New releases from Orlando's Protosynthesis and Chris Cortez + Larry Williams

Larry Williams
Larry Williams Photo by Lynn Darcy

Between them, homegrown jazz players Chris Cortez and Larry Williams have tons of history with an association that goes back to the 1980s. Cortez, of course, is well-known these days as not just a jazz guitarist but also the face of Winter Park live venue Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts and founder of record label Blue Bamboo Music. Williams gave up his local card a while back for L.A., and even gave up his trumpet nearly a decade ago.

But life, fate and a recurring dream eventually led Williams full circle back to Orlando, his native instrument and his old bandmate in 2020, culminating in the Cortez/Williams Project. Although new, they've been publicly workshopping the new collab with regular live sessions at Blue Bamboo since the spring. Now, they're ready with their recorded debut.

Hermanos is a full-band, 11-song album of supple yet crisp jazz that celebrates Williams' return to the trumpet and the two main players' return to each other's musical company.

The LP won't be rolled out nationally until Jan. 3 but they're unveiling it locally now with music already available as a stream, download and CD through Blue Bamboo Music's website ( To send their debut work out into the world right, the Cortez/Williams Project is playing a release party this week. (8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts, $25 — limited capacity, masks required)

A new electronic act on the Orlando map is Protosynthesis, the duo of engineer Kevin Tuck (Man Is Manmade) and arranger Joshua Jauz (Electric Dawn), whose musical histories go back to when they were both in Swansinger. What's been a friendly synth collaboration for several years eventually became a formal project with the release of a debut single ("Blank Space") last year.

Now Protosynthesis have finally followed that up with brand-new single "Kiss and Tell," a sliver of minimal and moody electronic pop. Already a notable leap from their first song, this track is a sleek, icy ride into darkness. From here on, Protosynthesis plan to drop singles every month or two. Look for them on Bandcamp.

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