Jazz pianist Aruán Ortiz, “the latest Cuban wunderkind to arrive in the United States,” hit the ground running when he came on the American jazz scene in 2003.A former classically trained violist and pianist, this Santiago de Cuba native’s sound is as marked by the influence of the contemporary classical composers.
While Aruán considers himself a jazz musician before a Cuban jazz musician, he incorporates Middle Eastern, Asian, African, and Cuban rhythmic elements into his compositions. This is evident in the original compositions in his recordings as a band leader (Impresión Tropical, Universal 1996; Vol. 1: Mandarín en el Espacio, Universal, 2004; Alameda, Fresh Sound, 2009), where Aruán pays homage the jazz trio and quartet formats, recalling the stylings of jazz greats such as Andrew Hill and Phineas Newborn while incorporating the rhythms of his Cuban antecendents.
Aruán’s ability to subtly incorporate world music elements into avante garde jazz makes his sense of creativity unique and recognizable in different styles.