Arriving on the Denver scene just a few years ago, Jon Wirtz has since performed for millions of people both locally and nationally. Over the past 10 years he has performed mainly as a sideman, having worked with Grammy winning producers Malcolm Burn and John Macy, and shared the stage with artists including Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Justin Timberlake, Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones), Dennis Chambers (Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic), Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), Robbie Krieger (The Doors), Melissa Etheridge, Joe Bonner, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Flobots, Matt Morris, George Porter Jr. (The Meters), Gregory Alan Isakov, Eddie Roberts (The New Mastersounds), Bill McKay (Leftover Salmon), Joscho Stephan, Todd Smallie (Derek Trucks Band, JJ Grey and Mofro), and various members of The Motet. In addition to performing with Matt Morris on The Late Show with David Letterman, Wirtz has also appeared on CBS Early Morning Show, Ellen (the Ellen DeGeneres Show), and Lopez Tonight (George Lopez). For years he has studied under Art Lande, an internationally respected jazz educator and Grammy nominated pianist/composer. In 2011 and 2012, his group Jon Wirtz & The Debut was nominated as a finalist in the national Telluride Jazz Competition; in 2013 and 2014, Wirtz was nominated as one of the best Denver artists for the Best of the Westword Showcase in the jazz category.
Two and half years after the release of his first record Sea Level, the anxiously awaited second album from Jon Wirtz, entitled Tourist, was released nationally and internationally on April 16, 2013 via iTunes, Amazon, and many other digital outlet stores. The album received an overwhelmingly positive response, including a selection as one of the Huffington Post’s Best of Jazz 2013, drawing comparisons to Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, Robert Glasper, Aaron Parks, Miles Davis, and a whole slew of jazz greats of the past and present. Yet it is still being heralded as unique and original for its “incredible freshness,” “genius,” “massively vast range, virtuoso phrasing and impeccable taste.” In addition to various great reviews, the song “Country” was chosen among a national pool of songwriters by Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell to be included on a compilation for his Sing For the Trees foundation. Also from Tourist, Wirtz’s song “In The Body” was used as the soundtrack for a silent film (also titled In The Body), which won awards for Best Cinematography and Best Use of Dialogue in the 2012 48 Hour Film Festival.