Teacher by day and rapper by night, Joe Ruiz, may not have won NPR's Tiny Desk Contest - but it has given him a big break. He and his fellow musicians in Rhymer/Educator will open for Vanilla Ice July 14th at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds.
In doing so, Ruiz has decided to try and replicate his own version of a "tiny desk" concert contest.
Here is how Ruiz describes what he wants to do:
I want to create a contest to help budding (high school aged) musicians gain some exposure, and I want to open it up to all high schools in our area, not just the one where I work. Basically, I would ask aspiring teens to share a video of them playing their original song with me at RhymerEducator@gmail.com. In a way, it's my own, micro-version of the Tiny Desk contest that we entered last month. This would last through the month of June. Then, I would select a winner, and they would have the opportunity to play their song during my 30 minute set at the Vanilla Ice show in La Porte.
Here are the rules that Ruiz has come up with:
1. The kids need to be high school students within driving distance of the La Porte County Fairgrounds to win. This does not have to be a La Porte student. They could be La Porte, Michigan City, Penn, South Bend, Elkhart, Crown Point, Goshen, Mishawaka, etc.
2. They must record a video of themselves performing their original song and submit it to me via RhymerEducator@gmail.com. I will post each video to my social media. They can follow me @RhymerEducator on all social media platforms and share the clip with their friends and family, or have them like, comment, share, etc.
3. Submissions must be non-explicit.
Ruiz says he will select a winner along with one of his sponsors and the winner will be invited to perform their song during his set at the Vanilla Ice concert.
Gates open at 5pm (CDT) Rhymer/Educator and the contest winner will perform from 5:15-5:45 followed by The Boyband Night, Too White Crew, and Vanilla Ice.
Ruiz says if people are interested in tickets, they can email him at RhymerEducator@gmail.com.