Jimmy Cruz

The Reader's Digest Version

I'm a professional musician (electric and acoustic guitar), guitar instructor, composer, husband, Dad, & Grandpa. I'm influenced by many styles of music and have played many. My main area of study is jazz, but other jazz guitarists call me a rock guitarist and rock guitarist call me a jazz guitarist so I'm stuck somewhere in-between with a heavy dose of blues stuck in there too. Originally from NY, then Los Angeles, then Tampa, and now residing in Atlanta, GA. I've played professionally since I was 17 in many bands in several musical genres as well as solo performance. My musical pursuits had taken me from East coast to West Coast and back again. I have had many band projects over the years performing top 40, rock, prog rock, blues, Latin-jazz, fusion, country, gospel/contemporary Christian and more recently worked with a jazz trio. My musical influences are all over the map. For overt 30 years I've been teaching guitar professionally (between 50 - 60 students per week) while also holding down a career in corporate America. I don't perform much lately, primarily because of a very busy guitar instruction schedule and a substantial waiting list of students. Instead of performing, these last few years I've enjoyed writing and recording my own musical ideas and collaborating with other musicians as a creative outlet.

Profile

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Influences

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What is music to you? What does it give you?

Above everything, I see it as a gift from God to bless others. it’s my passion, it’s paid me well for years and helped me provide for my family (from the standpoint of performing and teaching music professionally), it’s my personal therapy, it’s my emotional and creative outlet, it's the way I communicate the core of my emotions, and... oh yeah... I enjoy it too!

What is your music dream?

Already lived it and am living it. It’s been a profession for many years and had helped support me and my family. And I'm looking forward to continue doing more of it in my retirement years.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

In one word, Jesus! I would love to see people mutually respect each other and getting back to the "Golden rule" taught by Jesus.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

St. Alphonso’s Pancake Breakfast (Frank Zappa)

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

Too many to name in multiple genres.

What inspires you to make music?

Everything but mostly a beautiful beach.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

Share a laugh, a good feeling, anything that brightens another's life and hopefully their life.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Nervous on the first tune and adrenaline run afterwards.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

It’s a brave new world. Making a living as a musician is something that takes a lot of work but the reality of "getting known" internationally is a feat. It's not something I care to aspire to these days, at least not like I did in my younger years. I think if we find the reason and meaning of our gift and pursue that, we'll find it much more fulfilling and impactful than chasing "the dream". The digital reality of today is much different than the industry was years ago. But it does offer some new and different opportunities for our gift to be employed.

What do you think of Drooble?

I absolutely LOVE it!

What frustrates you most as a musician?

The music industry seems obsessed with producing clones as opposed to celebrating the uniqueness of different artists.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Occasionally showing up at their local gigs.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Excellence, a signature sound/style and the ability to relate to their niche’s audience.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Jacob Collier is an amazing genius.