Putting The Bass Front & Center: Nicky Orta with The Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quartet

by chipboaz on April 26, 2017

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The bass sometimes exists in the background in a number of groups, which is ironic, considering the impact that it has upon the music. While the groove of any music is a result of the collective group, the bass dictates the feel in a powerful way. It leads the way harmonically, pushing and pulling chordal instruments in a number of directions while playing off the melody. When you give a good bass soloist an opportunity to stretch their creativity, you’ve got a musician that knows every corner of the band intimately, giving them the potential to create a stunning statement. The bass is such a vital piece of any Latin Jazz group; we really need to start pulling bassists out of the background and give them the respect they deserve.

Bassist Nicky Orta has an undeniable presence every time he picks up the bass, and as a result, he’s a Latin Jazz bassist worth noticing. Orta spent his formative years in Las Vegas before moving to Miami, where he refined his skills through study at Miami-Dade Community College and University Of Miami. From there, he played with a top notch list of Latin Jazz artists, including Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Sammy Figueroa, and more – he even spent seven years touring with Latin pop sensation Julio Iglesias. Orta has also established himself as a serious educator, working as an instructor at Miami Dave Community College and Florida International University, as well as writing educational materials and organizing conferences. Today’s video feature finds Orta laying down a solid foundation and improvising an awe inspiring solo on the Cuban standard Obsesion with The Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quartet, featuring his brother Micheal on piano, Ramses Araya on percussion, and Carlomagno Araya on drums – this is bass work that leaps out of the background and brings the music alive.

Do you have a Latin Jazz video to share? E-mail a link to latinjazzcorner@gmail.com

Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Leny Andrade, Paquito D’Rivera, Hendrik Murkens, & Romero Lubambo Play Bluesette
In The Studio: Andy Gonzalez Recording Misty For Entre Colegas
Poncho Sanchez: Mambo Inn & Green Dolphin Mash-Up
Exploring Choro With Anat Cohen & Trio Brasileiro: In The Spirit Of Baden
Re-Contextualizing Music: Michel Camilo Big Band Playing Caribe

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