Born: August 22, 1973 Primary Instrument: Piano
Aruán Ortiz is a critically acclaimed, Cuban pianist, an award-winning composer, and a solid producer and educator, not only on the New York City scene, but internationally as well.
Named “the latest Cuban wunderkind to arrive in the United States” by BET Jazz, this classically trained violist and pianist from Santiago de Cuba, considers himself “a curious person who loves music”, and portrays his music as an architectural structure of sounds, incorporating contemporary classical music, Afro-Cuban rhythms, and improvisation as primary material for his compositions. He has received a number of awards such as Latin Jazz Corner’s Arranger of the Year 2011 for his contribution on the album, “El Cumbanchero” (Jazzheads 2011) by flutist Mark Weinstein; Best Jazz Interpretation, Festival de Jazz in Vic, Spain (2000); and Semifinalist, Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition, Montreux, Switzerland (2001).
Before arriving in New York to play with the Wallace Roney Quintet, Aruán was one of the key members for the Esperanza Spalding Trio’s debut album Junjo (Ayva Music 2006), where All about jazz said: “The trio has… splendid flashes of precision from pianist Aruán Ortiz who is excellent throughout”
Aruán has recorded five recordings, all very well received by the critics. Alameda (Fresh Sound, 2010), received 4 stars in Jazzwise magazine (U.K.), and was reviewed as a sophisticated outing of modern jazz. This album was named one of the top jazz CDs of the year in 2010 by numerous jazz magazines and blogs around the world.
This 2012 has been a very intense musical year as Mr. Ortiz released three albums as a leader; the modern jazz effort Orbiting (Fresh Sound 2012), have been featured in Jazzman and Jazznews Magazine, and it received 4 stars from Jazzwise Magazine and Jazz Journal in the UK, and was one of the top 10 contemporary jazz albums of 2012 according to the Something Else! webzine, Santiarican Blues Suite (Sunnyside 2012), which received 4.5 stars from Downbeat Magazine, and has been featured on major jazz blogs and magazines worldwide. Bill Milkowski from JazzTimes Magazine recently proclaimed that, These two simultaneous releases herald the arrival of a major new talent. On his latest CD “Banned in London” (Whirlwind Recordings 2012), Aruán is co- leading a Cuba-USA powerful quintet with the bass player/composer Michael Janisch and featuring the saxophonist Greg Osby and the drummer Rudy Royston. This CD received 5 stars in BBC Jazz Radio, and 4 stars in Jazz Journal, Jazzwise Magazine, Financial Times, and The Guardian, in the UK, where it has been on the top of the list of the best jazz albums of 2012.
As a composer, he has received commissions from the Woodwind Quintet Ensemble of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, Musica de Camara Orchestra, in New York City, Oyu Oro Folkloric Dance Company in New York City, YOUME & Milena Zullo Ballet in Rome, José Mateo Ballet Theater in Cambridge, MA and University of Albany Symphony Orchestra in Albany, NY. He has also played, toured or recorded with Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, Mingus Big Band, Cindy Blackman-Santana, Don Byron, Lenny White, Greg Osby, Wallace Roney among many others.
Awards:Latin Jazz Corner’s Arranger of the Year 2011 for his contribution on the album, “El Cumbanchero” (Jazzheads 2011) by flutist Mark Weinstein
...one of the most versatile and exciting pianist of his generations. Downbeat
an arriving of a major talent. Jazz Times
A mark of quality on gigs and records New York Times.
About Aruán Ortiz Quartet: the calling card of a group of inventive, daring souls who are unbound by musical boundaries and will push them to their limit. The New York City Jazz Record
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.