LAS CRUCES — Las Cruces’ Orlando Madrid has been working as a professional jazz musician in New York City for about a year, which is certainly no small feat. Between playing, studying and teaching music, he’s had his hands full, but now he’s focused on producing his debut album.

Madrid, 31, became interested in music at a young age. He started playing the saxophone and played throughout middle school and high school in the city. He then left for UNM in Albuquerque where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in music education. It was just the beginning for him.

Madrid packed his bags and traveled to New York where he earned his master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, a highly regarded music school.

Last month, Madrid earned an artist degree from New York University, which is an individualized degree for a prestigious program. Turns out, artist of the semester Taylor Swift also earned an honorary fine arts degree from East Coast School and spoke to the class of 2022 at Yankee Stadium. He worked as an assistant graduate instructor while at the school, teaching in the department’s jazz studies program.

Singer Taylor Swift greets graduating students during the New York University Class of 2022 commencement ceremony at Yankee Stadium in New York City on May 18, 2022. Swift, who received an honorary doctorate of fine arts , is the first speaker.  (Photo by Angela Weiss/AFP)

With school out – at least for now – Madrid are switching gears and working on their debut album, ‘From This Moment Forward’.

“My goal in making this album is the culmination of my personal, educational and professional experiences,” Madrid wrote on the GoFundMe site where he is raising funds to be able to produce the album.

He explained that the tracks were recorded in mid-May at NYU’s James F. Dolan Recording Studio with eight tracks, all original Madrid compositions. Featured musicians include Robert Papacica on guitar, Arnie Sainz on piano, Marshal Herridge on bass, Jonas Esser on drums and Grammy-nominated jazz trumpeter Michael Rodriguez. Rodriguez, highly regarded in the industry, has toured with masters such as Chick Corea, Charlie Haden and Herbie Hancock.

Orlando Madrid, a jazz saxophonist from Las Cruces, recently graduated as an artist from New York University in May 2022 and is currently working on producing his first album of original compositions.

As of June 10, $1,982 has been donated to GoFundMe. Madrid hopes to raise a total of $6,000 for mixing, mastering, production, album art and release expenses. Fundraising will end on August 12.

The album “reflects my passion for jazz and is truly a snapshot of my playing at that point in my career. I’ve worked all my life to record my first album as a leader, and the time has finally come,” Madrid said.

The musician mentioned that he was previously part of a campaign to release an album while at Eastman. The ‘Affinity’ group failed to release their album, but Madrid said they plan to send a free copy of their new album to everyone who has donated to this first campaign.

“My music is the most personal expression of myself and my life experiences so far. I have always enjoyed making music with other people while growing as an artist,” said said Madrid.

Donations to help Madrid produce their album can be made online at People can also follow Madrid on Instagram at

Leah Romero is the Trending Reporter for the Las Cruces Sun-News and can be reached at 575-418-3442, or @rromero_leah on Twitter.

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