Performance Series •

Sol Ruiz: Positive Vibration Nation

April 12, 2024

- April 13, 2024

8:00 pm

Positive Vibration Nation is a new full-length multimedia Rock Guaguanco Opera by Sol Ruiz, a Miami-based Grammy-nominated composer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist.  The story is based in Miami, year 3050, where the characters embark on a journey to search for their roots, and through their discoveries and unification, they unlock their musical superhero powers.

While soul searching, the main characters face challenges that reflect artists’ roots as the foundation of Miami’s uniqueness while looking at social issues such as technology’s rapid takeover of society, erasure of culture and identity, believing in oneself, and uniting with the community with the power to achieve greatness.  The show incorporates live performances with integrated technology (lighting techniques and visual media) to create an immersive cultural experience of sound, visual art, costume, dance, and Caribbean music while also connecting the audience with a positive message.

The libretto was written by Sol Ruiz and recounts the journey of musical superheroes who unlock their powers by going to their roots.



Teo Castellanos • Director

Sandra Portal-Andreu • Choreographer

Celia Ledon • Costume Designer

Greth Castillo • Media & filmmaker

Ernesto Pinto • Lighting Designer

Beth Gladen • Sound Designer

Luisa Buitrago • Production Stage Manager



Sol Ruiz • La Barbara/Vocals

Rey Rodriguez • Rey Sugar/Guitar/Vocals

Carlos Jose Martinez • Octoman/Percussion/Vocals

Alejandro Sierra • Alegua/Trumpet/Vocals

Nayah Mericier • Shapeshifter/Dancer 

Nicole Machado • Shapeshifter/Dancer 



Fernando Abad • Keyboard

Adonnas Jones • Drummer

Julio Cesar Gonzalez • Violin



Fernando Perdomo • Guitar

Frandavid Fuentes • Percussion

Michel Ferrer • Piano 

Alejandro Sierra • Horn Arrangment/Trumpet/Flugelhorn



SOL RUIZ (Creator / La Barbara / Vocals) • Cuban American, Grammy-nominated recording artist, producer, DJ and multi-instrumentalist Sol Ruiz, performs in her native tongue, Spanglish.  Ruiz has released 6 albums under various names including Picadillo and Sol and The Tribu and has toured globally.  She is currently producing “Positive Vibration Nation”, a rock opera, funded by The Knight Foundation, NPN, National Endowment for the Arts, and Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects and Miami Light Project.  The Opera, premiering in April 2024 at Miami Theater Center, is performed by her band Sol and The Tribu, ambassadors of the “New Miami Sound”.  They will also perform the production at Prototype Festival in New York.  The band prides itself on what makes Miami “The Magic City” with its blend of Caribbean influences and American swamp funk.

TEO CASTELLANOS (Director) • Teo Castellanos is an independent actor/writer/director, who for the past 30 years has worked in devised theater, film, and television. Teo is a Doris Duke Artist 2021, United States Artist Fellow 2019, and a Sundance Institute ScreenWriters Intensive Fellow 2015. His award-winning solo NE 2nd Avenue, commissioned by Miami Light Project, toured extensively for a decade and won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland 2003. He is the recipient of several awards and grants including the National Latinx Theater Initiative, National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, MAP Fund, National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, National Performance Network, Knight New Works, Knight Arts Challenge, Knight Foundation People’s Choice Award, Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs and also won the State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship 2005 and 2013. Teo’s most recent solo, Third Trinity, was directed by long-time friend and collaborator, Oscar winner Tarell Alvin McCraney. He founded the Dance/Theater Company Teo Castellanos D-Projects in 2003 and is also Artistic Director of the devised theater company Combat Hippies. Teo has toured solo and company works throughout the U.S., Europe, South America, China, and the Caribbean. Some acting theater credits include playing Elegba in Alvin McCraney’s The Brothers Size, (Miami) and Santos in The Hittite Empire’sSkeletons of Fish (London). Film credits include playing opposite Matt Dillon in Sunlight Jr. and opposite John Leguizamo in Empire. Teo is a member of SAG/AFTRA, an Associate Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers, and holds a BFA in Theater from Florida Atlantic University. Teo is an ordained Zen practitioner and belongs to the 44th generation of the Vietnamese Lineage of the Lam Te (LinJi) Zen School. He has developed a theater training pedagogy steeped in Zen, Music/Movement and Archetypes. He has worked as a volunteer at Everglades Correctional Institute teaching both Theater and Zen.

