A classically trained musician, David Erick Ramos has been performing with the ocarina since 2006. He first discovered the instrument through Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and has since built a large online following, especially on Youtube, where he has amassed over 77.3 million views on his ocarina music videos and tutorials.
Originally from San Antonio, TX, David has also toured throughout the United States for live performances and to promote the instrument through educational workshops. As a featured artist, David has performed with Nintendo’s “Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” concert tour and “Video Games Live”, the first and longest running video game concert series. He was also a featured performer at the 2015, 2017, and 2019 International Ocarina Festivals in Italy, as well as the 2018 and 2019 Ocarina Festivals in Seattle, WA.
In addition to David’s original albums (2013’s Leave Luck to Heaven, 2017’s Ocarina Road, 2021's PAST), he has appeared on several other projects, including tribute albums such as ZREO’s Twilight Symphony (2012), Time’s End: Majora’s Mask Remixed (2012, 2016), and Video Games Live: Level 5 (2016). Most recently, David appeared in the soundtrack for the indie game, Yoku’s Island Express.
I am available for a variety of events including weddings, parties, and corporate events. Whatever your choice of music (classical, video game, anime, pop, etc), I would love to be part of your special occasion! International events are also welcome.
I have been a featured guest performer at several major gaming and anime conventions across the United States. Convention organizers usually like to know if there is an interest in inviting specific guests, so be sure to let the organizers know if you would like to have me attend. If you are on staff with a convention, please contact me for availability.
These performances are in a small, intimate setting (not always a house), usually for no more than 20 people and hosted by someone within my community of fans and supporters. These concerts are also donation based, making it possible for just about anyone to host a concert as long as you have a place and a group of friends who might be interested in attending. For more information about hosting a concert, please contact me.
Transverse Ocarinas made by the makers of Budrio (Italy)
Pendant Ocarinas made by Songbird Ocarina (USA)
What is an ocarina?
Ocarinas, otherwise known as “globular” or “vessel” flutes, can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerica, with some dating back to 2500 B.C.E. How they were used within Mesoamerican cultures is still unknown today, but it seems they served a variety of purposes. According to American Archeology magazine, “in some instances, archeologists believe they were used in ceremonies, dances, processions, or even in battle, while in others, it seems they were toys or home entertainment”.
Predecessors of the modern ocarina first made their way to Europe after the Spanish Conquest by Hernán Cortés. In 1527, Cortés sent a party of Aztec dancers and musicians to perform for Emperor Charles V. Those in attendance were amazed by the performance and the group was propelled into fame, with performances throughout Europe. Local craftsman became fascinated and attempted to replicate the clay instruments for the next 300 years.
In 1853, a craftsman named Giuseppe Donati began experimenting with clay vessel flutes in Budrio, Italy - a small village about 14 miles (23km) East from Bologna. Inspired by small children's whistles in the shape of geese that existed at the time (already referred to as "ocarinas"), Donati had the idea to try to improve the range and tuning of the instrument. After experimenting with different-shaped vessel flutes, he landed on the final form of the "classical ocarina" around 1860.
Since then, the ocarina has grown in popularity around the world. There have been many experimentations and innovations with the ocarina's range and tunings from around Europe, Asia, and North America. And thanks to the internet, there are more connected ocarina players, collectors, and makers than ever before.