New Orleans (Louisiana), USA – Latin Jazz Pianist
Ruiz is in the intensive care unit of East Jefferson General Hospital in New
Orleans in a coma. He has been in the hospital since May 19. The New Orleans Police Department’s investigations have concluded that it was an accident, even though unconfirmed rumors claimed he was attacked near the
popular Bourbon Street, in the French quarter.
“Mr. Ruiz was on Bourbon Street and stumbled while walking across the street, hitting his face on the side of the curb,” New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Bambi Hall said. Hilton
was taken in an ambulance to the hospital and, on route, he had cardiac arrest.
His medical condition is extremely serious.
On Wednesday, May 17,
had just finished a recording in New York City, to benefit the musicians and
people of New Orleans, who had suffered from the effects of Hurricane
Katrina last year. He then flew down to New Orleans to make radio and television interviews promoting a pending CD showcasing New Orleans music.
There is an urgent appeal for financial assistance from the family of pianist
Hilton Ruiz who remains in a coma in a New Orleans hospital. money can be wired
to the below bank account. Aida Ruiz requests that people call her when they
have sent something so she will know that it’s there.
ACCT #: 711211359
ROUTING # 065400137
Her Phone # 201-925-6416 (leave message if she doesn’t answer)
Born in New York City on May 29, 1952,
was somewhat of a child prodigy, appearing on the Sandy Becker television show,
performing at Carnegie Recital Hall at the age of eight, and playing in an
accordion symphony at nine. Well-trained in all areas, he studied classical
piano as well as Latin and received jazz guidance from the great Mary Lou
Williams. “I was pretty lucky,” he says, “in being exposed to a lot of
different kinds of music, and studying them with good teachers.”
By his early teens,
was working with a variety of Latin soul bands and, at age 14, recorded with a
group called Ray Jay and the East Siders. But jazz was always close to his
heart, and his obviously superlative improvisational skills quickly opened
Before he was twenty,
worked with Frank Foster, Joe Newman, Cal Massey, Freddie Hubbard and Joe
Henderson—an impressive list for an established player, a remarkable list for a