SANDRA PORTAL-ANDREU (Choreographer) • Sandra Portal-Andreu is a Miami-based Interdisciplinary Artist, and Choreographer of Colombian/Cuban descent. Her practice is  deeply rooted in community and identity, exploring themes of culture, motherhood, and nature. Her work has been supported by Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs, Miami Light Project, Live Arts Miami, Sarasota Contemporary Dance, Miami-Dade Public Library System, PBS’ Filmmaker Project, NALAC, among others. Sandra has presented work at Movement Research at the Judson Church NYC, Dance on Camera NYC, Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC., and in festivals abroad. She is a recipient of the 2023 Miami Individual Artists (MIA) Grant, 2022 Telly Award, and 2021 Dance Miami Choreographers grant. Portal-Andreu holds an MS in Movement Science from Barry University, BFA from Florida State University, and AA from the New World School of the Arts. Her training includes studying with Fernando Bujones, Suzanne Farrell, Gerri Houlihan, Roxane D’Orleans-Juste, and Actor/Director, Thomas Richards at the Workcentre of Jerzy Grotowski in Pontedera, Italy. She is a certified Gyrotonic/Gyrokinesis Trainer and an Intimacy Consent-Forward Artist. Her performance experience includes Josée Garant Dance, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, and Juggerknot Theater Co. An educator and arts cultivator, she has worked with New World School of the Arts, Miami City Ballet, City Theatre Miami, Nova Southeastern University, and ProjectArt Miami.

LUISA BUITRAGO (Production Stage Manager) • Luisa Buitrago, is an artist from Colombia, exploring the fields of poetry, storytelling, mixed media, and performing arts as producer and performer. Dedicated to enjoying her life inside diverse communities in South Florida, Luisa has collaborated on projects that transform traditional and alternative stages into one-of-a-kind encounters. Nurturing artists’ needs and building creative spaces for their productions has guided Luisa to joint discoveries and futures, both joyful and imaginative.

Her recent projects include a full time position as Production Manager/Lighting Supervisor for Urban Bush Women NYC. “Anna In the Tropics,” a Pulitzer winner play by Nilo Cruz (2023, Miami New Drama), “Papá Cuatro,” a documentary/theatrical Play by Juan Souki (2022, Miami New Drama), “Corporeal Decorum,” a contemporary dance and multimedia by Liony Garcia (2022, The Ringling Museum), “National Water Dance,” a community oriented multi-art celebration by National Water Dance Projects (2022, SMDCAC), “Where Home Is,” a navigational game-inspired sonic journey by Juraj Kojš (2021, Live Arts Miami and Knight Foundation), and “Devotion,” a contemporary dance performance by Rosie Herrera Dance Theater Company (2022 and 2023,ADF and tour).

Luisa is honored and excited about returning to Miami and joining the Positive Vibration Nation’s Team, where new adventures await.

CELIA LEDON (COSTUME DESIGNER) • Graduated from IPDI (Polytechnic Institute of Industrial Design) as a project manager in 2005, Celia continued her studies at ISDI (Higher Institute of Industrial Design) and graduated as an Industrial Designer in 2011.

Later she participated in several courses and workshops of art direction, costume design for cinema, among others.

She has participated in several exhibitions and parades both in Cuba and in other countries of the world: Kennedy Center (Washington DC), designlab (Miami), galleries in Portugal, and in the main galleries of Cuba that expose the Cuban imagery; FAC, Fine Arts among others.

Since graduation, she has worked as a designer at Teatro El Público, Ludi Teatro and other independent companies on an intermittent basis.

She has being designing for the dancing company Rakatán for 3 years, and she works as costume designer and art director in video clips, fiction shorts, commercials and mostly feature films, audiovisual categories in which she has several awards. Since 2018 he joined the creative group of Clandestina.

CARLOS JOSE MARTINEZ (Music Director / Octoman / Percussion / Vocals) • Carlos Jose Martínez, born in Havana, Cuba, in 1992, is a NYC-based composer and performer known for his genre-blending music that combines Afro-Cuban rhythms, jazz, and electronic elements. His experimental project, Yongolailan, gained recognition in Cuba by winning the Cuba Disco Award for his debut album “Sueño Tropical” in 2015. In 2018, he founded Caribbean Sea Sound, an independent record label focused on collaborating with emerging artists from the Caribbean and Latin America. Currently pursuing studies in Music Production and Sound Design at Berkeley College of Music, Carlos continues to push musical boundaries with his experimental approach.

ALEJANDRO SIERRA (Alegua / Trumpet/ Vocals) • Professional Musician with more than 10 years of experience teaching music and performing various instruments. Alejandro Sierra holds a MBA in performing arts from University of Habana, Cuba.. Trumpet player that has gone through several music styles. Plays also Piano, saxophone and some percussion Instruments.

