Ric Alviso received his B.M. degree in music composition from California State University, Long Beach, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in ethnomusicology at UCLA.
As an ethnomusicologist, he has conducted fieldwork in Africa and the Southwest United States. He has studied and performed music from many music cultures, including Shona and Mandinka music from Africa, Indonesian gamelan, Albanian folk music, and various Latin American and Native American styles. As a composer, he has combined elements of Western and non-Western traditions with an emphasis on microtonality. As a pianist, he has performed with the Long Beach and Santa Monica Symphony orchestras.
He is currently on the music faculty at Santa Monica College, in addition to his assignments at California State University, Northridge. He is the author of "Multicultural Music in America: An Introduction to Our Musical Heritage" and "Musical Aspects of the Corrido, the War on Drugs: and their Convergence in a Federal Prison."