Ciro Hurtado was born in Lima, Peru. He started learning the guitar at age 12. By 14, he was playing in Rock bands as well as Andean Folk ensembles. Lima was experiencing a revival of traditional music, while the radio air waves were saturated with Rock & Roll. These two forces are the major influences in his musical style.
He immigrated to the US in 1975 and studied at the Guitar Institute of Technology. Over the course of a 4 year stint with the renowned guitar ensemble, Strunz and Farah, he performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada, the Havana Classical Guitar Festival in Cuba, the Kennedy Center and a tour of Peru. He recorded with them on the audiophile album "Misterio" for the label Water Lily Acoustics.
Ciro is one of the founding members and currently the musical director of the Latin American folk jazz ensemble, Huayucaltia. He has toured extensively in the United States and Peru with them, opening for artists such as Jackson Browne, Sting, Holly Near and Carlos Vives. He has recorded and co-produced seven albums with the band. Huayucaltia has performed at all of the most important performance venues in Southern California. On September 11th, 2003, Huayucaltia performed the "Misa Criolla" by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez at the Hollywood Bowl to critical acclaim. In December 2004 Huayucaltia performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as part of the Annual Holiday Performance. In 2007 and 2009 Huayucaltia performed the "Misa Criolla" and "Navidad Nuestra" respectively with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Hall to a sold out audiences. In June 2010 Huayucaltia celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Ford Amphitheatre. This performance was broadcast on channel LA36 in Los Angeles.
As a solo artist he has produced and recorded six albums where he leads a Latin Jazz band comprised of top Los Angeles musicians featuring notable players such as Justo Almario and Alex Acuna, among many others. In 2009 he released his acclaimed solo guitar album "Guitarrista" which was nominated for Best World Music album by the ZMR. In September 2012 Ciro released his latest album "Los Angeles Blues." In addition, he has produced and recorded albums for LA Law's Michele Greene, Conjunto Jardin, Rosalia Leon and many other talented artists. Most recently he was awarded the prestigious Durfee Master Musician Fellowship.
As a composer, Ciro has scored and participated musically in various feature films and documentaries such as Ron Fricke's classic film "Baraka," "Dead Women in Lingerie," "Max is Missing," "Hope Street," "Monsters," "Peru: The Royal Tour," and "From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks."
At the time of this writing, he is touring solo throughout the US presenting his latest project "One Guitar, Many stories." Each of his compositions is paired with a story to illustrate the cultural and social contexts which bring his music to life. From "La Negra Tomasa," which talks about Afro Peruvian cultures, to "Ayahuasca," where Ciro narrates his personal trip to a jungle shaman healer, to "Los Angeles Blues" which illustrates the immigrant experience, the music and stories keep his audience captivated.
Ciro's guitar work ranges from the very traditional Latin American genres to the more sophisticated fusion Latin-Jazz idioms. His fine command of the instrument borrows from the classical techniques as well as alternate plectrum picking for high intensity solos. His guitar work is the most contemporary sound heard today on the nylon string guitar. Passion, a high melodic sensibility, and musical vision are the qualities attributed to his playing. There is no limit to his composition skills, from popular lyrical songs to sophisticated intricate classical oriented works. Pieces written by Ciro evoke motifs, landscapes and exciting elements of South American styles and rhythms, placing him among a select generation of Latin American composers.
To view Ciro Hurtado's concert schedule, including samples of his music and videos, please click: www.reverbnation.com/CiroHurtado
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