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Jessica Pimentel (born September 20, 1982) is an American actress and musician. She is best known for her role as Maria Ruiz on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. She is also the lead singer of the death metal band Alekhine's Gun and backing vocalist in the band Brujeria.[1]

Jessica Pimentel
Born (1982-09-20) September 20, 1982 (age 36)
Brooklyn, New York
OccupationActress, musician
Years active1998–present
Notable work
Orange Is the New Black
Musical career
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Associated acts
  • Alekhine's Gun
  • Brujeria
  • Black Heart Sutra
  • Desolate

Early lifeEdit

Pimentel was born in Brooklyn, New York. Both of her parents, originally from La Romana, Dominican Republic, immigrated to New York as teenagers.[2] Pimentel was the couple's only child. Her parents divorced when she was six years old, after which she became estranged from her father.[3]

Pimentel graduated from New York's High School of Performing Arts, where she played violin. She focused on acting more after high school, playing Juliet in a touring production of Romeo and Juliet, and landing small roles in movies and TV shows.[3]

Acting careerEdit

After a series of bit parts, Pimentel played the role of Angelique Domenguez in the 2008 film Pride and Glory. In 2014, she was cast as Floyd in four episodes of Person of Interest.

Pimentel's breakout role came in 2013, when she was cast as Maria Ruiz on the Netflix comedy-drama Orange Is the New Black. Pimentel was credited as a guest star for the first four seasons, before finally being made a part of the regular cast for Season 5.[4]

Music careerEdit

Pimentel began playing music at the age of two and trained as classical violinist and concert master who has played at Carnegie hall. In her teens she began learning the guitar, electric bass, percussion and keyboards and joined several New York Hardcore bands. She was the bassist for New York heavy metal and hardcore band Desolate from 2010–2014.[5]

Since 2010, Pimentel has been the lead vocalist and a recording guitarist for the New York-based death metal band Alekhine's Gun.[6] Pimentel has also recorded several songs with the band Black Heart Sutra, and sings in the Mexican metal band Brujeria.[7]

Pimentel is a featured artist for Spector basses,[8] Halo guitars, and Krank Amps.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Pimentel has been dating Meshuggah drummer Tomas Haake since 2013.[9]

Pimentel was raised Christian, but became a practicing Buddhist as an adult.[10]



Year Title Role Notes
1998 The Last Days of Disco Clubgoer Uncredited
2005 Room Young Mother Uncredited
2007 Illegal Tender Young Millie
2008 Off Jackson Avenue Olivia
Pride and Glory Angelique Domenguez
2012 How to Score Your Life Ex-Girlfriend
2013 Go for Sisters La Mojada
2014 Death Pact Vivian TV movie
Fugly! Caroline
2015 The Grief of Others Ms. Nuñez
2018 A Bread Factory Teresa


Year Title Role Notes
1995 All My Children Pine Valley Kid 2 episodes
1997 12 Angry Viewers Juror
2002 Third Watch Josie Episode: "Falling"
2003 Law & Order Hooker Episode: "Under God"
2005 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Selma Garcia Episode: "911"
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Joanne Suarez Episode: "Retro"
2009 Law & Order Tina Episode: "Boy Gone Astray"
2010 Mercy Female Clerk Episode: "There Is No Superwoman
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Gabriella Belteno Episode: "Disciple"
2013–2019 Orange Is the New Black Maria Ruiz Recurring role (Seasons 1–4), Series regular (Season 5–7)

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (2015-2017)[11]

2014 Casting Calls Mary
2014–2015 Person of Interest Floyd 4 episodes
2015 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Manuela Ozuna Episode: "Institutional Fail"


  1. ^ "Brujeria Joined By 'Orange Is The New Black' Star Jessica Pimentel On U.S. Tour". November 7, 2017.
  2. ^ Keaney, Quinn. "Orange Is the New Black's Jessica Pimentel Reveals Which Season 4 Scene Made Her "Cry Like a Little B*tch"". POPSUGAR Entertainment. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Meet 'OITNBs Secret Metalhead: Inside Jessica Pimentel's Double Life". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Hipes, Patrick (June 1, 2017). "'Orange Is The New Black': Jessica Pimentel Upped To Regular For Season 5". Deadline. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Jessica Pimentel's Booking Agent and Speaking Fee - Speaker Booking Agency". Speaker Booking Agency. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  6. ^ McCabe, Kathy (March 13, 2017). "OITNB actor Jessica Pimentel will freak you out onscreen and on stage as a death metal singer". Retrieved December 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "Invoking La Bruja Encabronada: Orange is the New Black's Jessica Pimentel Joins Brujeria | Decibel Magazine". Decibel Magazine. November 22, 2017.
  8. ^ "Spector Artists". Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "MESHUGGAH Drummer Tomas Haake Is Dating Orange Is The New Black Actress Jessica Pimentel - Metal Injection". Metal Injection. August 17, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  10. ^ "How "Orange Is the New Black" taught actor Jessica Pimentel the danger of attachment". Lion's Roar. June 17, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  11. ^ "The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards | Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved July 1, 2017.

External linksEdit