Louie Cruz Beltran
Louie Cruz Beltran blends Afro Cuban rhythms with jazz, Latin jazz, pop and R&B influences.
Louie is an entertainer at heart – an entertainer who is also a superbly skilled conguero, timbalero and vocalist. Beltran’s first memories recall his mother singing gospel music, Mexican and Caribbean folk tunes. As early as third grade, Beltran was playing bongos and learning the guitar. “The beauty of Afro-Cuban music stole my heart.” In his early career Beltran performed with great artists such as Ray Baretto, Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente, Francisco Aquabella, and Jorge Claudio. Recently he has shared the stage with legends Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson.
Louie recently had the honor of performing with legendary singer Vikki Carr to a standing ovation and sold out house at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. Louie made a memorable appearance at the
34th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. To quote Richard Ginell of Variety “the Louie Cruz Beltran Jazz Ensemble was an unexpected triumph of the day.” Chris Walker, writing in JazzTimes Magazine said Beltran “seized attendees attention with percolating percussion, stimulating chanting choruses and searing brass arrangements.” Louie was a hit of the day at the Sunset Jazz Festival (formerly the Concord Jazz Festival.) Louie wowed the large crowd, showing his versatility with dynamic rhythm and vocals, sharing the bill with Boney James, Patrice Rushen, Eric Marienthal, and other jazz stars. Producer Lionel Bea said, “Louie is not an opening act. He is a headliner!” Louie was a hit at the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Hollywood Bowl Summer Sounds Series, captivating young and old alike with his passion for performing. Louie returned for the third time to entertain the guests at the beautiful Peninsula Beverly Hills New Year’s Eve Gala. Louie is scheduled to return to perform the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium.
Performingartslive.com praised Louie’s “…percolating percussion, catchy refrains and fiery arrangements….passion for performing.” OCWeekly said “Louie and his band are stunners, mixing Afro-Cuban rhythms and R & B influences that will move and dazzle you…a passion for playing music…check out Beltran’s fiery percussion skills.”
Louie’s latest critically acclaimed CD “Paint the Rhythm” features an all star line up of some of the most exciting and recognized names in Latin Jazz, including Abraham Laboriel, Poncho Sanchez, Giovani Hidalgo, Hubert Laws, Justo Almario, Peter Michael Escovedo and more. The album spent 12 weeks on the Media Base national smooth jazz charts reaching #11, and his single from the album “Esperando” climbed to #4.b
Louie was interviewed about his life and music by Tavis Smiley, broadcast on Smiley’s nationally syndicated radio show. A prolific songwriter and lyricist, Louie was honored with the placement of his composition “Pan Con Dignidad (Bread with Dignity)” in the compilation series “Who’s Who of Composers”. Beltran has toured the United States, Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Africa with the group Starrfire – an R&B/Latin Jazz ensemble.
The Louie Cruz Beltran Latin Jazz Orchestra has headlined many music festivals throughout the West, including the Carlsbad, Long Beach, Brea and Ventura Festivals among others. Louie had a guest appearance with Santana at the Gibson Universal Amphitheatre and headlined Santana’s VIP show. Louie twice sang the National Anthem at sold-out Dodger Stadium and has also performed the anthem for the Anaheim Angels and the Los Angeles Clippers. Louie performed at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, the Ronald Reagan Library & Petersen Museum for Time Warner, and for Doctors Without Borders on numerous occasions. Louie performed for guests at the beautiful Las Ventanas al Pariaso Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, and has performed numerous sold out New Year’s Eve shows at the prestigious Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.
In venues large and small, Louie always connects with the audience with humor, solid musicianship and dazzling percussion work.