at the Gold Dust Restaurant in the Cities of Gold Hotel, Ruibal rushed off to Española, where he had a gig serenading a group of beauticians at the Chuck Wagon Café. "A friend of mine asked me to do it for a cord of wood," Ruibal said. "I'll pretty much sing anywhere, anytime. Music is like food and water, we all need it.":

Tina Garland

Your article on Felipe Ruibal from Pojoaque was very interesting to read. As a fan, I have encountered Felipe an have been intrigued with his energetic personality on and off stage,so in reading his personal story it only makes sense that his persona is a direct result of his outlook on life; and to know that the poet Federico Garcia Lorca has influenced his musical writing, explains why Felipe and the band are bound to their roots and are only destined to go further in their musical career. Que viva our gente! - The New Mexican


Discography

Pico (2000)
Nosotros (2003)
La Serenata (2006)
Mayordomo (2009)

Photos

Bio

Singing and performing have always been second nature for this New Mexican son. From singing lead in choir at the age of six to performing in Santa Fe’s Greer Garson Theater at ten Felipe was recognized as a voice to be reckoned with and he continues to be.
Though in his formative years he always kept music close he also went on to pursue other endeavors. On an athletic scholarship in Track and Cross-Country, Felipe competed throughout his college career at an NCAA Division I level and was consistently a top ranked competitor. In 1999 he received Foreign Language and Latin American Studies Degrees from New Mexico State University.
On exchange in Guadalajara Mexico he took the opportunity to join “El Ensamble” and toured the greater west and occidental regions of México with an ensemble of Musicians, Dancers and Vocalists and won a majority of lead vocal and dance rolls. Before Returning to the States he was donned with the award for Mejor Cantante (Best Vocalist) by El Tecnológico de Monterrey Arts Department.
In his last 2 years of study at NMSU he demonstrated his leadership and new fervor for Mexican music by becoming one of the founding members of the NMSU Mariachi. Highlights included performing at the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference, and performing for Dolores Huerta.
In the fall of 2000, Felipe co-composed an Original Score to Federico Garcia Lorca’s Play, Blood Wedding for the New Mexico State Theater Department. Felipe not only sang but also acted in Major Scenes of the play.
Felipe has received accolades as the main composer and lead vocalist for the group Nosotros. Originally an instrumental focused group, Nosotros gained noticeable popularity with the addition Felipe’s voice. Within a year of his first recording with the group “Pico” he was named “Best Singer” by the Las Cruces Bulletin, and Nosotros looked towards new horizons.
In 2004, Ruibal was recognized by the New Mexico Music Industry Awards for his song “Cinco sentidos” as Traditional Hispanic Song of the Year, and the self titled release “Nosotros” was recognized as Album of the year of which Felipe contributed a majority of songwriting and lead vocal credits.
Most recently, he has produced, and performed with two new groups. The first being Los Primos, which were named as Albuquerque Magazine’s “Best Of” in 2006. The latest is his latin combo Quemozo, and is sure to deliver. He’s inspired by the land and people of his beginnings, and hopes to reach the world with a song for the future.

Accolades
•2009 Albuquerque the Magazine’s “Best of” Top five as Best Vocalist and Best Musician
•2009 "Latin Entertainer of the Year", New Mexico Musicians Fund Awards
•2008 "Latin Vocalist of the Year", New Mexico Musicians Fund Awards
• 2008 Democratic National Convention Performance
• 2006 National Hispanic Cultural Center Gala Performance
• 2006 "Best of”, Albuquerque the Magazine
• 2004 Traditional Hispanic Song of the Year "Cinco Sentidos", NM Music Industry Awards
• 2004 Album of the Year “Nosotros”, New Mexico Music Industry Awards
•2003 San Jose Jazz Festival Performance
•Mejor Cantante (Best Vocalist) El Tecnológico de Monterrey Arts, Guadalajara Mexico