University of Florida professor José Valentino Ruiz, Ph.D., who performs as José Valentino, won his second Latin Grammy Nov. 19 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for the song “Sacre” with co-composer Carlos Fernando López.
In the song, Ruiz’s flute and López’s piano intertwine and alternate, symbolizing the need to leave room for others to be heard — a particularly relevant message during a divisive time in America.
“There’s a need for us to be able to listen and to be attentive, to be able to sit down and just have conversation with one another,” Ruiz said. “There’s sort of a mutual reverence that is occurring when we’re playing so that it’s not merely a showcase of virtuosity, but more of a dialogue. I think it serves as a great representative model, even though it’s just two instruments, of what democracy could look like.”
Find out more about how “Sacre” relates to the current moment in this UF News story and in the video below.