Back to Our Roots

Pam and Bob met 25 years ago on a coffeehouse stage at the Old Otterbein Church in Baltimore.  This Friday, April 24 the Pam Ortiz Band will perform at the successor location, Cellar Stage, now located at Faith Community United Methodist Church of Hamilton, 5315 Harford Road, Baltimore, MD 21214.  The concert series, hosted by Joyce Sica, has had several homes over the years but always feels like home to us.  The show starts at 8:00 p.m. Doors open at 7:00.  We would love to see you there.  For information call 410-521-9099.  $21.

Stream Women Helping Women Live on March 18

This is the 10th Annual performance of the Women Helping Women Concert to Benefit the medical clinics of Dr. Maria Boria on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  This year our performance will mark Dr. Boria’s 85th Birthday and the 10th year this fantastic group of women have come together to support her work.  Pam’s song, Angels, has become the signature song of the performance each year.  For more about the show, the full list of performers, and to stream the performance live, click here:


Red Devil Moon – New DVD (Video) and Audio Album (Digital Download) Available

We have a new album available (digital download only) and a new DVD Video available of Red Devil Moon, the new musical Pam has been working on with playwright, Robert Earl Price.  We worked with Jeff Gruber of Blue House Productions, Inc., to produce a full-length video of our performance in November, 2014, at the Garfield Center for the Performing Arts at the Prince Theatre in Chestertown, MD.

Red Devil Moon - Digital Audio Cover

The show featured Sombarkin (Karen Somerville, Jerome McKinney & Lester Barrett Jr.) along with the Pam Ortiz Band (Pam, Bob, Nevin, Ford and Philip) and special guests Tom Anthony (bass) and Ray Anthony (drums).  Narration was provided by Robert Earl Price.

The DVD Video is available as a physical DVD and includes the complete show.

The digital audio album includes the songs, recorded live, but without the narration, with the exception of the very beginning where you can hear Robert Earl launch the show.

It’s a great way to remember a very special performance!

You can order the DVD or download the audio album from this website, by selecting Music from the menu or clicking here:

Here’s a sample from the video featuring Jerome McKinney singing Pilgrim Train:

Thanks again to all of you who have supported this very special project.

Special Showcase to Feature Our Forthcoming Musical

I hear everybody has a musical . . Sting, Green Day, Cindy Lauper.  Well, we’re not going to stand by and be the exception!  For the last year and a half, Pam has been composing and writing the lyrics for a musical play inspired by the modernist novel Cane by Jean Toomer.  The project is the brainchild of Washington College poet and playwright, Robert Earl Price who is writing the “book” – the term for the script for a musical.

Musicals take a long time to refine, market and produce.  Rather than wait for the full production, we have decided to showcase the music from this project in a concert setting.  The concert will feature the Pam Ortiz Band along with Sombarkin, our friends and frequent collaborators, with narration by Robert Earl Price.  We are looking forward to getting you all in on this project in its earliest stages.  Stay after the show for a conversation with the artists.   We promise to keep you informed. Towards that end, we have created a special web page on this site where we will post information about the project.  Click here to read more and for details on the November 15-16 showcase (2 shows only) to be held at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre.  Thanks for your ongoing support for our music.  We could not do this without you!

Just a Quick Scheduling Change Note – Summer 2014

We had previously indicated we would be at JR’s Pastime Pub on June 6 but that performance has been canceled.  Actually, we will no longer be performing there on First Fridays, as in the past.  We enjoyed our performances there but have had difficulty scheduling and so will focus on other performances for now.  Look for an updated email newsletter from us about forthcoming shows in May and after.  And, you can always check the Performance page on this site.  Hope to see you soon!

For our First Friday Fans at JRS – A Couple of Scheduling Changes to Note

Please note that we will not perform at JRs in April as we will be performing on that first Friday, April 4, as well as on the following Sunday, April 6, with the Chester River Chorale.  Check our Performances page for details.

Also our May performance has canceled due to scheduling conflicts.  We should be back for our regular monthly show at JRs on June 6, so plan to join us then.  Maybe the snow will have melted by then!

Happy Spring!

What to Look for from the Pam Ortiz Band in 2014

We have a couple of interesting projects coming up this year we thought you might want to know about.

Our regular Eastern Shore fans know we have moved our regular first Friday of the month gig to JR’s Pastime Pub (part of the Lemon Leaf Cafe) on High Street in Chestertown.  Please come see us  most first Friday’s from 8 to 11 p.m.

In April we will be part of a special concert series with the 80-plus member Chester River Chorale and Sombarkin. The Chorale will be singing several of our original songs.  Also featured during the concert will be a special gospel mass and Gospel trio Sombarkin (Karen Somerville, Lester Barrett Jr. and Jerome McKinney).  If you have our album, Rattle Them Chains, you have heard Sombarkin on the title cut and on the song, Working Man.  Pam’s songs have been specially arranged for the Chorale.  We are thrilled to be part of these performances which will take place on April 4 and April 6.

Finally, Pam has been working on a musical project with poet and playwright Robert Earl Price.   The project is based on the piece “Blood Burning Moon” from the modernist novel, Cane by Jean Toomer.  We hope to showcase some of the music and get feedback on the project as things move forward.  Look for more details in the future.

As always, thanks for listening to original acoustic music, and come out to see us some time soon!

See Us Twice in One Weekend? Sure . . . Join us for Songs of the Sea on Saturday, Nov. 2

After joining us on Friday, November 1 at JR’s Pastime Pub in Chestertown, consider coming out again on Saturday night, November 2 at 5:15 p.m. at Robert Ortiz Studios, 207C S. Cross Street, Chestertown (Bob’s furniture shop) when we will be performing an evening of sea shanties and Songs of the Sea as part of the Schooner Sultana’s Downrigging Weekend.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased ahead of time (Click Here to Buy Tickets) or at the door.  We promise a completely different show . . . featuring all band members singing and performing their favorite sea shanties, songs of the sea or water.  We’ve had a lot of fun putting this show together.  We hope you’ll join us.

New Venue for Pam Ortiz Band – First Fridays at JR’s Pub in Chestertown

After a couple of years at Evergrain Bakery, we will be moving our First Friday performances to JR’s Pastime Pub at 337 High Street in Chestertown.  When we started at Evergrain (then called Against the Grain), it was just Pam and Bob playing in a corner and trying to revive our musical lives.  Now we are a full complement of five, and between us, our equipment and the crowd, we have simply outgrown the space.  We are very grateful to Doug Rae and his fantastic crew at Evergrain.  They have been wonderful friends and supporters.  We are  looking forward to seeing everyone at JR’s Pasttime Pub (the space that formerly housed Andy’s where great music was heard for many years).  We’ll be there Friday, November 1 from 8 to 10.

Video Song Blog: Oil & Bread

In preparation for last night’s album release party, I created a video of the song Oil & Bread featuring some special family photos.  The song is a musical version of the answer my great grandmother, Rose Garbarini, whom we called Nona, gave, when asked by her daughters why she married their father, Peter or Nono.  My grandmother, Sylvia, was one of eight sisters.  We keep their family photo in our hallway which we have dubbed “The Hall of the Ancestors.”  They were a special bunch of wonderful women.

The video is on our Video and Multimedia page, but you can also click here to see it. Hope you enjoy it.

Oil & Bread Video