About Omar


"Dare we dub him the Latin Hendrix?!
The fastest fingers in the West,
a massive talent poised to break out and kiss the sky."
~ The Seattle Times

"Torrez, [a] guitar wizard...
ranges from Flamenco mastery to hot rock"
~ The Seattle Times

Omar Torrez describes his music as “equal parts rock, Latin, delta blues, atonal classical, and performance art.” His heritage is as diverse as his music, ranging from Basque (via Mexico) to Norwegian, Native American and Russian roots.

Born and raised in Seattle (where the Omar Torrez Band was voted ‘Best Band’ for three consecutive years by Seattle Weekly), the young artist received national attention when he won the National Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition at the prestigious Bumbershoot Festival. After this victory, Omar embarked on a musical, spiritual, and physical journey, traveling the world, studying Cuban and Andalusian gypsy music. Learning from the Cuban and Spanish musical masters such as Carlos del Puerto, Jr. and Juan Serrano, Omar immersed himself in classical and Flamenco guitar. Living a life of the gypsy, he eventually found himself coming full circle back to his American music roots.

This remarkable versatility caught the ears of Tom Waits who chose Omar to be his guitarist for the Glitter and Doom tour. His music now reflects these various experiences, revealing a multi-dimensional artist that is rare in today’s music scene.

Torrez and his writing partner, multi-instrumentalist John Wakefield, have attracted world-class players to join them in the band. Among the various artists that play with them regularly: Carlos del Puerto Jr. and Tige DeCoster on bass, Dale Fanning and Donald Barrett on drums and recently Scheila Gonzalez on saxophone.

Omar has toured extensively in the US, Mexico and abroad in support of his two releases on Russia’s major label Soyuz Music. He has played and recorded with musical giants, including Tom Waits, Kinky, the Buena Vista Social Club, Jethro Tull, Pancho Sanchez, Susana Baca, Mumiy Troll, and Francisco Aguabella, Viola Trigo, as well as such underground favorites as Indigenous, B-side Players and Sidestepper. Endorsements include: Fender, Carlos Amplification, Acoustic Image, Breedlove Guitars, and L.R. Baggs. Placements for Omar’s music include NBC’s “Heroes,” “Felicity,” “One Live to Live” and “Gross Point.”

Omar has created “narrative-driven” music, invoking images of smoky bars, Mississippi Delta porch jams, Cuban rumbas, avant-funk and experimental sounds coloring their original yet radio friendly music.

Of his new EP, Top of the World, Torrez says, “Burned within these grooves are 5 songs, really more like travel logs. They were formed in a primal sea of equal parts: Cuban rainstorms, New Orleans dreams, London go-go clubs, Bogart film noir, 007, post-Kurt Weill caberet flourishes, tequila-soaked nights in Mexico, and Moscow winters all combining into a critical mass of inspiration. A tropical noir of sorts. Good for dancing, or for things much darker. It’s up to you...”

Top of the World includes a club remix of Omar’s song “Marina” by Grammy-winning producer Carmen Rizzo (Paul Oakenfold, BT, Tiesto).

Omar and his band are currently recording a follow up full CD of material, working with producer Tony Berg (Michael Penn, Aimee Mann, Bob Dylan, Pink, Public Image Ltd.) The band is preparing for Summer tours in Russia, Mexico, Europe and the US.

"Omar Torrez’s lysergic Latin guitar
fluttered like a Bossa Nova hummingbird,
a neon Andres Segovia, runs punctuated with
Bill Frissel sustains and Hendrix air-raid siren chords."
~ Flagstaff Live

"Omar [has] passion for both the vintage sounds of artists like Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix and their love of song writers like Leonard Cohen and John Prine... combines juicy grooves and formidable musicianship with songs that actually reflect our brutal and absurd time."
~ Amazon.com

For more information and booking contacts, please visit www.omartorrez.com, write to masha@omartorrez.com or call +1 (310) 403-29-09 (US).


Omar's electric guitar

Omar gives guitar lessons in Los Angeles. All levels and styles. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to Masha Tsiklauri or call +1 310.403.2909 (USA).