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Music, A Way of Life

Samuel Ortiz, born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, started playing the guitar at the age of 13. He was introduced to guitar music while still in middle school. There, he began playing and learning classical guitar. It was then that he joined a group of performers, who played traditional Puerto Rican Music.  As a high school student, he joined the school’s Rondalla, an instrumental group playing both guitar and bass. While still studying in College, he joined the faculty of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez, as a guitar instructor for the Professional Studies and Continuing Education Department. He has also served as a guitar instructor for Antillean Adventist University Music Academy in Puerto Rico and Blue Noche Arts and Music Academy in Lakeland FL. In addition, Samuel, altogether with Aldo Briano and Raquel Borges co-created the Jazz group “Midnight Sun Jazz” in Puerto Rico.

Samuel holds a BA in Music Education from Antillean Adventist University in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, with a major in classical guitar. He studied under the tutelage of Dr. Jacques Landry. Since coming to the United States he has also attained an MA in Musical Education from the University of South Florida. He has also studied guitar under many esteemed musicians as well as with world renowned guitarists like: Jason Vieaux, Ana Vidovic, Andrew York, Olga Amelkina-Vera, Denis Azabagic and Pepe Romero. For the last few years, Samuel has served as a session coordinator, presenter and lecturer for the Florida Music Educators Association All-State Conference. Currently, he is the director of guitar studies for the Guitar Department of the Lois Cowles Harrison School for the Performing Arts in Lakeland, Florida. Ortiz is also, the All-County Guitar and Guitar Night Facilitator for Polk County Public Schools.

Samuel has release four studio albums. The first album, “Initium”, was released on March 1st, 2015 and it is a collection of some of his favorite classical guitar songs. The second album, “Nuances”, was released on May 1st, 2018 and features music from the classical, contemporary, jazz and Latin-American repertoire. "Magnum Mysterium", released on October 22nd, 2019 is a collection of sacred music for guitar; a selected group of hymns that all listener recognize and enjoy. His latest, “Jibarito” was released on September 3rd, 2021 and is a collection of Puerto Rican music for guitar.

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