REY RODRIGUEZ (Rey Sugar / Guitar / Vocals)• Rey Rodriguez, Born in Santiago de Cuba, Rey Rodriguez picked up the guitar at 15 years old and has been playing ever since. He began his musical journey in Cuba studying classical guitar at the highly esteemed Miguel Cervantes School of the Arts, and went on to become the Musical Director and sole Composer at the Hubert de Blanc at the young age of 19. At the age of 20 Rey relocated to Madrid, Spain where his musical career took off. He spent the next 13 years writing, singing, arranging and performing. He formed the critically acclaimed band Picadillo, signed with Warner Chapel publishing company, and released his first album “Las Cosas de la Vida.” Picadillo worked with sounds from Cuban Son, American Blues, Timba, and Rock n Roll. Rey and his band had the privilege to play and tour many festivals and concert halls. They played in Canada at the infamous Roy Thomson Hall, Lula’s in Toronto, Sun Fest in Ontario, Madrid’s popular Café Central & Café Berlin, the famous Fabrica del Arte in Cuba, Miami’s New World Symphony Center, Carnival on the Mile Fest, and multiple other venues and cities across the map. Picadillo’s music was played on MTV Spain, as well as NPR, and WDNA Miami radio stations. Rey also toured Spain for 2 years with the Spanish Pop- Star Merche, as her guitarist, arranger and composer. His time in Spain was also spent working as a vocalist and guitarist for advertisements. In his next chapter, Rey relocated to Miami, Florida with long – time musical partner Sol Ruiz from Picadillo, and formed a new band called Sol + the Tribu, influenced by Afro-Cuban, hip hop, rock and electronic music. They released the album “Miami 3050” in 2019 and have played Carnival on the Mile, 305 Day festivals, Global Cuba Fest, The Rhythm Foundation’s Afro-Roots Fest, multiple venues in Miami, and received grants from Miami Light Project for The Here and Now Festival, as well as a 2021 Knight Arts Grant to create a Rock Opera, now additionally funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. Since the pandemic, Rodriguez has been working on his debut solo album, and just released the first single (self produced) called “Florida Blue Skies,” (Featuring Shira Lee). It is a love song to Florida and to falling in love with the right person. The swelling of electric guitars, the acoustic plucking along, and the country vibe conjure the feeling of “on the road” and “home” as one. After 3 albums, traveling the world as a professional musician, and performing with multiple projects, it is Rey’s time to step out and make his personal statement as a solo artist. He is about to drop the next single off the Album, “El Racoon,” with a world class music video to match. Directed by Grethel Castillo the video and song are in a vintage world with a timeless theme of betrayal. Rey Rodriguez is breaking expectations of the “Cuban Sound,” and leading us to discover something new. With his music pulling from Afro-Cuban and African- American roots music, his voice & electric guitar sing, expressing the story of his life as a world citizen who knows no bounds. Ernest Ranglin (Jazz/Caribbean fusion), Manuel Galban (Cuban electric guitar), Chuck Berry (Rock n’ Roll storytelling) and Robert Johnson (finger-pickin’ blues) have guided him to define his sound. Rethinking traditional Cuban melodies and Caribbean rhythms, his Rock n Roll edge seeps through the music with a stealthy yet fiery passion. Edgy & refined, groovy & deep, the sounds of his warm voice and creamy distorted guitar are so satisfying. This blend of sounds is something he has been cultivating for years. You can hear his earlier work in the albums he made with his former band Picadillo, and his latest single “Florida Blue Skies.” From Soul, Rock & Blues, to Son & Guaracha, Rey’s storytelling and lyricism pulls from an autobiographical standpoint. He writes about falling in love & loves lost, he paints pictures of abandoned towns and deserted spirits, but also of rising again & winning. As someone who perceives his identity without borders after living in Cuba, Spain & now the US, his songwriting also touches on the life of Cubans, immigrants, and all humans around the world that have experienced exile. His songs might reveal harsh realities but they also evoke hope in reaching one’s wildest dreams. Rey Rodriguez has created a world of sultry Rock, introspective Cuban psychedelia, and grooves that keep lilting as you ride out into the sunset. Español Disparando su guitarra eléctrica desde Güajiro a Cowboy, de Surf Rock a Son, Rey

GRETH CASTILLO (Media & Filmmaker) • Greth Castillo was born in Havana, Cuba. Director, producer and screenwriter of various film and advertising projects in Cuba and Mexico. He has obtained and received several awards at major film festivals for his performance with short film projects such as Lie to Me Well Jackie Chang (2012), Yemaya (2022) and Oshun (2022). His interest in always leaving a message is present in his work. Her diversification in the different branches of art develops in her a genuine interest in the creation and innovation of new ways of seeing and understanding cinema. With extensive experience in the audiovisual industry, she has directed several video clips and experimental pieces for national artists. and international. He is currently developing his first feature film.

