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 – a bandleader who is also a superbly skilled conguero, timbalero and vocalist.
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 performed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. through the Smithsonian Institution to represent Latin Jazz for Jazz Appreciation Month, followed by a sold out show at famed Blues Alley in Georgetown. He shared the bill with legendary singer Vikki Carr to a standing ovation and sold out house at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. At the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl Louie made a huge impact. To quote Richard Ginell of Variety “the Louie Cruz Beltran Jazz Ensemble was the 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 wowed the large crowd at the Sunset Jazz Festival (formerly the Concord Jazz Festival, ) showing his versatility with dynamic rhythm and vocals and sharing the bill with jazz stars Boney James, Patrice Rushen, and Eric Marienthal. Louie captivated young and old alike with is interactive theatrical/musical show during the final week of the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Hollywood Bowl Summer Sounds Series.
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 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. A passionate advocate for arts education, Louie presents his solo percussion seminar “Rhythm and Roots” in numerous branch libraries throughout the Los Angeles County Library system and at school assemblies.
The Louie Cruz Beltran Latin Jazz Orchestra has performed at many music festivals throughout the West, including the Carlsbad, Long Beach, Brea and Ventura Festivals among others. Louie has twice performed the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium, and has sung the anthem for the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Anaheim Angels. Louie had a guest appearance with Santana at the Gibson Universal Amphitheatre and headlined Santana’s VIP show. Louie has performed at the Mandalay Bay and Venetian Hotels 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 sold out New Year’s Eve Galas at the prestigious Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, and the Westlake Village Inn.
In venues large and small, Louie always connects with the audience with humor, solid musicianship and dazzling percussion work.