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How To Get Free Backstage Passes


September 3, 2010 by  

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1. Tell us who you are and where you’re from.: Hi, my name is Bill Ortiz. I’m from San Francisco. In addition to my own band, I’m also a member of the Santana Band since 2000.

2. Describe your music.: I would say my music is a mix of the feel of Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B with the spontaneity and harmonic adventurism of jazz.

3. Tell us how the band formed in three sentences.:
Most of my present band are musicians that played on my present CD “From Where I Stand” and/or on my upcoming CD. These musicians all share a common musical vocabulary and are artists that think outside the box. I very much value playing with musicians that think like artists, not like drummers, guitar players of keyboard players.

4. What did you do before you were in a band?: I’ve been a full time professional musician for quite a while, but before that, I had supplementary jobs, such working with kids with learning disabilities, and working in grocery store.


5. List the first CDs/records each of you bought.:
I’m not sure I remember the very first record I bought, but it may have been “Headhunters” by Herbie Hancock, “Back To Oakland” by Tower Of Power, Talking Book by Stevie Wonder, “Misterious Traveler” by Weather Report or something by Rufus w/ Chaka Khan.

6. What’s the band up to over the next few months?:
The next few months I’ll be putting the finishing touches on my upcoming CD. I’ve very excited about it- it will contain both new material and some very hot Hip-Hop/R&B remixes of songs from my last CD- with some very cool guest artists.

7. Best item of fan mail you’ve ever received?:
I’ve been very blessed to receive some very touching e-mails from fans that have seen my band live, and/or the Santana Band.

8. What music do you have on repeat in the tourbus? : Lately I’ve been stuck on Youssou N’Dour. That plus Pharoah Sanders, and Graham Haynes.

9. What gear do you use?: As far as what horn’s I use-I play a vintage 1956 Martin Committee Deluxe trumpet and a mid-sixties vintage Couesnon flugelhorn. On my own gigs, I use a Fermin pedal board. On it I’ve been using a Dunlop MXR Phase 90, a Boss Reverb and Octave pedal, a Micro Pog, and I run it all through a Fulltone Tube Tape Echo Box.

10. What’s your best on-tour story?: In 2004 the Santana Band played the Montreux Jazz Festival- I got a chance to play with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter for the first time, along with John McLaughlin, Steve Winwood and Chick Corea. That was pretty amazing.

11. What do you demand on your rider?: I not the kind of guy that make demands! Generally what we ask for is pretty standard-basically healthy stuff.

12. What’s your website?:



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