Polo Ortí

Songwriter for Gary Burton and Pat Metheny
Professor at Berklee School of Music (Valencia Campus) for 10 years
Pianist and Composer


Composing is the most creative skill in music

Polo Ortí

Polo Ortí
Polo Ortí
Polo Ortí

Polo Ortí is a musician from Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain) who has a classical and jazz background. While undertaking his Piano degree, Polo investigated current music: progressive rock, jazz, fusion, etc. All of this made him an outstanding student, not only in terms of his knowledge of music theory but also due to his great skill as a performer. Polo Ortí composed his first piece of music at the age of 7. His career as a performer is linked to his enormous ability to create music.

For more than 40 years, Polo Ortí has forged a long and extensive career combining concerts, collaborating with other musicians, and making his recordings as a solo artist, always in combination with teaching music.

Polo Ortí teaching
Polo Ortí teaching
Polo Ortí teaching
Polo Ortí teaching
Polo Ortí teaching


Over the past ten years, Polo Ortí has been an Associate Professor of the Master “Contemporary Performance and Production” at Berklee Valencia. Ortí has taught piano and musical composition to many students from different countries around the world. Long before, Polo was a professor for 8 years at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. He also worked at the Escuela Creativa de Madrid and the Taller de Música de Barcelona. In addition, he has conducted countless seminars and master classes all over the world.

Polo has been an “artist in residence” at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador) since 2006.


When Polo was 24 years old, Gary Burton held a seminar in Madrid. In the end, Polo gave him some songs in the vague hope that one of his musical idols would come to hear them. The next day, the great American vibraphonist proposed to the young student musician to include three of his pieces in his next record. The three songs from the 1990 “Reunion” album, Quick and Running, Autumn, and Happy Times, were performed by Gary Burton with guitarist Pat Metheny, pianist Mitchell Forman, and drummer Peter Erskine. Polo Ortí’s compositions were number 1 on the Billboard Jazz charts for two consecutive months.

In 2006, Polo Ortí recorded a live CD and DVD called “Suite de la Amistad” with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (Canary Islands) and his Jazz trio. In addition to the stellar collaboration of Gary Burton, Jorge Pardo also participated. The orchestra arrangements and direction were by Joan Albert Amargós.

In 2010 he completed a tour called Estrejazz with world-acclaimed musicians such as Gary Burton, Antonio Sánchez, Scott Colley, and Julian Lage.

Mc Laughlin
gary burton y jorge pardo
Jorge Pardo


POLO ORTI has shared the stage with international artists such as Herbie Hancock, The Yellow Jackets, John Mc Laughlin, The New York Voices, Eric Marienthal Band, Danilo Pérez, Michel Camilo Trio, Aldi Meola, Victor Mendoza, Melissa Aldana, Magda Giannikou, to name a few.


Ortí has done countless performances in cities around the world (Boston, New York, LA, Tokyo, Mexico City, Quito, Berlin, Oslo, Milan, Manchester, Agadir, etc.) and all over Spain, whether at international jazz festivals, local venues, auditoriums, theaters and public spaces with different outfits: Polo Ortí Jazz Piano, Polo Ortí & Symphony Orchestra, Polo Ortí Trio or Polo Ortí Group.


The music that has inspired Polo Ortí’s creativity draws from sources ranging from classics such as Bach, Chopin, Debussy, and Ravel to 20th-century pianists and composers such as Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul Keith Jarret, Gary Burton, Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker, Bill Bruford, Allan Holdsworth or Louis Winsberg.

And also by great creators such as Henry Mancini, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Burt Bacharach, Ennio Morricone, Sergio Mendes, and Toninho Horta, among many others.

He has followed groups like Yellow Jackets, Weather Report, Return to Forever, and Música Urbana. In addition, Polo Ortí closely follows the career of young creators such as Louis Cole, Jacob Collier, or Dirty Loops.

Without a doubt, the band that has most influenced Polo Ortí’s career has been the Pat Metheny Group. Its pianist, composer, and arranger, Lyle Mays has been the musician who has most inspired the music of Polo Ortí. In the years that Polo studied at Berklee Boston, he received specialized classes from Mays. From there, a special, magical, and musical relationship was forged, which lasted until Lyle Mays passed away.


Throughout his musical career, Ortí has received several awards both for his compositions and his performances. In 1991, vibraphonist Gary Burton, together with guitarist Pat Metheny, Mitchel Forman, Will Lee and Peter Eskine, include three compositions by Ortí (Quick and Running, Autumn and Tiempos Felices) in their album “Reunion” (GRP 1990), which reached the top of the U.S. Billboard list.

Ortí has continued recording. His first live recording from 1993, “Improvisaciones sobre Piano” was warmly welcomed by critics. In 1998 introduced his album “Polo” produced by Gabino Diego (Actor & Oscar winner for Best foreign movie, Belle Epoque [1993]). In 2000, he also released “Live”, with Polo Ortí Group, recorded at the International Canary Islands Heineken Jazz Festival and recently remastered.

“Suite de la Amistad” composed by Ortí. A double CD and DVD recorded live in July 2006 at the Tenerife Auditorium with Polo Ortí Quartet, Gary Burton, Jorge Pardo and Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST) conducted by Joan Albert Amargos.

Polo Ortí recorded with his band Polo Ortí Group a new album called “Boiling Earth”. This CD was published on December 2011.