Ortega, Juan Fernando
Ortega was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, near the banks of the Rio Grande. He started learning piano at eight years of age. Through his father's work with the United States Department of State, he also spent time in Ecuador and Barbados. His family lived in Chimayo, New Mexico, for eight generations, which has been cited by reviewers as an influence on his music.
Ortega graduated from Valley High School and the University of New Mexico, where he received his bachelor's degree in music education.
It is from his heritage and classical training at the University of New Mexico where Ortega derives his sound, embracing country, classical, Celtic, Latin American, world, modern folk and rustic hymnody.