“In a crowded field of Americana artists who claim influence from disparate genres…. Violet Bell truly pushes against the limitations and expectations of genres and genders.. Ross’s soulful vocal gymnastics sound downright wild… defying stylistic bounds.” Indyweek
Lizzy Ross (guitar/banjo/vocals) and Omar Ruiz-Lopez (cello, violin, guitar, mandolin,vocals) blend pop sensibilities with classical chops and folk traditions creating an “elegant marriage of strings and vocals…delicate yet powerful,” (Encore Magazine)
Representation: Exclusive – North America
Touring Formats: Quintet, Duo
Blending pop sensibilities with classical chops and folk traditions, “Violet Bell puts an avant-garde twist on traditional roots music” (INDY Week). This “elegant marriage of strings and vocals” is “delicate yet powerful,” (Encore Magazine) breathing new life into the traditional Americana sound. Singer-songwriter Lizzy Ross “channels the spirit of Eva Cassidy,” while multi-instrumentalist Omar Ruiz-Lopez’s violin performance is “chocolate,” resulting in an undeniable onstage chemistry that captivates audiences of all ages (Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Show).
Performing as a duo or quintet, Violet Bell are equally at home in a performing arts center or an intimate listening space. They have mesmerized audiences across America with their “fiery live performances” (The Boot), offering “a mashup of classical, soul, bluegrass, jazz, old-time and blues that floats effortlessly” (Greensboro News & Record).
This unique blend of skill, innovation and joy has not gone unnoticed. In their young career, they have been featured at festivals and events across the country, including Americanafest 2018, WoodSongs, Rooster Walk Festival, Grassroots Festival, the Charleston Bluegrass Festival, and many more. In 2020, the quintet will tour internationally as musical ambassadors for the US State Department.
“In a crowded field of Americana artists who claim influence from disparate genres…. Violet Bell truly pushes against the limitations and expectations of genres and genders.. Ross’s soulful vocal gymnastics sound downright wild… defying stylistic bounds.”
“Ross channels the spirit of Eva Cassidy, and Ruiz-Lopez’s violin performance is chocolate.”
– Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour
“Atmospheric, captivating vocals… Durham duo Violet Bell puts an avant-garde twist on traditional roots music.”
“… an elegant marriage of strings and vocals ….. Delicate yet powerful, their soundscapes are founded in folk, but their music continues to become more stylistically diverse and lyrically vulnerable”
– Encore Magazine, Wilmington NC
The members of Violet Bell are passionate and experienced music educators who teach with the same principles of creativity, discovery, and cultural inclusion that they bring to their music. They are 2019-2020 cultural ambassadors with the US State Department’s American Music Abroad program, and practice music education in the Durham area, providing youths with instrumental and vocal instruction as well as teaching them about the realities of life for professional touring artists. Violet Bell has led workshops and collaborations with KidzNotes, the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra, The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, the Wortham Center for Performing Arts, and many more.
Believing that traditional music must constantly evolve, Violet Bell specializes in educational outreach & residencies as a means of helping audiences creatively connect their cultural past with their personal future.
Violet Bell is equipped to offer a variety of different outreach formats ranging from single sessions to multi-week residencies on a variety of topics including songwriting, performance, improvisation techniques, music business, and clinics for bands.
Here are just a few examples of outreach and educational programs available. Violet Bell can customize a program to create a unique educational experience for communities of all ages and skill levels!
Where Do Songs Come From?
Where Do Songs Come From? is a 60 to 120 minute educational workshop concert that explores creativity, self-acceptance, and empowerment through the lens of songwriting. Through captivating performance and interactive activities, Violet Bell connects students with their own creative power and inspiration. Students learn mindsets, tools and practices to cultivate an inner creative dialogue, and to produce creative works sustainably.
Finding the Gig That’s Right for You!
As self-starting musicians who have played over 400 shows in this project alone, the members of Violet Bell have a lot to offer to budding musicians interested in performing. Through captivating performance and interactive activities, Violet Bell leads students through the basics of identifying their goals, connecting with their audience, and building sustainable relationships with music professionals in their community.
Improvisation and Arrangement in American Styles
The members of Violet Bell come from different musical traditions – classical, folk, psychedelia, R&B, and jazz – and are no strangers to blending cultural influences and improvising between genres! Through performance and interactive activities, Violet Bell teaches students about improvisation and active listening, and how band members can blend influences and have musical conversations to create new sounds. This workshop challenges students to consider genre boundaries as cultural boundaries, the myriad cultures at play in American music, and their place in the future of our cultural conversation.
Examples of standard outreach packages:
Single Session (45 minutes to 1 hour) The musicians work with students individually or in small groups.
- Mini-concert with explanations
- Demonstration of songwriting process
- Using object writing as an inspirational tool
Half-Day Visit : A morning or afternoon of four 45-minute sessions, allowing visits to additional classrooms or more time for individual and small group instruction.
Full-Day Visit: Morning session same as Half-Day Visit, followed by a concert in the afternoon.
Multi-Day Residency: All of the above, plus:
- More individual or small group instruction
- Students perform music with Violet Bell
- Group and individual songwriting exercises
- Exploring the connection between ancient mythology and modern identity
For older and more advanced students:
- One-on-one instrument lessons
- Songwriting and performance critique masterclass
- Music business and band management workshops