From the time he was growing up on Oahu, John Cruz knew music was his destiny.
Whether inside or outside the home, his earliest memories were filled with
song. His Hawaiian grandmother had a beautiful voice and sang in church.
His mom loved the Motown sound and had an extensive record collection. His
dad played country music and taught John to perform live shows at a very
young age. Everyone surrounded John with the gift of music for his entire
It wasn't until he moved to the East Coast in 1983 that he developed his
own style as a singer songwriter. During his years in the Northeast, John
cut his musical teeth in subways, coffeehouses and bars in Greenwich Village,
as well as in the clubs and local haunts from Martha's Vineyard to Boston.
While attending the UMass at Amherst, John ventured in to acting and dancing,
strengthening his command of the stage.
He spent six years in theatre and dance companies, performing everywhere
from Lincoln Center to Washington D.C. John starred in a variety of shows,
including ensemble productions, two-man plays and gospel inspired musicals.
Often the leading man, his roles spanned a wide range of characters and
ethnicities. A Chinese immigrant, an embittered Native American and a Hispanic
hustler, to name a few. As a member of the prestigious New World Theater,
John played the lead role in "The Dance and the Railroad," by
Tony Award winning Broadway playwright, David Henry Hwang, of M. Butterfly
John returned to Hawaii in 1995 to help his brother Ernie record his album.
At the time, Ernie was in the immensely popular band, the Ka'au Crater Boys.
He invited John to play bass with them and to play his own songs during
shows. The exposure to large crowds gave John's music a substantial fan
base before it was even recorded. When his album, Acoustic Soul was released
in 1996, it made an artistic and commercial impact like few other recordings
in Hawaiian musical history.
In 2005, John added the Grammy Award to his list of honors. His original
song "Jo Bo's Night" was featured on the compilation CD Slack
Key Guitar Volume 2, which won the first Grammy ever awarded for Hawaiian
Over the years, John has attracted some stellar fans. Stars like Jack Johnson,
Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Trey Anastasio, Lisa Loeb and others, have
shown their support in various ways. John has distinguished himself as one
of the most talented songwriters that has ever come from Hawaii. This well-earned
reputation will become even more solidified with his long-awaited second
album, "One of These Days". It promises more of the warm, heartfelt
melodies and passionate, soulful vocals that John's fans have grown to know