An entrepreneur in addition to being an exceptionally multi-faceted musician, Christopher Cortez moved to New Orleans in 1996 and founded his own music label, Blue Bamboo Music. Reflecting many aspects of the music industry, his label's main motivation aims at creating a musician's cooperative for independent artists who desire international distribution without the usual conventional recording contract. Cortez is an artist who wants to control his own artistic vision and to offer the same opportunity to other exceptional musicians.
Territorial Imperative, Cortez's first CD, drew rave reviews while playing extensively on the U.S. radio stations. After Ramsey Lewis featured it on his syndicated radio programs, theVital Recordslabel in Europe also released it.
For his second CD in 1999, the award-winning Talamasca, the versatile Cortez, playing guitar (acoustic and electric), keyboards, percussion and bass, merged elements of his travels and life experiences with the spice of Latin and southern jazz, plus a flash of post bop and the more contemporary styles. Joining Cortez on this CD were Chuck Arnold (trumpet), Troy Jones and Noah Shaye (drum), Rick Dior and Michael Skincus (percussion), Danny Infante and Matt Perrine (bass), Joe Raines (keyboards, trombone), and John Touchy (trombone).
Cortez's 12th track on Talamasca, "Different Strokes", won Jazziz Magazine's "Guitars On Fire" contest in 1996 and was featured on the CD which showcased the winners.
Hold It Right There, Cortez's third CD, released in September, 2003, again reflects the versatility that comes from his loving all styles of music, and the strength that comes from consistently opening for many of the great names in jazz, including Miles Davis, Herbie Mann, Spider Martin, Nat Adderly, Stanley Turrentine, and Ira Sullivan. ~ Eleanor Ditzel