Juan Ortega started playing the guitar and singing as a hobby since he was in high school. In the early 1970's he started writing songs, and with encouragement from friends and family recorded his first single recording of a song he wrote entitled Que Grande el Amor de Dios which became an instant local hit. In 1976 he recorded another single with two songs he had written entitled Padre Querido from a poem by Amelia Sanchez, and Mira, Mira Corazon which he wrote in collaboration with John Flores. Mira, Mira Corazon sold more records in New Mexico in 1976 than any other recording by New Mexico artists and received the Brown Bear Award in Albuquerque for the Number 1 selling record in New Mexico in 1976. His song Padre Querido has become a classic song and is sung by many artists and groups as a tribute to their fathers. It is constantly heard in birthday celebrations for dads, for Father's Day and for funerals and memorials. Juan leads the Santo Nino Choir of Our Lady of Sorrows in Las Vegas, New Mexico and sings at the 8:00 AM Sunday Mass. The choir also sings at weddings, funeral masses, functions and other occassions.