Ruth Lara Vichules is a vocalist, musician, and educator. Her love of
music was evident at an early age when she was babysat by a piano in the
basement. Ruth was sung to sleep by her Mother with German and Hebrew
children’s songs, Carter Family and Woody Guthrie ballads. Growing
up in Arizona, her playmates were “Cowboys and Indians” –
cultural diversity was the norm. After Suzuki violin in elementary school,
guitar, saxophone and Aebersold jazz camps in high school, Ruth went on
to receive University degrees in music and art.
Visiting Guadalajara, México in the early 80’s, Ruth was overwhelmed by the beauty and depth of Latin American folk music. Her life changed forever. She moved to Tlacotalpan, Veracuz, land of Agustín Lara & Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and scoured the countryside for traditional music. She received a Master’s degree in the process, conducting an ethnographic collection of children’s verse from oral traditions. Fascinated by the use of improvisation in Mexican folk music and verse, Ruth studied son jarocho - a tradition from southern Veracruz that is highly improvisatory - with Gilberto Gutiérrez and the legendary group Mono Blanco.
Returning to the U.S. Ruth worked in Phoenix in the Mexican music scene for 10 years with trios, conjuntos, and mariachis; performing on stage and for Spanish language radio, and also for functions in the Mexican community: charreadas, funerals, weddings, baptisms, quinceañeras, and serenatas.
Ruth has come full circle in her new work as she combines her passion for Latin roots music with American heritage, writing original Spanish lyrics to American jazz classics. She performs as a soloist and with a trio in a stunning combination of styles and influences.
Recent Performance & Residency Highlights:
Casa Romántica, San Clemente, California
El zócalo, Oaxaca de Júarez, Oaxaca, México
World Arts Festival, Prescott Valley, Arizona
Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Arizona
Mohave Community College, Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Casa de la Cultura, Oaxaca, Oaxaca, México
Festival of Lights, Sedona, Arizona
Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona State University Public Events
El caporal, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, México
Encuentro de jaraneros, Santiago Veracruz, Mexico