What a treat this is! Alison heard Violet Bell at The Eddy last year, and then met them as they were winning festival hearts at Ocrafolk. As of this writing in September, Lizzy and Omar have just finished playing at Americanafest in Nashville, they have been touring this year like there’s no tomorrow. We hope they will be able to relax a bit at our Serenade Cozy!
Doors open at 6:00p for schmoozing with everyone; performance will begin at 7:00p.
A suggested offering of $20-25 will be gratefully received at the gathering.
Studio events are generally email and word-of-mouth invitation-only.
Visit the Say Hey page to receive more info, RSVP, driving and parking directions.
space is limited so PLEASE consider your RSVP a commitment
as it will guarantee you a seat
if life gets in the way and you are not able to attend,
please email or text Alison at 919.928.6886 ASAP!
More accolades follow…
“Violet Bell have toured extensively throughout the country, earning fans with their fiery live performances, thanks in large part to the chemistry between Ross and Ruiz-Lopez.” -The Boot
Folk, country and bluegrass with elements of classical, jazz, blues, and psychedelic flair. The first thing that struck me was the talent that is spilling over the sides. The talent smacks you in the face it is so prominent. All the elements come together perfectly to form something that burns brightly.” – Harry Kaplan, Twangri-La
“Making the best possible use of the atmospheric, captivating vocals of Lizzy Ross, Durham folk duo Violet Bell puts an eerie, vaguely avant-garde twist on traditional roots music, suggesting the lovely but slightly askew early John Cale releases. Garnished with beauty but fraught with an underlying menace, tunes like “Dream the Wheel” under score the interplay between Ross and multi-instrumentalist Omar Ruiz-Lopez.” – Indy Weekly
Violet Bell cites a wide range of influences – from Debussy to Nina Simone, D’angelo to Lou Reed, their unique sound blends folk, soul, bluegrass, blues, and classical. On stage, the energy between Ross and Ruiz-Lopez is fiery, intimate and intuitive. Since forming in March 2016, Violet Bell has played over 250 shows, earning fans from FL to VT with long stretches on the road.
Violet Bell’s live performance is the heart of their work in the studio. On their 2017 debut Dream the Wheel Ross sings and plays guitar, as Ruiz-Lopez adds violin, viola, cello, keys, guitar and vocal harmonies. The result is alchemical; emotionally evocative music that at times “sounds like a beautiful dream” (IndyWeekly).
The album’s title track, “Dream the Wheel,” speaks to a fearlessly inclusive view of life’s cyclical polarities. “Sing, sing, everything/ Comes and goes and comes again/ Let it out and let it in/ Let it be your medicine.” The album cover, a medicine wheel that Ruiz-Lopez and Ross crafted from local NC flora, speaks to the origins of the music. Violet Bell is rooted in the natural world and the community from which they’ve grown.
Violet Bell’s outreach efforts include teaching workshops to to community and youth orchestras in NC and beyond, and collaborating with youth and community musicians whenever possible. The September 15, 2017 release show for Dream the Wheel featured three students of the Durham nonprofit Kidznotes All-Star string ensemble, whom Ruiz-Lopez has helped to teach since 2011. Violet Bell has worked with the Wake Forest Youth Orchestra, Ocrafolk, and Kidznotes to present workshops to students K-12 as well as older audiences.
In May 2018, Violet Bell recorded a full-length debut album, Honey in my Heart, at the Fidelitorium in Kernersville with Jason Richmond (Dom Flemons, Steep Canyon Rangers, Nneena Freelon, Avett Brothers). Honey in my Heart is set for international release in early 2019 and features 11 original songs.
Prior to forming Violet Bell, Ruiz-Lopez toured with Jonathan Byrd, Crystal Bright, Steph Stewart, and Chocolate Suede, and composed several original pieces for the Durham Symphony Orchestra. Ross has been a two-time Kerrville New Folk finalist and won Floydfest’s On the Rise contest, a Carolina Music Award, and an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council.
photo by Jeremy Ryan Creatives