Kenya Esteva de Ruiz began studying classical guitar at an early age. She soon picked up violin and became a founding member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Acarigua and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Merida, both of which are part of the highly recognized "El Sistema" program in Venezuela. Kenya decided to continue her music studies, earning her Bachelor degree from the University of Los Andes in Merida-Venezuela and Master of Arts in Violin Performance from the University of Iowa, where she studied with Professor Leopold LaFosse. Ms. Ruiz has a passion for teaching and has extensive experience as both a private and group string instructor. Her first teaching experiences began in the El Sistema Youth Orchestra. She later taught at the Buffalo Community Music School (Buffalo, NY), Villa Maria College (Buffalo, NY), and conducted the String Orchestra and Mariachi Band for several public schools in Grand Prairie, TX. Kenya enjoys performing early, classical, contemporary, and Latin American music. Currently a member of the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra in Boston, MA, Kenya has performed throughout her career in both Venezuela and the United States, including the Orquesta Sinfonia de Merida, University of Iowa Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, LaFossee Baroque Ensemble, UI Center for New Music, Ottumwa Symphony, Burlington Symphony, Colgate University Symphony Orchestra, Onondaga Civic Symphony, Amherst Symphony Orchestra, Cheektowaga Symphony Orchestra, and the New Philharmonic Orchestra of Irving. Recently, Kenya became a certified Suzuki teacher for violin. She also played with the "Lowell House Opera" production of the Midsummer Night's Dream at Harvard University this past spring.In her spare time, Ms. Ruiz enjoys playing Venezuelan music with her family, cooking and gardening.
Kenya's VERY first instrument was the Venezuelan four-string guitar known as the Cuatro. Her first song was "Compadre Pancho." Ask her and she'll play it for you!