Primary Instrument: Guitar
With the release of the self titled album Yoham Ortiz Concept, Yoham “Chiqui” Ortiz translates a life lived among many cultures into music. An accomplished producer/arranger/composer and multi-instrumentalist, Yoham’s work is featured in film, television and theatre, as well as various multi-media outlets. His talent, skill and passion account for his frequent commissions to perform for both live and in studio sessions around the world.
Born on November 16 in New York City of Dominican parents, Yoham spent most of his childhood moving- from New York, to Puerto Rico, to West Virginia, back to New York, and finally to the Dominican Republic. Growing up in a family of doctors, music was an unlikely path. But at the age of 5, after hearing the Stevie Wonder song “Sir Duke” on his older sisters’ record player, Yoham began a new journey, led by music.
While living in Santo Domingo, Yoham taught himself to play guitar using a borrowed six string guitar that had only 2 strings. Within 6 months, he formed his first progressive rock band “Hazel Gray,” which would go on to be the first band to ever perform a rock concert at the premier classical music venue, Teatro Nacional, in the Dominican Republic. A year later Yoham would be invited to go on a South American tour with the Dominican super-group Parada 8, playing to crowds of tens of thousands. He was only 15.
Yoham moved back to the United States to study composition at SUNY Old Westbury, under the tutelage of Dr. Ken Makanda McIntyre, Warren Smith and Richard Harper. While in college, he was awarded with the “Outstanding Professional Development” award, as well as a scholarship to study jazz performance at Montclair State University wtih Vic Juris. Two years after graduating in 1991 with his Bachelor of Arts in Music, Yoham went on tour the reggae group Rising Lion, opening for Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse, and the Skatelites.
Yoham then joined the group “Native Spirit,” a fusion Jazz/New Age, Afro-Peruvian, Dominican, Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music group, with whom he co-produced and played bass on the album A Gift from Earth. This album sold over 50,000 copies independently, with performances at festivals such as Chicago Taste, Woodstock 1995, Marquette International and more �� and praise from The New York Times and Chicago Tribune.
Having by this time established a solid footing in the industry, Yoham founded his own production company in 1996, with studios in SoHo New York. From this home base, he cultivated his signature sound of blending different music genres from around the world. Yoham would go on to produce, compose and arrange music for artists such as: Rudy Calzado of the Buena Vista Social Club, Whitney Houston, Boogie Monsters, The Worderer, El General, Wayno, The Sintaxes and many others. During this time he also began producing music for television, with clients including Fox 5, Kmart, The Discovery Channel, PBS, Scholastic, Univision, Pantone Colors and Aqaba. He also continued performing live in jazz festivals and concerts in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
In 2008 Yoham shifted his focus to his own music, forming Yoham Ortiz Concept, an alternative jazz trio. With the release of the self-titled record Yoham Ortiz Concept in 2009, Yoham is on stage again, with a growing fan base in North and South America, Europe and Africa, and a unique sound that communicates his own journey- filled with expression, fervour and love.