|Born||May 29, 1952|
New York City
|Died||June 6, 2006 54) (aged|
Hilton Ruiz (May 29, 1952 – June 6, 2006) was an American jazz pianist in the Afro-Cuban jazz mold, but was also a talented bebop player. He was of Puerto Rican descent.
Born in New York City, Ruiz began playing piano at the age of five after being inspired by Duke Ellington.At the age of eight he performed Mozart at Carnegie Hall.
In high school Ruiz studied jazz piano with Mary Lou Williams. In 1973 he was a sideman for Roland Kirk, then later for Clark Terry. He also worked with Betty Carter, Tito Puente, and Mongo Santamaría. He co-wrote a music instruction book, Jazz and How to Play It.He appeared on the soundtrack to Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors .
On May 19, 2006, Ruiz was found unconscious on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where he had gone to shoot a video to promote a recently recorded project with M27 Records benefiting the victims of Hurricane Katrina entitled "Goin' Back to New Orleans". The police filed a report that he had injured himself in an accidental fall. Ruiz was hospitalized in a comaand died without regaining consciousness a week after his 54th birthday. Ruiz was a resident of Teaneck, New Jersey.
He was buried at Saint Raymond's Cemetery in New York City.
With Paquito D'Rivera
With Greg Abate
With Afro Blue Band
With George Coleman
With Art Davis
With Chico Freeman
With Dizzy Gillespie
With Rahsaan Roland Kirk
With Abbey Lincoln
With Tisziji Munoz
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New York Hilton is an album by pianist Hilton Ruiz recorded in 1977 and released on the Danish label, SteepleChase.
Steppin' Into Beauty is an album by pianist Hilton Ruiz, collecting performances recorded in 1977 at the sessions that produced Excition and New York Hilton, which was released on the Danish label SteepleChase in 1982.
Rhythm in the House is an album by pianist Hilton Ruiz with special guest Tito Puente recorded in 1998 and released on TropiJazz label, a subsidiary of the Latin music label, RMM.