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Ruthie was the Featured Vocalist for January and February, 2011, at JazzMonthly.com.

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About Ruth Aguilar

 

Ruth Aguilar surrounds herself with jazz, whether listening, performing, or recording. Born in New York City and raised in Houston, she spent most of her time listening to music and singers.

 

Ruthie, as she is known to her friends, is a classically trained singer with jazz sensibilities. She began studying jazz while enrolled at Houston’s University of St. Thomas, where she earned a BA in Music. Shortly thereafter she returned to New York City and began studying with the likes of nine-time Grammy Award winner and founder of The Manhattan Transfer, Janis Siegel, Grammy Award nominee Tierney Sutton and vocalist-composer Ann Hampton Callaway. She continues to explore the world of jazz and has been performing as a vocalist ever since. Her spot-on improvisational skills and soulful interpretations coupled with a natural sense of rhythm and timing draws people in at every performance.

 

An Ivitation CD coverAn Invitation, her debut CD, features eleven songs that showcase Ruthie’s impeccable timing and clever phrasing. With a broad range of vocal skill and her original arrangements, An Invitation reveals new facets of familiar material and shines a radiant light on lesser known songs. Ruthie’s Latin heritage is celebrated with her interpretations of The Nearness of You, You Don’t Know What Love Is, and the Ann Hampton Callaway composition, You Can’t Rush Spring. Her love of all things “Billie” is exquisitely shown in the ballads You’ve Changed, Good Morning Heartache, and Don’t Explain.

 

Ruthie can be found singing at venues across New York and New Jersey.

 

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Lily Emeralde and Emma Dyllan, Phosphorescence Magazine

"You'll definitely want to respond in the affirmative to Ruth Aguilar's 2010 release, An Invitation. This classically trained New York artist brings an effortless, self-assured and smooth quality of voice to a timeless assortment of Jazz singles.


As an arranger (with co-arranger David Epstein), Aguilar doesn't overproduce or over-process the elements of the song, but allows each one to take its time and achieve fruition. Two perfect examples of this are heard in the sublime 'You Can't Rush Spring,' which places the listener in an intimate setting with singer and piano, and 'Four,' where nothing is rushed — voice and instrument shine separately and as one. In 'You Don't Know What Love Is,' Aguilar offers a tantalizingly sultry deeper tone combined with her signature clear highs, and sparkling effervescence bubbles over in 'What A Little Moonlight Can Do.' The feeling one gets from this collection is that crystalline vocals are second nature to this songstress, and they are delivered with confidence and ease, yet also with depth, as in 'The Nearness of You,' where the emotion can be palpably felt. The final track,'Moody's Mood For Love; I'm In the Mood For Love' is a perfectly timed duet with just the right touches. Aguilar's 'An Invitation' should most certainly not be missed."

Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher, Midwest Record, Vol. 34, No. 6, November 26, 2010

Ruth Aguilar/ An Invitation: "She sings sweet and high and has a great sound that's easy to like and get into. The crew behind her is right in step and even if this is low key don't mistake it for easy listening. This girl has it all on the ball."

Scott Yanow: La Jazz Scene, author of ten books including The Jazz Singers, Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-7

"An Invitation introduces the jazz world to a bright new singer, Ruth Aguilar. Her voice is beautiful, perfectly in-tune, versatile, and she sings jazz with a winning spirit. She fully understands and believes in the words she sings yet is a subtle improviser who continually comes up with fresh and surprising ideas.

 

Although it is impossible to know it just by listening to her debut recording, Ruth Aguilar started her career as a classical singer, worked in musical theater and as an actress. But seven years ago when she met pianist David Epstein, her career took an unexpected turn. She was inspired to dedicate herself to becoming a jazz singer. Since the singer's first love was jazz, the switch in her career was ultimately logical.


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On An Invitation, Ruth Aguilar is joined by Epstein, several supportive bassists and drummers, percussionist Samuel Torres and (on two songs) guitarist Richard Padron. The set begins with a chorus of 'Invitation' which evolves into a cooking version of Horace Silver's 'Nica's Dream.' In addition to Ruth's very musical choice of notes, this performance has an excellent solo from guitarist Padron.

 

'You've Changed,” one of several songs on the program that are associated with Billie Holiday, features Ruth saying it all in one chorus. Listen to her placement of notes which adds to the emotion of the piece. Ann Hampton Callaway's 'You Can't Rush Spring,' a thoughtful and philosophical piece, is a light bossa that has a fine Epstein solo and Ruth overdubbing harmonized voices over the closing vamp. 'Good Morning Heartache' is given a heartfelt vocal that is quite emotional.

 

'Four' presented a challenge to Ruth Aguilar for, after singing the melody of the medium-tempo romp, she digs into three choruses of Jon Hendricks vocalese based on Miles Davis' original recorded solo. She not only swings throughout but nails every note while managing to sound relaxed.

 

'You Don't Know What Love Is' has a vocal that builds in power and intensity as the piece progresses. 'What A Little Moonlight Can Do' starts off with Ruth's unaccompanied voice before she is joined by the bassist and finally the full trio. After a chorus taken at a slower tempo than usual, the tempo is doubled, and then doubled again. At each of the three tempos, this version works very well.'

 

'God Bless The Child' also offers surprises. Always taken as a slow ballad, this rendition is interpreted at a medium-tempo pace that is a bit of a revelation. Ruth's singing is quite soulful and powerful and the group (with Richard Padron on guitar) swings hard..'

 

'Don't Explain' features Ruth's attractive voice on a straightforward version that Billie Holiday would have loved. 'The Nearness Of You' is given an atmospheric floating treatment that has the song in 7/4 time except during the bridge, which is in 4/4.

 

'An Invitation' concludes with an unusual combination of 'Moody's Mood For Love' and the song whose chord structure it is built on, 'I'm In The Mood For Love.' David Epstein interacts with Ruth vocally as they pay tribute to both songs simultaneously.

 

Throughout 'An Invitation,' Ruth Aguilar (who contributed all of the arrangements) is in very impressive form. This easily recommended set makes one look forward to her future recordings and to seeing her perform live."

 

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Joe Lang: Jersey Jazz Magazine, July/August 2010


"Before receiving An Invitation in the mail, I was unfamiliar with the work of New Jersey vocalist Ruth Aguilar. Having listened to the disc, I look forward to catching her at a gig. She displays a wonderful jazz sensibility in her singing, and has chosen a program that fits her style to a 'T'. Aguilar opens with an imaginative pairing of 'Invitation' and 'Nica’s Dream,' and closes with a duet on 'Moody’s Mood for Love' and 'I’m in the Mood for Love' with pianist David Epstein who shares the vocal duties. In between she sings 'You’ve Changed,' 'You Can’t Rush Spring,' 'Good Morning Heartache,' 'Four,' 'You Don’t Know What Love Is,' 'What a Little Moonlight Can Do,' 'God Bless the Child,' 'Don’t Explain,' and 'The Nearness of You.' This is definitely among the better first time out albums that I have heard. Look for the disc and for her appearances in the Garden State."

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