One of a Kind
Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico and raised in Santurce, a section of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. His family enrolled him in the Free School of Music of Puerto Rico. From there he went on to study at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. After he graduated from the Conservatory, Ortiz enrolled and attended the University of Puerto Rico to continue his musical education and where he would eventually earn his Bachelors Degree. In 1967, at the age of eighteen, Ortiz participated as a guest sololist with the Puerto Rican Symphony Orchestra conducted by Pablo Casals. In 1970, Ortiz moved to New York City and gained recognition as a talented trumpet player, composer, arranger and producer for his work with the likes of Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Fania All Stars and David Bowie. He also accompanied Ann-Margret, Dionne Warwick, Diahann Carroll, Trini Lopez, Engelbert Humperdinck, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett, Paul Anka and The Supremes with his trumpet. In 1971, Ortiz formed his own band and won the 'Diplo' award in Puerto Rico for 'The Best Trumpet Player of the Year'. He was also awarded four Latin New York Magazine Trophies, 'Best Trumpet Player of the Year', 'Arranger of the Year', 'Best Orchestra of the Year' and 'Musician of the Year'. In 1981, he was awarded an 'ACE' Award for 'Best Intrepeter of Salsa Music' and another 'ACE' award in 1982 for the 'Best New York Orchestra'. In 1987, Ortiz and his band set out on a world tour which included the following places: United States, Puerto Rico, South America, Central America and Europe. Luis 'Perico' Ortiz currently continues to produce music and sound tracks. He is also a professor at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico where he teaches Jazz Performance and Caribbean Music.