The New School is a collaborative space. Just ask Amanda Ruzza. The 2012 alumna recently released her debut album, This is What Happened, with support from New School alumni and faculty. Brazilian-born Ruzza composed and recorded the music all while getting her BA/BFA degrees at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. A bassist since she was 12, Ruzza attributes much of her love for music to her education at Lang. “This college taught me how to perceive the arts from many different perspectives, how to write [and] think critically, and how to tell a story through my music,” said Ruzza. “Lang showed me that I don’t have to be a slave of ‘music’ in order to appreciate it and play it.”
The young artist uses original compilations of hard funk, jazz, and influences of South American rhythms in her latest work. With a preference for the electric—rather than the acoustic—bass, Ruzza’s first album is contemporary, yet with traditional Brazilian-infused sounds that create a unique musical mix. Since graduation, Ruzza has taken her passion for music in many directions, including freelance writing for Tom Tom, a magazine that caters to female drummers. She is also in the midst of developing a bass course for True Fire, an online resource for guitar instruction. Listen to clips of Ruzza’s music on her website.