April 2023 - TURN IT UP: Ryan Montano - Audio Authenticity
Everyone in the New Mexico live music scene knows Ryan Montano. Ryan, the trumpeter extraordinaire, the actor, the videographer, the gently handsome but down-to-earth approachable guy - yeah, that Ryan. But I never truly knew Ryan until our ride together up the I-25.
Ryan and I crossed paths professionally due to our mutual involvement with Reviva, New Mexico's Desert Reggae Rock supergroup. I was their Manager, and Ryan was their trumpet player. After a gig in Los Lunas last year, I jumped in Ryan's car to ride to Albuquerque. As we set off on the 40-minute drive North, Ryan tuned in to a Satellite Radio that played his Instrumental Jazz Music. Ryan explained his business and creative strategy as a musician and music professional. What struck me the most about Ryan was his determination to remain authentic to his music. I decided I needed to know more about his music and dedication to his craft. Let us start at the beginning.
Ryan Montano hails from Tijeras, NM. Ryan was an avid hiker and played baseball and other sports when he was younger. He comes from a big, musical family. His father was a member of the Country band, "The Full Circle Band," which toured regionally and locally in and around Albuquerque. Inspired by his older trumpet-playing brother Rick, Ryan began playing the trumpet at 11. He has been an avid trumpeter ever since, with his mind set on authenticity. "I want to make sure that I am doing right by Jazz music, my music, do right by the language of music and make sure that I am presenting that honestly," Ryan told New Entertainment (NME).
Ryan's influences include New Mexico music legends such as Al Hurricane, Lorenzo, and Sparx. He has played with many of New Mexico music's biggest luminaries, such as Al Hurricane and Reviva, to name just a couple. His creative process is different each time. Ryan states, "The genesis of songs comes from so many different places. Lately, it's rooted in melody and groove. I have been working on songwriting on the keyboard, interconnecting harmonic textures - it feels like part of a composition rather than a chord symbol on a piece of paper. Then I incorporate my trumpet melodies within that and try to feel at peace in my heart and gut of the direction that the song wants to go."
Ryan is never far off from the theme of honesty. He has a breathtaking song titled "Honesty." His website states that Ryan plays "with a truthful artistic vision and emotive songwriting, delivered through a graceful and soft tone." "I think the trumpet is played as a declarative instrument, meant to be loud and triumphant and in your face," shares Ryan. "But for me, I have always resonated with the softer side of the trumpet, which can be beautiful, haunting, and inviting."
On his January 2023 release Gemini (CQ the Drummer Flip), he took a bit of a genre-bending twist by adding vocals. "Grammy award-winning percussionist and producer Camilo Quinones remixed the original song Gemini," says Ryan. "We reimagined the song featuring our friend Jade Stokes on vocals."
His latest release Future Smooth (March 2023), sounds like a song produced in the future. "Anything that comes to your ears can become an element of music. I have been sitting with sounds and exploring different samples, loops, sound effects, delays, reverbs, plugins, and amplifier simulators," Ryan explained. "I am proud of the sound palettes I have been creating lately. I feel that they are unique and adventurous."
Speaking of the future, Ryan's new song "Future Smooth" will be featured on Dave Koz Lounge on SiriusXM Watercolors. In addition, Ryan will be opening for world-renowned Saxophonist Boney James in May in Memphis, TN. Ryan's past recordings have topped Jazz charts nationally, and he plans on a new release in early Fall 2023. In the meantime, get in your car, hit I-25, and find Ryan's music on Spotify or your favorite music provider.
Collaborating with Ryan on Future Smooth are Robert Muller (Wurlitzer/Writer), Thomas Primozic (Drums/Drum Engineer), Ben Cornelius (Bass Guitar), John Eichleay (C6 Pedal Steel Guitar), Claudio Tolousse (Writer), Darren Rahn (Mixing Engineer) and Steve Hall (Mastering Engineer).
To learn more about Ryan's music, visit https://www.ryanmontano.com/.
Alex Paramo is an Author and co-founder of a Community Publishing (http://communitypublishing.org). He is also the Owner and Events Organizer at Mariposa Music.