Sol Ruiz Makes Miami Music With a Worldly Sound

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

What is neo-Cuban blues? It's what local singer-songwriter Sol Ruiz calls her Spanglish sound that mixes music from two countries that are so close yet so far apart.

"My parents are Cuban, and I was born and raised in Miami Beach, so I was interested in my roots," Ruiz tells New Times. "The Cuban music from the '20s and '30s became my true interest. I was really intrigued by the horns but also the history and the setting of the music near all the casinos that disappeared when Castro took over."

Ruiz also had an ear for folk and American bluegrass. After graduating from New World School of the Arts, she moved to New Orleans to study and live among those uniquely American musical genres. "I also learned about blues and jazz." She then took that knowledge on the road to Europe, where she lived in Madrid for seven years while fronting the band Picadillo and playing all over the continent.

But after all of that traveling and wandering, Ruiz is back in her hometown and pleased as punch to show off what she learned about music. "My family is here, and so are my roots. You also have some of the best players of Cuban music in the world. I can't help but see it as the perfect place to fuse Cuban and American music."

Locals will have a chance to hear her brand of neo-Cuban blues Friday night at Vedado Social Club, where she will be joined by a drummer and bassist. "It's going to be one set. I'll be getting onstage around midnight and will give a good mix of the Cuban and American in me."

Though Ruiz is planning a trip to London in January to finish mixing Picadillo's album with one of the engineers who works with Radiohead, most of her plans for 2017 involve the Magic City that birthed her. She hosts a world music show Thursday nights at 10 on Shake 108 and is also planning a January concert with the Prism Group.

"I had a lot of mentors in Miami. Now it's my time to give back."

Sol Ruiz
11 p.m. Friday, December 23, at Vedado Social Club, 3201 Buena Vista Ave., Miami; 669-444-0872.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.