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Originally from Gardena, California, Alfredo “Fredo” Ortiz started to beat the drums in 3rd grade. In high school he joined the school marching band while he made a name for himself playing drums in a popular L.A. punk band – Los Villians. Fredo began experimenting with latin percussion, where his natural talent was apparent. He joined the latin-ska group Yeska, which paved new ground in its’ jazz, latin jazz, afro-Cuban jazz and ska fusion. He later joined Ozomatli, another groundbreaking L.A. band, which featured Fredo in their EP and first self-titled record.
Playing live gigs and working in studio sessions led to meeting keyboard player Money Mark in 1996. Mark was impressed with the uniquely versatile Ortiz, and subsequently introduced him to the Beastie Boys – who were looking for a new percussionist. They too liked Fredo, and within weeks he was on a plane to Australia to play percussion with the Beasties on tour.
Fredo has been performing with the Beastie Boys worldwide as their drummer and percussionist ever since. He was featured in their film “Awesome; I… Shot That!” which was a sold out performance at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Alfredo’s percussion was also featured on the Beastie Boys’ Grammy Award winning instrumental album, “The Mix-Up”.
Ortiz has worked and performed with many other well-known artists and musicians, including Money Mark, BS 2000, Los Lobos, Tenacious D, The Offspring, Morningwood, Blackalicious, Tito Larriva (Tito & Tarantula), The Julie Ruin (Kathleen Hanna), Salvador Santana, Ozomatli, Sean Lennon, Sepultura, Chromeo, Mariachi El Bronx, Kelis, N.A.S.A., Ray Barbee and Tommy Guerrero (just to name a few). He has made appearances on Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, TRL, Top Of The Pops and Carson Daly.
Alfredo can be seen performing percussion in the movie “Along Came Polly” starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. The original music used for that scene was written by Money Mark, and Fredo contributed his percussion to the recording as well. Ortiz’s percussion, as well as a guest appearance, was featured in the 200th episode of CSI: Las Vegas (the most watched drama series in the world), along side Eric Bobo (Cypress Hill) and directed by the Academy Award winning director of “The Exorcist”, William Friedkin.
Fredo also collaborates with Demon Drummer Maceo Hernandez, who played in Japan’s top Taiko group: Ondekoza. Together they founded East L.A. Taiko, and performed their unique blend of music for President Bill Clinton at a Presidential Gala in 1996. They also co-wrote original taiko and latin percussion music for the play “Blade To The Heat”, written by Oliver Mayer and performed at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Fredo founded Bongoloidz in 2011, and has been performing a myriad of live Bongoloidz shows at L.A.’s hottest venues. Stepping out from behind the kit, he sings and performs a variety of instruments on his original tunes, which vary in style from punk to cumbia to hip hop. With influences ranging from Jawbreaker’s power chords to Jean-Luc Pontey’s New Age sound, fans will be pleasantly surprised by his songs of life, love and sorrow.