Michael Ortega got his start playing
vibes after meeting Roy Ayers while working as a chef during Roy's 1976
tour in San Jose. Roy helped arrange a purchase through his contacts at
Deagan/Slingerland and mentored Michael on jazz and the music business.
The logistics of vibraphone amplification gave way to the development of
pickups that allowed the vibes to be processed through signal processors
and experiments in electronics. This led to the development of a
vibraphone synthesizer interface that was invented by Gray LabsĒ. That
interface was quickly modified to include interfaces for wind, string and
percussion instruments. A few years later MIDI was invented and an era of
computer music dominated composition. Ever since that time Michael has
been on the cutting edge of music technology by beta testing for musical
hardware and software companies including, Yamaha, Roland, Voyetra, Opcode,
Digidesign, Music Quest, Kinda Loud and Universal Audio.
Michael Ortega started songwriting and
production while being involved with Digital Synthesizer company Gray Labs
Research Inc. in 1978. At Gray Labs he was involved in the design of wave
based synthesizers and interfaces for acoustic instruments. He discovered
a love for sound design and developed patches for many different types of
synthesizers. After developing a huge library of custom designed sounds he
would use these sounds in the production of songs and jingles.
During the marketing of that technology Michael had a chance to meet and become friends with many legendary jazz musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Grover Washington Jr., Joe Sample, Wayne Shorter, Kenny G., George Duke, Airto Moreira, Flora Purim, Jimmy and Percy Heath and Tom Schuman. Since that time his focus has been on composition and production as owner of Aural Seduction Audio Productions. He has recorded and worked with The Heath Brothers, Tony Lindsey (Santana) Eddie Hall, Danny Hull, The Doobie Brothers, Myron Dove (Santana & Stevie Wonder) Clifford Coulter, D'Layna Dixon, Vitamin C, Ben Brown, Gary Brown, Kirby Coleman, Lenny Williams, Ron E. Beck (Tower of Power), The Stick Band, Makoto Horuchi, Kutmaster Kurt, Skylark, Qwest Records, and Andy Stokes.
Drum up the sun! Santa Cruz vibraphonist Michael Ortega's debut album "Man By The Bay" contains 16 groove-oriented tracks destined to stay in your player till the sun goes down. Motivated to release a solo album after years of writing and producing many Monterey and S.F. bay area artists, Mr. Ortega's first release is a very smooth groove jazz based album. Produced by Michael Ortega and Chris Arevalo, with the help of Michael's wunderkind son Elliott Ortega. This album has many wonderful guest appearances including vocalist/songwriter Eddie Hall, D'layna Dixon, bassist Zoran Trconic and saxophonist Noel Catura.