Ciro Hurtado is a guitarist-composer from Perú who has been actively performing since the early seventies. His early musical career started during his high school years in Lima, performing in music festivals, theater recitals, weddings, birthdays and even funerals. At this time, Lima was experiencing a revival of traditional music, while the radio air waves were saturated with Rock & Roll. These two forces are the major influences in his musical style.
He immigrated to the US in 1975 and studied at the Guitar Institute of Technology. Over the course of a 4 year stint with the renowned guitar ensemble, Strunz and Farah, he performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada, the Havana Classical Guitar Festival in Cuba, the Kennedy Center and a tour of Peru. He recorded with them on the audiophile album "Misterio" for the label Water Lily Acoustics.
Ciro is one of the founding members and currently the musical director of the Latin American folk jazz ensemble, Huayucaltia. He has toured extensively in the United States and Peru with them, opening for artists such as Jackson Browne, Sting, Holly Near and Carlos Vives. He has recorded and co-produced seven albums with the band. Huayucaltia has performed at all of the most important performance venues in Southern California. On September 11th, 2003, Huayucaltia performed the "Misa Criolla" by Argentine composer Ariel Ramirez at the Hollywood Bowl to critical acclaim. In December 2004 Huayucaltia performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as part of the Annual Holiday Performance. In 2007 and 2009 Huayucaltia performed the "Misa Criolla" and "Navidad Nuestra" respectively with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Walt Disney Concert Hall to a sold out audiences. In June 2012 Huayucaltia presented the world premiere of the piece written for the band and the Los Angeles Master Chorale “The Singing Mountaineers” by renowned composer Gabriela Lena Frank. The same piece was also performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on June 2014, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Chorale.
Ciro Hurtado has released nine albums under his own name (In My Mind, Tales From Home, The Magic Hour, Guitarra, Echoes of the Andes, Guitarrista, Los Angeles Blues, Ayahuasca Dreams and Selva.) The first five recordings mostly featured ensemble music with a few solo guitar tracks, but the next two primarily featured solo pieces. Both Guitarrista and Los Angeles Blues received international marketing campaigns, found a passionate audience in the world-fusion and new age music genres, went Top 5 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 album airplay chart and made the lists of the Top 5 best world music albums of the year named by the radio programmers reporting to ZMR. His production, Ayahuasca Dreams, was nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2015.
As a composer, Ciro has scored and participated musically in various feature films and documentaries such as Ron Fricke's classic film "Baraka," "Dead Women in Lingerie," "Max is Missing," "Hope Street," "Monsters," "Peru: The Royal Tour," and "From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks." In addition, he has produced and recorded albums for LA Law's Michele Greene, Conjunto Jardin, Rosalia Leon and many other talented artists. Most recently he was awarded the prestigious Durfee Master Musician Fellowship.
Ciro's guitar work ranges from the very traditional Latin American genres to the more sophisticated fusion Latin-Jazz idioms. His fine command of the instrument borrows from the classical techniques as well as alternate plectrum picking for high intensity solos. His guitar work is the most contemporary sound heard today on the nylon string guitar. Passion, a high melodic sensibility, and musical vision are the qualities attributed to his playing. There is no limit to his composition skills, from popular lyrical songs to sophisticated intricate classical oriented works. Pieces written by Ciro evoke motifs, landscapes and exciting elements of South American styles and rhythms, placing him among a select generation of Latin American composers.