View Full Version : Ciro Hurtado Crosses Many Boundaries With His Latest Music

Oct-05-2012, 00:39
Sometimes Ciro Hurtado records with an ensemble and other times on solo guitar, and he demonstrates the latter sound on his latest CD called Los Angeles Blues. He has an interesting style, probably because he was born and raised in Peru and has those early influences, but has spent his adult life living in Southern California, which added a cosmopolitan twist to his sound. There are Latin elements, certainly, and he plays an open-neck nylon-string guitar which is prevalent in both Latin and classical music. But he develops many of his melodies like a jazz musician by stating the basic theme and riffing off it. In addition, right in the middle of some of his tunes he develops the arrangement so that it sounds very much like a classical-guitar piece. I am thinking here of some of the classic Bach compositions, the most famous being “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” (Leo Kottke used to play this many years ago). But rather than staying within the strict confines of a classical sound, Hurtado floats freely across many borders so that within one tune you hear elements of Latin, classical, new age, jazz and, very subtly, pop and rock and folk. Despite the album title, there is not much in the way of traditional American blues. But, according to his background materials, Ciro thinks of his music more as a product of “Andean Blues,” so perhaps these chord changes and runs are considered bluesy in Peru. Regardless, the music has a sort of universal folkiness and earthiness to it that is very appealing, especially when tempered by the classical motifs and jazzy jamming mentioned earlier. When a musician does not quite sound like anyone else, it is difficult to describe their sound, but the bottom-line is Hurtado’s music is very enjoyable.