Song of the Day: Chris Cortez, “Different Strokes”

Guitarist Chris Cortez showcases “Different Strokes” of his artistic personality and captures the joy of playing live in his new performing arts center, located in his hometown of Winter Park, Florida.

In 2015, the acclaimed guitarist/composer Chris Cortez returned to his hometown of Winter Park, Florida, to build a new performing arts center with his wife, Melody. Six years later, that vision came true, as the Bamboo Center for the Arts was born, quickly becoming a community asset and an amazing live venue supporting the local and national music scene, and presenting a diverse range of artists in an intimate concert venue. As such, on the one hand, Live at the Blue Bamboo, released on Cortez’s own Blue Bamboo label, captures the magic of this new venue, which has come to be affectionately referred to as ‘the boo.’

On the other hand, the new album is a fine showcase of that unique and dynamic guitar style that fans have come to know and love of Cortez, as well as highlighting some of the many different aspects of his artistic personality. Here, Cortez is heard leading an ensemble of top-shelf instrumentalists on a set of live performances, playing a diverse program exploring a larger jazz landscape and, for the most part, made up of original compositions. Among them, “Different Strokes,” a piece brimming with energy of renewed spirit that is just what we need to hear after two years of pandemic put live music on hold in many parts of the world. This vigorous and swinging up-tempo piece also features solos by pianist Bob Thornton, drummer Joel Rosenblatt and John DePaola on muted horn.

Chris Cortez’s Live at the Blue Bamboo is available now via Blue Bamboo Music. Order it here.

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