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Jose Valentino Ruiz

Program Director of Music Business & Entrepreneurship, University of Florida

Maintaining a vibrant career as an internationally touring artist (flutist, saxophonist, and bassist), José Valentino has performed 1400+ concerts on six continents, led 40+ non-profit mission trips, delivered 110+ keynotes and workshops in academic sectors, consulted numerous Fortune 500 companies, produced 140+ albums and 10 documentaries, and published three dozen peer-reviewed research articles. José is Resident Media Composer at Hayden5; CEO at JV Music Enterprises; Founding Program Director of UF Music Business & Entrepreneurship; and Director of the Global Institute for Music Research's Commission for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

Awards in music, business, media, communications, education, and entrepreneurship that Ruiz has won include four Latin GRAMMY® Awards (2022 Best Latin Children’s Album, 2022 Best Christian Album in Spanish Language, 2020 Best Contemporary Classical Composition, and 2019 Best Christian Album in Spanish Language); two GRAMMY® Award Nominations (2016 Best Instrumental Album and 2015 Best Latin Jazz Album); an EMMY® Award (2018 Best Cultural Documentary); International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences' Anthem® Award (2023 Education, Art, and Culture—Strategy); Inc. Magazine's Best in Business® Award (2022 Advertising company); Inc. Magazine's Power Partner® Award (2022 B2B company); Fast Compnay's Top 10 Most Innovative Company® Award (2022 Video Agency); Global Genius® Award (2022 Outstanding Teacher Award); the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts' 2023 The Communicator® Award (Consumer Marketing & Communication: Film & Video–Use of Music).

Moreover, Ruiz has won fifteen Global Music® Awards (record holder: 2023 Latin Jazz Album; 2023 Instrumentalist; 2023 Jazz Performance (x2); 2023 Christmas Album; 2022 Contemporary Classical Album (x2); 2022 Mixed-Genre Album; 2022 Alternative Music Album; 2022 Vocal Jazz Album; 2022 Experimental Music Album; 2022 Nuevo Flamenco Album; 2022 Funk Fusion Album; 2018 Album of the Year; 2018 Meditation Music Album); fifty-three Downbeat Music® Awards (record holder as competitor and adjudicator from 2006––2022) (categories: Jazz Soloist, Small Jazz Group, Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist, Blues/Pop/Rock Group, Latin Group, Engineered Studio Recording, Engineered Live Recording, & Classical Soloist); the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts' Davey® Award (2022 Virtual & Remote Experiences); and three Association for Marketing & Communication Professionals' Audio Visual Arts Digital® Awards (2023 Platinum, 2023 Gold, and 2022 Gold for Long Form Music Videos). He also received the Yamaha Young Performing Artist® Award (2006 Flute), five United Kingdom's Music Industry® Awards, New Vision® Award (Bahamas International Film Festival), University of South Florida Outstanding Young Alumni® Award, Hillsborough County's (Tampa Bay) Commendation® Award for Excellence in Community Entrepreneurship, and many other peer-reviewed awards, including the Parents' Choice® Award (2017 Gold Medal for Children's Music). On April 2023, Ruiz world-premiered “Found Connections”, a one-of-a-kind cross-genre concerto for Wind Symphony and Flute, Saxophone, and Bass composed by Dr. Ricardo Lorenz who wrote the piece, especially for Ruiz and conducted by Maestro David Waybright.

Ruiz's research is published in the International Journal of Music Performative Research, International Journal of Music & Cultural Studies, International Journal of Music Entrepreneurship & Leadership, Open Journal of Music Education, International Journal of Health and Music, International Journal of Music Pedagogy, Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, Journal of Arts Entrepreneurship Education (x2), Journal of Popular Music Education (x2), National Association for Music Education, Association for Popular Music Education (x5), International Journal of Community Music, International Trombone Journal, Voyage Magazine (x2), Canvas Rebel Magazine (x2), Downbeat Magazine, The Conversation (x2), and other scholarly outlets. Moreover, Ruiz's business ventures, productions, and leadership initiatives have been recognized by various global media outlets such as Inc. Magazine, Fast Company, The Economist, Downbeat Magazine, New York Times, LA Times, Billboard Magazine, and Rolling Stone Magazine.

Credentials include a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music Theory, Master of Music (M.M.) in Instrumental Performance, Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Global Outreach & Missiology, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Music Education.

Legendary artists describe Ruiz’s artistry on bass as "Very soulful and heartfelt!" (John Patitucci) and "Amazing and incredible!" (Victor Wooten); on saxophone as "Genius!" (Paquito D’Rivera) and "Openly and unequivocally speaks beyond" (Pedro Eustache); and on flute as "Playing the flute with fire!" (Hubert Laws); and "The best improvisor on flute!" (Jim Walker).

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  • –present
    Assistant Professor of Music, University of Florida