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Aruán Ortiz / Pastor's Paradox Quartet plus up to 8 teen guest vocalists from Booker T. Washington High School

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant Recipient

Aruán Ortiz

Recipient Information


Brooklyn, New York

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant

Grant Amount


About the Project

Pastor's Paradox Quartet (Don Byron, Lester St. Louis, Pheeroan AkLaff) will develop new music to be presented by Teatro Dallas.  Ortiz will invite eight teen vocalists from Booker T Washington Highschool Music Conservatory to perform.  Other community engagement will take place through the Martin Luther King Community Center and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. Work will be filmed.

Residency Location

Dallas, TX

About the Artist

Pianist, violist, and composer Aruán Ortiz has been an active figure in the progressive jazz and avant-garde scene in the US for more than 15 years. Born in Santiago de Cuba, Aruán resides in Brooklyn, NY with his family.

Named “one of the most creative and original composers in the world” (Lynn René Bayley, The Art Music Lounge), Ortiz has written music for jazz ensembles, orchestras, dance companies, chamber groups, and feature films, incorporating influences from contemporary classical music, Cuban Haitian rhythms, and avant-garde improvisation. He consistently strives to break stylistic musical boundaries.

He holds a MFA in Music Composition with a focus in contemporary classical music from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His portfolio features works for string quartet, percussion trio and piano, brass quintet, piano trio and symphony orchestra. 

Aruán is a grant recipient of a 2017 Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation USArtists International Award, 2016 Vermont College of Fine Arts Composer Fellowship, 2014 Doris Duke Impact Award and 2014 Composers Now Creative Residency.

His recording “Hidden Voices” (Intakt, 2016) was lauded as “a solid and unique new sound in today’s jazz world,” by Matthew Fiander of PopMatters. And Ron Hart of The Observer hailed his 2017 solo piano cd, “Cub(an)ism,” was called ""a genius exercise in the exploration of depth and perception that reveals a bright new wrinkle in the relationship between music and mathematics, reimagining Afro-Haitian Gaga rhythms, Afro-Cuban rumba and Yambú into heavily improvised meditations on modernism that recall John Cage and Paul Bley.”

His international press coverage spans Jazz ‘n’ More (Switzerland), The Guardian (UK), Expresso (Portugal), The New York Times, DownBeat, JazzTimes, Jazziz, The Boston Globe, Chicago Jazz Magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, and All About Jazz (US), Jazzpodium (Germany), Musica Jazz, Il Muro Magazine, Il Corriere della Sera and Jazz Convention (Italy), The Ottawa Citizen (Canada), The Irish Times (Ireland) and Way Out West (Japan).

Aruán Ortiz has worked with Wadada Leo Smith, Don Byron, Greg Osby, Wallace Roney, Nicole Mitchell, William Parker, Adam Rudolph, Andrew Cyrille, Henry Grimes, Oliver Lake, Rufus Reid and Terri Lyne Carrington. He has collaborated with choreographer José Mateo, filmmaker Ben Chace, poet Abiodun Oyewol,  DJ Logic and Val Jeanty and writers Angelika Hentschel and Anna Breitenbach.