Pablo Ruiz Henao
Pablo is a greatly versatile low brass player, whose specialty lies in classical bass trombone. His musical roots are in the Colombian concert band tradition, where he has played everything from the bass drum to the tuba. Highlights from this period include playing principal tuba with the Colombian National Concert Band, which was widely considered to be the best band in South America at the time.
Pablo branched out into symphonic orchestral playing from an early age, playing principal trombone with the National Youth Symphony of Colombia, the Caldas University Symphony Orchestra, and the Andean Youth Symphony Orchestra. He studied tenor trombone under Nestor Slavov in Bogota, before eventually discovering his affinity for the bass trombone. In 2003 he won the position of Principal Bass Trombone with the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, where he played for the following five years.
In 2007 Pablo decided to further his studies under the renowned bass trombonist Ben van Dijk (Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra) in Rotterdam, Holland. During his time in Holland he was invited to play with several world-class orchestras and ensembles, including the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and De Volharding, where he was part of the core ensemble. He was also part of the Rotterdam Conservatory Trombone Class during their ITA award winning performances in 2008 and 2010. Pablo was also contracted by the Aalborg Symphony (Denmark) for five months in 2008.
On his return to Colombia in 2010, Pablo took up the position of bass trombonist for the Caldas Symphony Orchestra, also teaching at the University of Antioquia and in Batuta Manizales. He is a sought after low-brass expert in Colombia, holding several week-long workshops, and being invited as a coach for “100 trombones”, as well as being invited to adjudicate in regional band competitions. He has performed extensively with the well-established brass quintet Kanna-Jazz Brass, playing tuba. In July 2012 Pablo toured Chile as bass trombonist of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and in November 2012 he travelled to New York, where he took lessons from Blair Bollinger (Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra) and played a successful concert season with the Colombian band Chia’s Dance Party.
Pablo has appeared many times as a concerto soloist, playing the David and Larson tenor trombone concertos with the Colombian National Youth Symphony, Rimsky-Korsakov tenor trombone concerto and Philip Sparke Fantasy for Euphonium and Band with the Colombian National Concert Band, Eric Ewazen Sonata for Bass Trombone and trombone octet with the Rotterdam Trombone Class, and the Derek Bourgeouis Concerto for Bass Trombone and Band (in arrangement for symphony orchestra) with the Caldas Symphony Orchestra. He also performed the first bass trombone recital ever given in Colombia, in Bogota in 2005.
Aside from his classical focus, Pablo has not lost the ability to switch effortlessly between playing styles, regularly performing with musical companies (The Three Musketeers, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Matilda, Chicago) concert bands, salsa bands, brass bands, world music groups, and avant garde ensembles, on tuba, bass trombone, tenor trombone, euphonium, and baritone horn.
At the moment Pablo is located in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he holds the position of Principal Bass Trombone, with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and musical director of the well known 50s Up Brass Band, composed of senior citizens and retired professional players.