Press

Tourist, 2013

Tourist was selected as one of the Best Jazz releases of 2013 by the Huffington Post

“All of that experience shows here as Wirtz puts forth on Tourist an incredibly rich album steeped in jazz that is far beyond his years . . . Wirtz showcases a massively vast range, virtuoso phrasing and impeccable taste.” – Brian Johnson, Marquee Magazine

“What Wirtz does with the piano is brilliant, a genius . . . ” — Joshua Johnson, Hey Reverb

“There are a few artists out there that can still play instruments in a way that will make your jaw hit the floor while plucking your heart strings . . . So enter pianist Jon Wirtz who just released his latest CD entitled Tourist. What do bands like Aaron Parks, Jacky Terrasson, and Keith Jarrett have that Jon Wirtz don’t? Not much if you ask me . . . let me go on record by saying he is what the world has been waiting for musically.” – Rory Richardson, AllWhatsRock.com

“Will (Tourist) appeal to the jazz crowd? Yes. Will the eclectic-taste crew find something here? Certainly. Wider listening audience? It’s the sort of album that opens ears to new things. How about the audiophiles? Excellent sonics and great music usually put a smile on those faces. Both present here in spades.” — David Martin, Stereo.net.au

“Among musicians and critics, (Tourist) should do very well indeed, be a much-talked-about item for years. You just don’t run across this kind of music every day, Hoss, and when you do, you remember it. Trust me.” — Mark S. Tucker, AcousticMusic.com

“Wirtz is a powerful artist who is not afraid to push the envelope, ask the hard question or go where other artists won’t try to go.” — Joseph Crowde, Indie Artists Alliance 

“A captivating album which defies obvious pigeon holing through a freedom of spirit and mind, Tourist will satisfy anyone looking for a slice of eclectic, reserved jazz that avoids obvious paths and easy choices.” — Steven Reid, Sea of Tranquility

“These are not ‘tunes’ by any stretch of the imagination, these are conceptual compositions that embrace one of the most stunning hybrid sounds one might imagine . . . Incredible freshness.” — Brent Black, Critical Jazz

“Would I recommend? Absolutely! And that is because of something I continued to find brilliant in how Wirtz constructed this entire album – he made it all familiar yet fresh, borrowed without betraying his personal sense of style, and the results are stunning.” — Michael Anderson, Music Diary

“Percolating along, racking up high flying credits, this piano jazzbo hasn’t been standing still whenever there was an opportunity to hone his chops and expand his horizons—all of which culminates in this tasty contemporary fusionish romp that acknowledges what’s going on in the streets as well as on the avenues.” — Chris Spector, Midwest Record (Volume 37, Issue 177)

“Wirtz’s appealing style and slamming playing hit the mark and with intellectually stimulating musical territory providing a very real and powerful source of inspiration overall . . . In this aspect Tourist is in itself an impressive musical set from Wirtz, and also  grants you rare access to peer into the gentile-gifted soul of a quintessential artist from his perspective.” — Blaine Calhoun, Vents Magazine

“As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are quite dynamic and reminiscent of free form piano jazz masters: Vince Guaraldi, Billy Cobham, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Chick Corea, Miles Davis . . . Last but not least – the playing, writing and production abilities of Jon Wirtz at the helm are to die for. Just hit play, sit back and see where this amazing journey takes your mind, body and spirit.” — Cyrus Rhodes, Indie Music Digest

“This one by keyboardist/composer Jon Wirtz is an audio journey through a world of sounds, styles and moods . . . Just where is this guy taking us? A little bit of everywhere, and the up and down climbs from ‘Country’ to the title track to the panoramic ‘Awakening’ with the luminous trumpet by Gabriel Mervine make the travel  quite worthwhile.” — George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly

“Colorado-based pianist/keyboadist Jon Wirtz displays incredible chops and a gentle touch on his second full length recording, Tourist . . . Wirtz’s ability to make it all work as a production renders this a fantastic project to experience.” — Glenn Daniels, The Jazz Page

