JOAQUIN 'NEGRO' ORTIZ

Vocals, Guitars, Lyrics, Composition, Production

 

Joaquín “El Negro” Ortíz was born during the winter of 1958. The legend says he got a bit cross-eyed when he first heard the sound of a classical guitar. He started playing around the age of 8 by copying the chords used to play Pirekuas (traditional songs of the Michoacán region in Mexico).

Then at the age of 10 he was already an advanced student of the children’s division at the Popular Music of Fine Arts of Morelia.

Strangely enough, his first “concert” happened even before taking his first class at the school. There he performed pieces by Tárrega and Carcassi that he had learned by ear. In those early years he even got to enter the school band where he played the trumpet. Luckily for his family he stopped this adventure just on time, as everybody was quite sick of it after a while.

Later on, a large number of teachers and masters in Music, Theatre and Philosophy have contributed to his formation. However, we won’t mention them all here as the list would be too large and also because, to be fair, they are not to be blamed for anything.

At the beginning of the decade of the 70’s he gets in contact with the scene of Latin-American folk music, which would lead him to develop an interest in a large amount of instruments from that region (Charango, quena, sikus, cuatro, tiple, arpa, violin, all sorts of guitars, flutes, etc.), to the point of becoming a horrible addiction that he cannot abandon even today.

During those years he entered his first band: the protest song group Mapeco, which, after splitting (including a great purge in the most pure Stalinist style and all), gives origin to the legendary ensemble Tlatoani which later would become La Voz del Viento, a band where he would start his work as composer and arranger. In 1983 he moves back to Mexico City, were he was born, and works for a while as sound recording engineer while he joins the band El Brujo, founded by flute player Jorge Gonzalez (ex-Cuicani, ex-Sanampai) and guitarist Pablo Romero (ex-Trilogia), as guitarist, bassist and singer.

In 1985, at a party organized by “theatre-people”, he meets the members of the group La Mueca and spends the night intensively “collaborating” with one of the female founders… Some time later, now without the effects of alcohol, he officially joins the group where, secretly, he introduces the virus of Music. As a result, a few months later, a music-theatre show was premiered that, with the pass of time, would prove to be the first of a very long list. Despite of the evidence, they have not yet managed to get rid of him.

Parallel to his artistic career, across the years, he has always maintained an intense activity as teacher of arts, aesthetics and social sciences. However, and unfortunately for everybody, he keeps writing those hateful songs.

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