From Broadway style musicals to country bands to blues drenched jam sessions, harmonica player, Jose Ruiz, has covered a lot of ground since picking up the instrument at the age of 41. A daily regime of 10-15 hours of practice for years gave Jose an intense immersion into the craft of not only playing the harmonica, but also a creative edge in understanding the function of an instrument often times relegated to simple “Dylan-esque” riffs.
For Jose, the consummate student of music and all of its related theories and approaches, a basic understanding just isn’t good enough. With a thirst for taking the instrument beyond what many consider its limitations, he has, in just over a decade, elevated his playing to a level that many consider him a rising star in the realm of harmonica players. And, starting at such a late age, he is in many ways, an inspiration to those aspiring to take up the “Mississippi Saxophone” or any instrument for that matter.
Over the years Ruiz has worked with many groups, in a variety of musical settings. He currently records and performs with such notable acts as Pauline Reese and Woody Russell; the latter having landed him a spot on national television. Jose is an in demand session musician and also does clinics for both children and adults interested in learning the harmonica. Additionally, he is designing simple instructional booklets to accompany those clinics and is working to secure a customized line of his branded “Sweet Tone” harmonicas.