Edwin Ortiz, Band Leader, Bongo
Born and raised in Spanish (East) Harlem, in New York City, Edwin is a product of the Johnny Colon Music School. His strong interest in music stems from his fathers’ love of music from his homeland Puerto Rico. His first instrument was the flute and his instructor at the time was Mario Rivera of Latin Jazz fame and a long standing member of the Tito Puente Orchestra. His interests turned to percussion and he studied bongo under the late Manny Oquendo, leader of Conjunto Libre. Because of the Johnny Colon Music School, Edwin got the opportunity to play with many different local groups in the East Harlem area that included musicians that are now top salsa recording artists.w. Upon moving to the Washington, DC metro area in 1980, Edwin began to play with different orchestras in the area but hardly any played salsa. As a result, November, 1985, he formed the salsa orchestra, Edwin Ortiz y su Orquesta La Romana. After a thirty year run with that name and winning best Salsa Orchestra of the year for ten consecutive years accompanying and sharing the stage with many international artists, Edwin decided to change the name of the orchestra to Edwin Ortiz Y La Mafia Del Guaguanco. The saga continues.......