Ciro Hurtado is a guitarist-composer from Perú who has been actively performing since the early seventies. His early musical career started during his high school years in Lima, performing in music festivals, theater recitals, weddings, birthdays and even funerals. At this time, Lima was experiencing a revival of traditional music, while the radio air waves were saturated with Rock & Roll. These two forces are the major influences in his musical style.
He arrived in the USA in 1975 where he studied guitar with private teachers and at the Guitar Institute of Technology. Later he joined Strunz & Farah for a few years performing at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland,Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada, Havana Classical Guitar Festival in Cuba, Kennedy Center and a tour of Perú. His participation with them was documented in the audiophile album "Misterio" for the label Water Lily Acoustics.
Ciro is one of the founding members and currently the musical director of the group Huayucaltia. He has toured extensively in the United States and Perú with them, sharing the stage with artists such as Jackson Browne, Holly Near and Carlos Vives. He has recorded and co-produced six albums with Huayucaltia: "Despertar," " Caminos," " Horizontes," "Amazonas," "Origenes" and "Destinos." As a solo artist he has produced and recorded five albums where he leads a Latin Jazz band comprised of top L.A. musicians featuring notable players such as Justo Almario and Alex Acuña, among many others. His solo effort includes "In My Mind," "Tales from Home," on ROM Records, "The Magic Hour" (collaborative effort with his wife Cindy Harding),"Guitarra" under his own label and "Echoes of the Andes" on the Canadian label METACOM. In addition, he has produced and recorded albums for LA Law's Michele Greene, Conjunto Jardín, and many other talented artists. Most recently he was awarded the prestigious 2001/2002 Durfee Master Musician Fellowship.
Ciro has scored and participated musically in various feature films and documentaries such as "Baraka," "Dead Women in Lingerie," "Max is Missing," "Hope Street," "Monsters," "Peru: The Royal Tour."
Ciro's guitar work ranges from the very traditional Latin American genres to the more sophisticated fusion Latin-Jazz idioms. His fine command of the instrument borrows from the classical techniques as well as alternate plectrum picking for high intensity solos. His guitar work is the most contemporary sound heard today on the nylon string guitar. Passion, a high melodic
sensibility, and musical vision are the qualities attributed to his playing. There is no limit to his composition skills, from popular lyrical songs to sophisticated intricate classical oriented works. Pieces written by Ciro evoke motifs, landscapes and exciting elements of South American styles and rhythms, placing him among a select generation of Latin American composers.
What the critics are saying about the music of Ciro Hurtado:
".. an elegantly polished guitarist, who can evoke flourishes of flamenco or .. jazzy staccato runs .. with consummate ease."
Richard S. Ginell - Los Angeles Times
"Combines the dexterity and elegance of the Spanish Classicists with the romantic imperative of South America."
Mark Rowland - Musician Magazine
"The melody line transports you to a different world"
"Music that ranges from plaintive and bitter sweet to borderline rageful... a genuine find."
David Silverman - Chicago Tribune
IN MY MIND
Very much within the established selected group of Latin American composers, Ciro’s guitar stylings range from traditional classical technique to considerably more sophisticated jazz-fusion structure. Passion, pronounced melody sensibility and personal musical vision are all elements of Hurtado’s work.
Ciro’s “sound pictures” eloquently depict tranquil Andean forests, coastal deserts, crystal rivers, majestic mountains – even the palm trees and lake birds of his original Echo Park neighborhood in Los Angeles.
He was admirable assisted on In My Mind by a number of Los Angeles’ best ethnic and jazz instrumentalists.
Whether the audience seeks a moving listening experience or simply a desire to marvel at the work of an accomplished musician, Ciro Hurtado can provide both. In My Mind offers a special balance of honest musical impressions and technical mastery from an inspired composer and performer.