Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 06th
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Nora Cruz

lylb noracruzManager, roadie, singer, booker and promoter Nora Cruz enters the room like a woman in pursuit of a noble mission. With high heels and a short skirt, Cruz is a head turner—and, full of passion about her new CD, Six is Enough, recorded with her band, the Nora Cruz Sextet. “It’s my first CD in 26 years,” Cruz says with a laugh. After studying opera in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wis. for several years, the big-voiced vixen visited Santa Cruz in 1985 when she was 22 years old.

“I ended up getting married, pregnant and starting my band with my ex-husband—Soul to Soul,” she says. Eventually the moniker changed to the Nora Cruz Band when it became obvious that audiences craved her vocals. After debuting at The Catalyst, the band began performing at the venue several times a month—opening for legends like Jeff Healey and Tower of Power. An innocent mid-western girl who jumped into the deep end of weird head first, Cruz was an immediate local favorite. Six is Enough, a tribute to the R&B sound of a bygone era, was recorded at Gadgetbox Studios with owner and producer Andy Zenczak, who was able to provide the band with a Hammond B3 with a Leslie amp. “I told him I didn’t want it over-produced, not a lot of mix on the vocals—I wanted it to sound like we sound live. I wanted it raw,” explains Cruz. “I sat with him step-by-step until one in the morning and told him what I wanted to hear in the mix, and it was like painting a picture. We only recorded every song twice and then I would move on. The band did a few overdubs—but the vocals were raw.” Hear the album live this Saturday at The Crow’s Nest.

INFO: 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. Crow’s Nest, 2218 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz. $7. 476-4560.

Comments (8)Add Comment
written by Magdalena Cruz, September 28, 2012
So proud of my lil SIS! She has always been my inspiration to let loose! Love you SIS!
written by Lou Piano, September 27, 2012
Nora is an amazing and unique talent. She has developed her own identity. Her voice, her interpretation, her soul is evident in every phrase. If you haven't heard her, this is the time to do so.
written by Jay Powell, September 26, 2012
Worked with Nora in her other life before I found out she had her own Band! Got to see her perform last summer at Gordon Biersch in San Jose. Awesome show, awesome band and Nora has an awesome voice! Still work with her but look at her in a Whole New Light! Love her CD and Look Forward to many more "Live" performances! A perfect CD for cruisin down the highway!
written by Dave Chet, September 26, 2012
I've seen Nora Cruz perform several times and its always been lively and a Good Time. So she deserves the recognition in the Good Times. Catch her show!
written by Carol Lerno, September 26, 2012
Nora is a Beautiful Lady in and Out.
written by Thomas Maitland, September 26, 2012
Nora Cruz evokes memories of Etta James, Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown et al like nobody else....fantastic set of lungs (I'm a trumpet player so I should know).
written by Terry Hardin, September 26, 2012
A truly unique talent and a commanding performer. Thanks to the Good Times for the long overdue recognition.
written by Johnny Uno, September 26, 2012
Nora Cruz is GENUWINE! Been doing it for years and DOES NOT COMPROMISE as an entertainer. Do youself a favor, put on the dancing shoes, get sharp dressed and get your bad self down to the harbor for a night you WILL remember.

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