A graduate of Loyola University New Orleans (BM Jazz, Minor in Philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, 2011), and Northwestern University (MM Jazz, June, 2013), Gustavo has performed and recorded with many great individuals and ensembles in the USA, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. In his playing stands out the dynamic rhythm section interaction, swing, and keen focus on melodic development - effect of his interactions and discussions with his teachers Johnny Vidacovich, Wayne Maureau, Willie Jones III, Victor Goines and Hernán Hecht - which together with his familiarity with the jazz tradition and the musical traditions of his native Mexico and Latin-America, offer a new and fresh sound. This can be heard on his latest record "Snapshot" (June 2013) which features Lincoln Center's saxophone and clarinetist extraordinaire Victor Goines (tenor sax), and Von Freeman's Mike Allemana (guitar), as well as Justin Copeland (trumpet), Roy McGrath (tenor sax) and Kitt Lyles (upright bass); the album features all original compositions by Gustavo.
Some of his performances include Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in NYC, Chicago Jazz Festival, Billy Strayhorn Festival 2012, Camp of the Woods NY, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Festival de Jazz de la Escuela Superior de Musica in Mexico City, The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge Chicago, Andy's Jazz Club Chicago, El Convite in Mexico City, Roussel Hall New Orleans, Google Headquarters in Chicago, Carli's fine bistro San Juan, PR, and many others.
Some of these include performances with the Gustavo Cortiñas Group, Victor Goines, Collective Vision, Marco Duran, Roy McGrath, Luri Molina, Carli Muñoz, John Mahoney, Silberen, Ray Moore, Aaron Cruz, Israel Cupich, Marco Renteria, Musica Da Camara New Orleans, House of Blues Foundation Room Jazz Band, David Phy and Influencia de Jazz, Loyola University Jazz Band and Jazz Combos, Loyola University Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, Northwestern University Jazz Orchestra and Combos, Cafe Con Leche and many more, in addition to his performances at educational events with Marco Durán, Joe Lovano, Gary Burton, Nicholas Payton, Robin Eubanks, Aaron Goldberg, Rich DeRosa, Terrell Stafford, Sherman Irby and Victor Goines, amongst others.
Born and raised in Mexico City to Leon Cortiñas and Gabriela Fouilloux, Gustavo started drumming at the age of 10, studying under Santiago Fortson. Eventually he enrolled in Centro de Investigacion y Estudios de la Música, where he studied music and drums under Rodrigo Jimenez. Later on he would begin to take lessons from Hernán Hecht in Mexico City.
In 2007, with a scholarship from Loyola University, he moved to New Orleans to pursue a BM Degree in Jazz Studies, and a minor in philosophy, graduating Magna Cum laude in 2011. In NOLA he had the opportunity of studying under Wayne Maureau, Johnny Vidacovich, John Mahoney, and Tony Dagradi, amongst many others. He was also able to perform with some of the cities most talented players and interact with the local scene, including his long-standing relationship with saxophonist Roy McGrath, with whom he has been playing since 2009, and was featured in McGrath's last record "Long Shot". The birth of the Collective Vision Sextet, which released it's record in 2010, was another product of his musical ventures in New Orleans, with Sebastian Valenzuela, Leland Baker, Woody Rinker, Erin Demastes and Calvin Morin-Martin. In 2010 Gustavo was awarded the Gerry and Franca Mulligan Foundation Scholarship.
Since the Fall of 2011, sponsored by the Rev. John M. Krump Endowed Scholarship, he has been studying a Master of Music in Jazz Studies degree at Northwestern University, under Willie Jones III and Victor Goines, performing locally in the Chicago area with his own groups and some of the great musicians of the fine city, including some performances with Victor Goines' Sextet and Quartet.
Since his departure from Mexico, Gustavo has kept in touch with the music scene, scheduling regular tours with his own bands as well as those of others, which led to his ongoing relationships with guitarist Marco Durán, Luri Molina, Aaron Cruz and many others. The release of Marco Durán's record "El Camino" in 2010, featuring Aarón Cruz and Jaime De La Parra on bass, as well as Silberén's "Dibujando" (2011), and Nobajoq's "Marchante" (2008) are some of the products of these musical ventures.
Gustavo Cortiñas’s tracks