Mariachi is a type of traditional Mexican folk music, typically performed by a small group of strolling musicians dressed in native costume.
Band leader Robert Ruiz began playing trumpet in 6th grade. He joined Mariachi Estrellas de Tejas when he was twelve-years-old and began singing as well. He then went on to play for Mariachi Azteca and started his own group called Mariachi Almas de Oro while a senior in high school. He arranged music, played guitar and sang for the group.
Ruiz came to the University of Oklahoma as a National Scholar in pursuit of an engineering degree in computer science. His freshman year, Robert co-founded the first OU Latin ensemble, Echos de las Américas. He is currently pursuing a degree in Vocal Performance.
In 2002, Robert Ruiz and a group of other individuals founded Mariachi Orgullo de América. Soon after he helped found Son del Barrio (scheduled to play Summer Breeze on July 27) and established Enye Music with offices in Downtown Norman. Ruiz is also the owner of Enye Group and is a Partner for Enye Media.
Wilma Maritza Ruiz is the Director of Operations for Énye Media and Énye Music and performs in Mariachi Orgullo de America and Son del Barrio playing flute, which she has played since age 9. Robert and Wilma have four children.
They will be joined by Clay Zapata on trumpet and Paul Gomez on guitarron for the Lunchtime Concert. In the event of rain the concert will be moved inside the Depot.
Complimentary hot dogs were provided at the May Lunchtime Concert by Fancy That Cafe, Bakery, Takery, 215 East Main. Stop in and tell them thank you!
The July 11 Lunchtime Concert will feature Johnny and the Blue Cats, followed in August by Talk of the Town big band and in September, the John Arnold Group.
For additional information about the Norman Downtowners Association and its members, visit http://www.normandowntowners.com/. For additional information about The Performing Arts Studio, phone 307-9320. Office hours in the Depot are 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 to 5:00 on Sunday.