“All songs presented on Tourist are a skillful combination of modern jazz, yet with a slight popish flair that will remind you Brad Mehldau, Joe Sample, and George Winston. Wirtz has all the creativity and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous . . . let me go on record by stating Jon Wirtz is the best pianist I’ve never heard of.” — Skope Magazine

“Shades of Ahmad Jamal are thrown in juxtaposition to minimalist hues full of positive energy and catharsis. The piano is the center of it all, but to label Tourist piano music is misleading. This is music music, and from my interview with him it is clear that Wirtz is a musician’s musician.” — David Paul Kleinman, Glide Magazine

“This CD is quite entertaining overall with an amazing feel. In this aspect Wirtz is a master musician. In my mind he is a musical triple threat. He is a world class songwriter; he has an amazing feel and has the X-Factor . . . Rating: 10 out of 10 stars.” – Drew Blackwell, EvO:R (Evor.com)

“All 1o tracks provide intensely exhilarating experience that can tingle the senses into submission . . . Rating: 9/10. ” – M. Blackwell, Rock’n’Roll Review

“The musicianship from all members is how shall I say – off the chain. The Piano driven front from Wirtz sets the standard and is beyond impressive . . . Expect great things from Wirtz as his fanbase expands. There’s obviously a disgruntled Jazz audience out there just waiting for them to arrive.” – Kelly Macina, Gig Band

“In an age where there is a sub-genre for every sound, and all it takes to create a new style of music is to take any word and add “-core” to it, Wirtz bucks the trends and creates a sound derivative of many of the genres that no one wants to be a part of anymore.” — Tim Wenger, Colorado Music Buzz

“Wirtz is an adept performer who can emanate a convincing Joe Sample vibe on pieces such as ‘Watching the World Wake Up’ and a rollicking two-beat blues feel on ‘Country.’ ‘In the Body’ is a haunting and spacious bit of solo piano that segues into the climatic closer ‘Awakening,’ featuring the impressive trumpeter Gabriel Mervine.” — John Barron, The Jazz Blog

“He mixes things up quite a bit, and as such the result stands up to repeated listens . . .” — Peter Thelen, Expose

“I was very happy to see my friend Jon Wirtz’s new record Tourist do so well OTB (out of the box).  I think his debut at #7 may be the highest debut for a jazz record I’ve ever logged.” — Chris Kresge, Colorado Full Belly Sounds

“The disc also shows what a versatile player and songwriter he is in his own right.” — Jon Solomon – Westword

–Interview with Denver Original Music blog, posted here

Sea Level (solo album), 2010

 “I get the same sensation with Wirtz as I do Joshua Redman, Herbie Hancock, and even Coltrane.” – Music Emissions

“Indeed the skill set of the player will dictate how well your attention span can be maintained. What am I trying to say? Wirtz pulls it off flawlessly.” – Michael Mullins – Skope Mag

Sea Level by Jon Wirtz is a brilliant collection of music.” – Cyrus Rhodes – Indie Music Digest

“He is no doubt a gifted player & composer . . . It takes talent to hold the attention span of a listener with just one instrument, Wirtz pulls this off with sheer poise.” – Markus Druery – Indieshark

Sea Level (first record) is one amazing solo debut…” – Jeanie Straub – Colorado Music Buzz

Sea Level by Jon Wirtz is an impressive collection of music. The more you look at, the more impressive it really is.” – Markus Druery – Indieshark

“There was a lyricism, a beauty and intimate melodic feel that really comes through in every song regardless of what else is happening…” – Michael Anderson – Gear Diary

“Though Sea Level reflects jazz piano greats like Ahmad Jamal, Keith Jarrett and, of course, Thelonious Monk, it also has pop touchstones that make it accessible to even the most neophyte of jazz listeners…” – Eryc Eyl – The Denver Post

“No doubt more work is required from a musician to fill this sonic space all by himself thus keeping the attention span of the listener all by himself. Brilliant artists can rise to this challenge, & I give Wirtz high marks for taking this on & even pulling it off. The musicianship is clearly first rate…” – Cyrus Rhodes – Indie Music Digest

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