BETH GLADEN (Sound Designer) • Beth Gladen is a self-taught musician, recording engineer, melody maker, and lover of all music. She owns her own recording studio, utilizing both analog and digital formats in a hybrid formula to achieve great tones. She writes a lot of music on piano and is always in the market for great topliners or collaborations with other musicians, composers, and producers. Her writing styles are very eclectic, drawing from numerous genres and musical influences. She writes in many different genres, never really married to just one. Currently, she is building her studio in Miami after relocating there two years ago. Throughout her career, she has had and built recording studios, with this one in Miami being her 12th studio buildout. She finally owns the property on which they are building the studio, so she is hopeful it will be her last studio build. Her control room is all finished, and her live room and booths are about halfway done. She also works as a recording engineer for a studio she built out the control room for in the Cleveland, Ohio area, called Somewhere Recording at Suma. This studio features an SSL, 56-channel 4000G console previously owned by Anne and Nancy Wilson of Heart, originally called Bad Animals Studio, and later sold to Studio X in Seattle, WA. The Somewhere Recording at Suma Studio is her mix-down go-to studio, while her Miami location serves as her tracking studio.



About Miami Light Project

Founded in 1989, Miami Light Project is a not-for-profit cultural organization, which commissions and presents artists from all over the world and throughout Miami. We support the vanguard in contemporary performance – dance, music, theater and multimedia artists who are internationally recognized for risk-taking innovation, technical virtuosity and thought-provoking content. Our programmatic vision has led the way in establishing Miami as an internationally recognized center for art and culture, with a vibrant locally based artistic community. Miami Light Project’s artistic programs focus on issues of relevance to our community within the context of an evolving global field of art and culture.


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April 12, 2024
- April 13, 2024

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7:00 pm

Here & Now

September 19, 2024
- September 21, 2024

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Kristina Villaverde

Special Projects Manager

A native of Miami, Kristina Villaverde became Miami Light Project’s Technical Director in 2014. Kristina is also the director of Miami Light Project’s Technical Fellowship, a program designed to train emerging theater technicians and prepares them for professional work. A long time staple in the South Florida theater community, Kristina has worked as the Head Electrician at Byron Carlyle Theater, The Colony Theater and the Olympia Theater. Additionally, she has built her theater skills as Light Designer and Stage Manager for numerous productions, and worked for local arts organizations as Young Arts and Miami Lyric Opera. Kristina has been a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 500 and had the opportunity to work as a stagehand for a variety of productions from Broadway, Comedy Central, CBS, Telemundo to Live Nation at a great number of venues in South Florida.
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Terrence Brunn

Marketing & Communications Manager

A native of St. Thomas, US Virgin Island, Terrence Brunn is an arts administrator and designer with a B.A. in Business Management from the University of Miami. Terrence Brunn joined MLP in 2012 as part of the Miami Light Project’s Technical Fellowship Program inaugural class where he explored all aspects of stagecraft. Now Terrence is the communications manager for Miami Light Project and the program coordinator for Miami Theater Center. Terrence currently resides in Miami and enjoys traveling when not working.
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Regina Moore

Director of Planning & Development

Regina Moore joined Miami Light Project in October 2012. Previously, Regina worked as an independent consultant and grant writer for nonprofits in South Florida. Since 2003, Regina has worked with cultural & arts and community services organizations on projects that have generated more than $4 million in grants. She has 18 years of experience in grant proposal development, strategic planning, building collaborations and program evaluation for small/mid-size nonprofits. Regina holds a master degree in business administration from the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL) and bachelor’s degree in business from Pontificia Universidade Católica (Sao Paulo, Brazil). A native of Brazil, Regina currently resides in Boca Raton with her husband, John, and two children, Thomas and Emilie.
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Eventz Paul

Technical Director & Facilities Manager

Eventz Paul is currently the Technical Director and Productions Manager at Miami Light Project. He has been a part of this organization since 2011. He participated in Miami Light Project’s first class of the Technical Fellowship Program held at The Light Box. He joined this program hoping to improve his existing theater skills. He received training from experts in the industry that mentored and further his theater technical skills. Now, he has successfully used his professional knowledge and has had the opportunity to work with various arts organizations and venues throughout Miami including Miami Theater Center, National Young Arts Foundation, the Colony Theatre and many more. He has become an instructor and conducts audiovisual classes to incoming technical fellows.

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Elizabeth Boone

Artistic & Executive Director

Beth Boone has been the Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project since 1998, developing critically acclaimed artistic programs that have asserted the organization as one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida. These programs include: the establishment of Here & Now, South Florida’s most respected commission and presenting program for community-based artists; premiere presentations of internationally acclaimed; pioneering historic international cultural exchange with Cuba; and the creation of The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, a multi-use performance and visual art space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. She previously served as Associate Director of Development for Florida Grand Opera, Deputy Director for the Department of Cultural Affairs at Miami Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus, co-founded an Off Broadway theater company (New York Rep), and served for six years as a Program Associate in the Arts & Culture Program of the AT&T Foundation. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and a MFA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University in Boston, MA.