Tony Ortega

Anthony Robert "Tony" Ortega (born June 7, 1928 in Los Angeles, California) is an American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist, and flautist.

Ortega was heavily influenced and introduced to musicians and started his career in Watts, Los Angeles by cousin and acclaimed Vocalist and Trombonist Ray Vasquez

Ortega began to play the saxophone at age 14 and studied the instrument under Lloyd Reese. He played in 1947 with Earle Spencer, but from 1948 to 1951 he served in the U.S. Army. He became a member of Lionel Hampton's group, which toured Europe; while there he also recorded with Gigi Gryce, Art Farmer, and Milt Buckner, as well as with Norwegian players while in Oslo in 1954. He also met his future wife, pianist and vibraphonist Mona Ørbeck, at the Penguin jazz club in Oslo; they married later that year. Upon his return to southern California he put a band together and worked briefly in Los Angeles, but relocated to New York City in 1955, playing with Nat Pierce for two years. In 1958, he returned to Los Angeles, where he worked with Paul Bley, Claude Williamson, and the Lighthouse All Stars.

In the 1960s, he played mostly in the Southwest and California, and worked on film soundtracks such as The Pawnbroker (1964). Ortega recorded the soundtrack for the movie Gloria (1980) starring Gena Rowlands. He can be heard playing throughout the movie with Tommy Tedesco on guitar.

He worked with Don Ellis and Gerald Wilson in 1965 and with Lalo Schifrin in 1968. In the early 1970s, he toured internationally with Quincy Jones and continued working with Wilson into the 1980s. He toured and recorded in Paris several times in the 1990s. He is still active, playing locally every Sunday 5:30pm to 10:00pm at Mr. Peabody's in Encinitas, California. He is back on stage, now we are back open from the Covid19 pandemic.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 7, 1928 (Los Angeles)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1956 - 1957

Roles Represented in DAHR: alto saxophone, flute

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 41 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 100871 10/3/1956 S' posin' Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100872 10/3/1956 Why don't you do right-1 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100873 10/3/1956 King Porter stomp-1 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100874 10/3/1956 After you've gone-1 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100875 10/3/1956 I'll buy that dream-1 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100876 10/3/1956 Take care-2 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100877 10/3/1956 I'll be back for more-2 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100878 10/4/1956 The roarin' fifties-2 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100879 10/4/1956 The sky fell down-2 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100880 10/4/1956 Prisoner of love-3 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100881 10/4/1956 I'm glad there is you-3 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 100882 10/4/1956 Temptation-3 Larry Sonn Orchestra instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101341 1/11/1957 Clarinet ramble Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101342 1/11/1957 Lazy Honolulu moon Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101343 1/11/1957 Real gone Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101344 1/11/1957 Dixieland rock Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101345 1/14/1957 Sweetheart of Sigma Chi Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101346 1/14/1957 Trumpet on the wing Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101347 1/14/1957 Baby, change your mind Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101348 1/14/1957 Two beat special Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101349 1/14/1957 Burlecue Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101350 1/14/1957 Biloxi Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101351 1/15/1957 Can't get you off my mind Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101352 1/15/1957 Just plain struttin' Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
Decca 101363 1/14/1957 Party doll Wingy Manone and his Band instrumentalist, alto saxophone  
(Results 1-25 of 41 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Ortega, Tony," accessed January 18, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207508.

Ortega, Tony. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 18, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207508.

"Ortega, Tony." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 18 January 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/207508

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