Nick Ortiz


Nick Ortiz

About Nick Ortiz

Nick Ortiz is a saxophonist, educator, and improvisor from the Chicagoland area. Nick holds degrees in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Saxophone Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied with Debra Richtmeyer and Dr. Nicki Roman.

Nick has been a member of several groups such as Illinois Improvisers Exchange, MIMKE Saxophone Quartet, Sixth Street Brass Band, and the Peiskos Quartet. He has performed across the Midwest in a range of musical styles including jazz, classical, contemporary, and popular music, with highlights performing at Milwaukee Fringe Festival, Summer Camp Music Festival, as a concerto  soloist with the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and playing for GRAMMY award winner Darius Rucker’s 2022 Tour on its Milwaukee stop.

As an advocate for new music, Nick has premiered or commissioned new works by Benjamin Daman, Morgan Easterday, Elsie Bae Han, Emily McPherson, Jenny Watson and works of his own which draw on improvisation, field recordings, and electronics. He has premiered new music with All-Score Urbana, New Music Mosaic, and Make Music Day Milwaukee.

Nick has been privately teaching students of all ages across the Midwest for five years. In addition to his private teaching, Nick serves as a clinician for middle and high school concert, jazz, and marching bands and has recently begun teaching general music and band in public schools in the south suburbs of Chicago. His teaching philosophy is student-centered, wanting to help students develop healthy habits, strong musicianship, and solid technique by leaning into student musical interests while presenting opportunities to expose students to other genres of music that create a more comprehensive musical education.

When Nick isn’t performing or teaching, he loves reading a good book, playing video games, or baking anything that has chocolate in it!

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