Concerts & Clubs

Concerts & Clubs
Man of many gigs
Image: Tor Johnson Photography

Concerts & Clubs / You wouldn’t know it for all the John Cruz sightings and performances around the island lately, but Cruz has been hard at work in Nashville, Tennessee on his new album (his first since 2007’s One of These Days) set to come out sometime early next year. (No title, yet–Cruz waits until the album is done to give it a name.) To preview some of the new songs and round out the year, he’ll be doing a few shows both town and country side.

At Surfer, the Bar, the modern stage tucked into the corner of Turtle Bay Resort, Cruz will play a set that he promises will include some of the new tunes. Just don’t expect it to be quiet. “The surfer crowd is not a mellow crowd,” Cruz said over the phone between Nashville recording sessions. “Surfers get excited; imagine trying to come in after surfing waves the size of houses.” Don’t expect it to be predictable, either–Cruz is known to spot his buddies in the audience and invite them into his music on stage. pr0tip! Get in early. Surfer, the Bar tends to sell out and they have a lot of columns in the middle of the showroom. Take it from one who learned from experience: It sucks when the only standing room left available is behind one of those things.

Cruz will also play a show at the Hawaii Yacht Club to benefit Ryan’s Light, a cause in honor of Ryan Wagner, a six-year old who died last year form Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Wagner responded most to music during his treatment, and this fundraiser’s effort is to establish a music therapy program for pediatric cancer patients in Hawaii hospitals. “When [Ryan’s mom] shared the story … the way she and her son felt about music and life . . . it just reminds me that’s what makes music so much more. If we can keep bringing that vibe to people, it would be wonderful,” Cruz said. Henry Kapono, Manoa DNA and Kamuela Kahoano will also perform.

Finally, for those who want a quieter evening on New Year’s Eve, but still want to go out and celebrate the fact that we made it through another year, Cruz will play in the much more singer-songwriter-friendly venue of The ARTS at Marks Garage. The series came about because Cruz was always looking for an intimate showcase for singer-songwriters. As Cruz said in our Q&A with him [“Cruz Control,” 10/31], Honolulu doesn’t have many places here a solo or duo act can play with restraint to a receptive crowd. Beer, wine and champagne will be sold at The ARTS, so take your date to dinner before or after, then cruise to a mellow conclusion to 2012.

Surfer, the Bar, 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, Sat., 12/22, 8pm, $15, 293-6000, []; Hawaii Yacht Club, Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, behind Ilikai Hotel, Sun., 12/23, 4–8pm, $25, 221-0916, []; The ARTS at Marks Garage, 1159 Nuuanu Ave., Mon., 12/31, 7:30pm & 10pm, $20–$40, []