The Sounds of Edgar Cruz

Having been dubbed Oklahoma’s best performing artist five years running, local and international guitar legend, Edgar Cruz, recently sat down for an interview with the Edmond Outlook.

Q: How did you become a guitar player?
A: Thirty-four years ago, my dad got me a guitar, basically because he had bought one for my older brother the year before. Anyway, he bought me one and I played for a few weeks and then I got tired of it and put it in the closet.

Q: What inspired you to take it out of the closet?
A: Two years later, on January 1st, I was looking for something new to get into. So I pulled it out and I have never set it down since. Although I think a lot had to do with the rock bands at the time like Van Halen and Led Zeppelin.

Q: Where did you play your first gig?
A: Anywhere I could. I was with a band called Relayer. We used to love to play at Stars and Stripes Park. Once upon a time, anyone could go set up and play to anybody who was there. Those were some fun times. This was in 1977 and 1978.

Q: Who are some of your personal inspirations?
A: Early on and even now, there is a Japanese guitar player by the name of Kazuhito Yamashita. He would transcribe entire orchestral movements on a six-string guitar. He taught me that anything can be played on the guitar if you have the patience and technique to learn it.

Q: What was your first recording?
A: It was a Christmas tape called Throw Another Tape on the Fire. I recorded it and my next two at OU.

Q: What are you currently working on?
A: Well, I just finished my latest CD titled Pieces of Edgar. I have been on tour since October and this month I will be headlining the Les Cordes Sensibles Festival in Bordeaux, France.

Q: How many shows do you play per year?
A: About 250, and these are both private and public events.

Q: How many sets of strings can you go through in 250 shows?
A: Well, that always depends. It depends on how long a show might last and how hard the strings are played. However, usually a good set of strings will have to be replaced about every 3-4 shows.

Q: How many guitars do you own?
A: About 24. My favorite is a Ramirez that I bought in Columbus, Ohio about two years ago.

Q: Can you recommend one guitar festival that should be seen?
A: If there had to be one festival that you have to see in your lifetime, you need to see the Chet Atkins in Nashville, Tennessee every July. If you like the kind of music that I play, you are going to love this festival. I get to play there often and I am just a small piece that makes up that wonderful guitar pie.

Edgar Cruz is a regular in auditoriums and music halls across the state. He also performs often at the UCO Jazz Lab. Go to www.edgarcruz.com for more information.

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