Miami Lakes musician going to Latin Grammys

Friday, October 18, 2019 0 Comments

Miami Lakes musician  going to Latin Grammys
Fans of the Latin Grammys will have another reason to tune in to the awards show on Nov. 14: local musician Mario Ortiz, Jr. is nominated for best salsa album.
“I’m trying to not get too carried away by the excitement,” Ortiz said.
It is the third nomination for Ortiz, 58, who lives in
Miami Lakes with his wife Sailly Hernandez.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Ortiz about recognition for his album 55 Aniversario and his Mario Ortiz All Star Band.
There are many salsa legends performing on the album with
Ortiz, who plays trumpet.
“I cannot believe it’s happening to me for the third time,” Ortiz said. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams and it’s very emotional to me.”
There is the show business side of Ortiz’s life, and then there is real life.
Ortiz currently teaches music to students at
Joella C. Good Elementary School in Hialeah, and since 1998, has helped children learn their notes.
Ortiz said he chose a teaching career so that he would not have to travel too much and could spend more time near home to be with his wife and family.
Ortiz was born in Puerto Rico and was introduced to music by his father, Mario Ortiz. The elder Ortiz was a well-known trumpet player and a band leader in Puerto Rico.
He said 55 Aniversario is an homage to his late father.
Ortiz attended school in San Juan and met
Gilberto Santa Rosa, who would become a popular salsa singer and band leader.
Ortiz said while growing up, he performed in a professional children’s band.
He later reunited with Santa Rosa and they played together in Don Perignon’s band.
After moving to Florida, Ortiz lived in the Westchester neighborhood in Miami.
Seventeen years ago, he moved to Miami Lakes.
Ortiz said he loves the town, its people and its trees, and called it “a beautiful place to raise a family.”
He especially enjoys visiting Picnic Park West, where he sometimes goes to write music.
And though Ortiz is a star on the music scene, he doesn’t consider himself famous. He said he is sometimes recognized around town, especially while dining at the Latin American Grill.
His Latin Grammy-nominated album has a big band sound, with four saxophones, four trumpets, bass, piano, conga, timbales, bongos and three vocalists.
“I recorded with a dream team,” said Ortiz.
Those artists included Santa Rosa, Andy Montanez, Victor Manuelle, Ismael Miranda, Tito Nieves, Willie Rosario, Roberto Roena,
Luis Perico Ortiz,
Don Perignon, Pete Perignon, Jimmie Morales, Andy
Guzman and Dante Vargas.
Gio Beta, Alain Garcia and Ruben Trillo all sang on the album.
Ortiz was first nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2010 for his album 45 Aniversario and lost to his old friend
Santa Rosa.
The second nomination came in 2014 for Tributo 45 Aniversario; Marc Anthony took home the prize that year.
The 20th Annual Latin Grammy Awards will be held in Las Vegas and will air at 8 p.m. on Univision.
Ortiz is hopeful for his chances next month, especially because of the talent of his collaborators on
55 Aniversario.
“I have this feeling that this time, I have an opportunity to win,” Ortiz said. “I think this is the one.”
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