Rich Ortiz’s style is truly his own and his music is his soul. Ortiz, never a wallflower, believes he is the product of his family’s cultural diversity and strengths. Since the age of seventeen he’s focused all of his talents and time on his acoustic solo act, if you can call it that. Rich plays guitar, harmonica, and peddle bass (with his feet), and he turns heads with his vocals! He has opened shows for CHICAGO,REO Speedwagon,STYX, Ted Nugent, Ludacris, Hoobastank,KC and the sunshine band, Jeffrey Gaines, Ryan Montbleau Band, The Wood Brothers,Robert Randolph and the family band, Tea Leaf Green,Zach Deputy, Kracker, Merl Saunders, Melvin Seals, Jim Weider and the Drifters.
Inspired by artists like Jim Croce, James Taylor, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Willie Nelson, he says “I feel I have to change every gig around in order to grow as a musician.” He plays six and twelve string acoustic guitar and chooses not to cultivate a target audience. He thinks “ideally the feeling of people who leave the room or listen to your CD should be one of making someone’s day. What comes out of your tongue says a lot about your soul.”
In 2006, Ortiz released his long awaited debut album, “Let It Be Life”. Recorded with the help of Grammy winning producer, John Seymour, the album features live, unedited studio recordings of all original works. Soon after its release, “Let It Be Life” was listed as one of the Top-40 selling Funk/Blues albums on CD Baby, the #1 online record store for independent music.
In 2010, Ortiz released his sophomore album, “Face of a Lion”, which features guest musician Kofi Burbridge (Derek Trucks Band).
As his passion for life grows stronger, so does the energy in his music. Rich is a truly rare, authentic talent.
**** Performing the “Last Chance Beach Party” (free) at Shepard Park with Shu and Hartley’s Encore on Monday, September 3.