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Gustavo Cortiñas

Gustavo Cortiñas

 

 

Drummer / Composer / Educator

Embracing a multicultural language, while investing in a variety of disciplines within the music itself, composer, bandleader, drummer and lyricist Gustavo Cortiñas continues to surpass himself in the breadth of his work. “Cortiñas' music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it's an exciting blend of the artist's musical influences from jazz and Latin America, including his native Mexico" (DOWNBEAT). This can be heard on his four records as a leader, "Snapshot" (2013), "a Smörgåsbord of the moods and nuances that make up the human experience," (Jazziz); "ESSE" (2017) "a fascinating musical realization, exploration, and distillation of the works of Hegel, Aristotle, Descartes, Plato, and other brilliant minds" (AllAboutJazz); and “Desafío Candente” (2021), “a musical palimpsest that carries the weight of the history of colonialism and neocolonialism of the entire southern part of the Americas” (LatinJazzNet). On his latest release, “Kind Regards / Saludos Afectuosos”, Cortiñas gives life, through music, to words that attempt to build bridges and understanding in times of borders and ignorance; words that focus on our feet and the dust on which they walk, instead of the stars under which they dream.

 

A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans (BM Jazz, Minor in Philosophy), and Northwestern University (MM Jazz), Gustavo Cortiñas has developed a successful career in the US for over a decade, leading and accompanying ensembles in renowned stages and festivals in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. During his time in Chicago, Gustavo has become one of the most sought out drummers, performing and recording with Javier Red’s Imagery Converter, Matt Peterson, Kitt Lyles, Erik Skov, Emily Kuhn, Michael Hudson-Casanova, Roy McGrath, Kyle Madsen, and the Carla Campopiano Trio, among other ensembles. Cortiñas is a member of the Chicago Jazz Composer's Collective, performing regularly for their monthly residency at Chicago's very own Green Mill. Gustavo Cortiñas is a proud endorser of Canopus Drums & Bosphorus Cymbals, and has been recipient of grants from the Mexican National Endowment of the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. His album Desafío Candente, a sprawling meditation on Latin American life and struggles, earned a well-deserved spot in Jazziz Magazine’s list of the 2021’s Best Releases, and was listed among the Jazz Journalist’s Association Top Latin Jazz Albums of 2021, among other critical praise.

Born and raised in Mexico, son to a Uruguayan university professor and a Mexican elementary school teacher, Cortiñas grew up surrounded by books of all kinds, ranging from religion and philosophy, to history, economics and art. Music was just as diverse: be it through voice of Chavela Vargas, Wagner’s operas, the revolutionary cry of Rock en Español, or the soothing songs of Edith Piaf, music of all kinds was always there. At age 10, he fell in love with the drums, and was soon seduced by the syncopated and improvised beat of Jazz. This love inspired a journey far from home. First traveling to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, and later Chicago, the place he now calls home. This journey set the foundation for his work: Latin American folklore, classical music, and jazz; philosophy, religion and the Latin American cry for justice. These experiences and streams of inspiration forge the unique voice of an expansive artist who will continue to defy categorization in many years to come.

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"Cortiñas is a highly musical and grooving drummer, as well as a laudable composer... his music is surprisingly danceable...groove-shifter, high-energy precision soloing, framed by vivid ideas. A joyful meeting of mind and spirit". MODERN DRUMMER “Cortiñas' music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it's an exciting blend of the artist's musical influences from jazz and Latin America, including his native Mexico.” DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE COULEURS JAZZ - FRANCE: "Esse is a masterstroke." Hraryr Attarian - Chicago Jazz Magazine: "With the cohesive and captivating Esse, Cortiñas has created superb work that balances refreshingly inventive ideas with high-caliber musicianship

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Primary Instrument

Drums

Location

Chicago

Willing to teach

Advanced only

Credentials/Background

Master of Music in Jazz Studies - Northwestern University - 2013 Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, Minor in Philosophy - Loyola University New Orleans, Magna Cum Laude, 2013 Combo instructor and guest artist at Northwestern University (Evanston, iL) Percussion/Drum set instructor at Flatts & Sharpe Music Academy (Chicago, IL) Part time Teaching at UCAN Academy (Chicago, IL) Supply teacher at the EDRON Academy, El Colegio británico during the school years of 2006-07 and 2007-08 teaching various subjects including music, mathematics, English, Spanish and history, and invigilating IGCSE and IB examinations. Drum instructor at EDRON Academy, El Colegio Británico through the academic years 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07 as head and founder of the Drum and Percussion Club. Private Drum Instructor since 2004 to present.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Photos

Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Kind Regards

Self Produced
2022

buy

Desafío Candente

Woolgathering Records
2021

buy

ESSE

OA2 Records
2017

buy

Real Talk

Kitt Lyles - independent
2015

buy

Martha

JLR Music
2014

buy

Global Skepticism

From: ESSE
By Gustavo Cortiñas

Chimeras

From: Snapshot
By Gustavo Cortiñas

Timing Is Everything

From: Snapshot
By Gustavo Cortiñas

Videos

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