Xande Cruz

Xande Cruz


XANDE CRUZ ‘s sound mixes Afro-Brazilian percussion with turntables samples, guitars, bass, drums, horns and vocals. Cruz's soulful sound is like none other with subtle combinations of electric funk and percussion that connects listeners to Brasil and the world. Xande Cruz redefines "world music".


A descendant of an indigenous Brazilian father and a Bahian mother, XANDE (pr. shan-ji) CRUZ was born and raised in the largest city in South America, Sao Paulo. As a child, Cruz was profoundly inspired by his father’s old Popular Brazilian Music (MPB) vinyl records and the traditional Afro-Brazilian music that was played at family events and festivals. Music was omnipresent in his life.

After moving to New York in the late ’80’s, Cruz developed a closer relationship with electronica, house and hip hop. Following 10 years in New York, Cruz relocated to Miami where he worked with the likes of Richie Marley, Gloria Estefan, Luis Miguel and Elvis Crespo. As a percussionist, Cruz has toured Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and Brazil with samba schools, Brazilian pop bands, African drum ensembles, dance troupes and theatrical productions. Additionally, Cruz has performed for Prince Andrew of Great Britain and with Trey Anastasio of Phish at Radio City Music Hall. A talented percussionist, Cruz can play rhythms from every continent and frequently performs with Brazilian, African and Caribbean drum ensembles.

While living in New York, Cruz felt the necessity to create a vehicle to express the traditions of Brazilian music. Cruz began to write and compose and eventually formed his own band, the Batukis, which brought his traditional history and traditional culture to the forefront. The Batukis continue to promote Afro-Brazilian roots music in Cruz’s unique style by performing grooves based on traditional Brazilian rhythms of samba, baião, frevo, samba reggae, ijexá, coco and maracatu. The group incorporates a variety beats from Rio, Bahia, and the Northeast of Brazil while mixing in turntables and samples, funk guitars, bass, drums, horns and Xande’s rich vocals. Cruz says, "My music is a mix of colors, feelings, scenarios, styles, it's positive something refreshing. It's like the warmth of hope, a new day, another chance, the sun rising..."

Xande Cruz and his band have performed at numerous music festivals nationally and have played venues such as World Café Live and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Residing both in the U.S. and Brazil, Cruz currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.

Cruz's debut solo project, LUZ, approaches an atypical sound from his rhythmic perspective and from there creates memorable harmonies woven into the fabric of his art and his identity. His lyrics are inspired by experiences of social inequality, love, and the cultural peculiarities of Brazil and the U.S. Following no one particular genre, Cruz’s appeal is to an extensive audience, moving every listener. LUZ, defines Xande Cruz’s commitment to folklore, urban and melodic sounds. The mix of percussion and electronics, horns, vocals, and guitars surpasses genre boundaries, redefines Brazilian music and is fed by a pure and constant passion for his art, his homeland, and the light at the beginning of the tunnel (luz no começo do tunnel).


Luz by Xande Cruz released April 2006

Set List

Typical set is 60 minutes of original music from the album. The live set includes styles like drum and bass, reggae and electronic. The set also includes samba, coco, samba reggae, reggae, and maracatú.
Feliz So Isso
Eu e Voce
Pense Nisso
Sereia Queen
Historia de Um
O Sol
*pronounciations available upon request

Set lengths may vary depending on venue specifics.