This resource is available for free to everyone in the folk music community, whether a fan or part of the industry. It is updated and maintained by the staff of Folk Alliance International. If you’d like to support FAI in continuing to providing free community resources like this, we invite you to make a tax-free donation here.
- This event has passed.
Violet Bell Livestream Lunch every Thursday at noon EDT!
March 17 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT
An event every week that begins at 12:00 PM on Thursday, repeating indefinitely
Join us every Thursday at noon EDT for live original music! Tune in on www.youtube.com/violetbell or www.facebook.com/violetbellmusic
“Ross channels the spirit of Eva Cassidy, and Ruiz-Lopez’s violin performance is chocolate; one of the richest-sounding I have ever heard. A very beautiful canvas of earthy, acoustic music, with some of the best arrangements I have heard on this show… Absolutely gorgeous.”
— Michael Johnathon, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour
Violet Bell is an exciting new take on Americana. Their unique sound weaves roots, soul, psychedelic, and classical music into a soundscape that the Chapel Hill NC based band calls “Americosmic”. On stage and in the studio, bandleaders Lizzy Ross (guitar, banjo, vocals) and Omar Ruiz-Lopez (violin, viola, cello, guitar, mandolin, vocals) share magnetic chemistry. They have toured full time since forming in 2016, playing over 400 shows from Montreal to Miami, honing the fiery intimacy of their live show, and a building a steadily growing fanbase. Since COVID-19 has made touring impossible, Violet Bell has started a weekly livestream every Thursday at noon EST on their facebook, youtube, and instagram channels.
Ross and Ruiz-Lopez share a mutual love of rock, hip-hop and R&B that finds its way into their traditionally rooted music. “She’s a songwriter, I’m a composer and multi-instrumentalist, and our ability to meld those abilities and genres works well for us,” Ruiz-Lopez says. Ruiz-Lopez was born in Panama and raised in Puerto Rico on salsa and jazz, while Ross was grew up outside of DC listening to folk and singer-songwriters. In North Carolina, the two steeped in bluegrass and old-time traditions. The resulting music favors cultural inclusion and cross-pollination over genre loyalty.
Violet Bell’s momentum radiates from the experience of releasing their debut full-length album, Honey in My Heart, in October 2019. The album was produced by Violet Bell and Jason Richmond (Avett Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Nneena Freelon, Dom Flemons, Bombadil, Shana Tucker), and recorded with the five-piece band and guests Shana Tucker and Rissi Palmer. The songs were recorded live in single takes, without vocal tuning, isolation or click tracks. Full of personality, Honey in My Heart feels consistent with the band’s true sound as opposed to hidden behind studio wizardry.
In addition to touring, the members of Violet Bell are both passionate about music education for underserved communities. They are involved in 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 worked with KidzNotes, the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra, The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, the Wortham Center for Performing Arts and others to engage communities of all ages in educational and inspiring workshops.
Violet Bell was selected by the US State Department to tour internationally as cultural ambassadors in 2019-2020. Violet Bell was a juried showcasing artist at Performing Arts Exchange and ArtsMarket 2019 and an official showcasing artist at Americanafest 2018. Since forming in March 2016, Violet Bell has been presented at venues and festivals such as WoodSongs, The Carolina Theater, The Center for the Study of the American South, Rooster Walk Festival, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Ocrafolk Festival, the Charleston Bluegrass Festival, the Festival for the Eno, the Beaufort Music Festival, the Haw River Ballroom, and many more.