ABI CRUZ is the youngest of eight children. At the age of five, he began to sing along with his father, who played acoustic guitar regularly and proved to be a natural. Abi grew up singing to Spanish Trios, Boleros, and Classic Salsa from the 70's. Abi was greatly influenced by his father's music as well as the sounds of his urban Chicago environment; Doo-wop, Hip-Hop, R&B, and Soul music. This diverse musical blend provided a solid foundation for Abi to build on. At a very young age Abi began to realize this talent by performing in local talent shows, in which he took first place on almost every occasion. One show in particular, in which he sang with his sister, made it clear to himself and all around him that this passion for music had developed into a gift.
Abi's first solo was a rendition of "Lift Every voice and Sing" which he performed at a cultural assembly. Inspired by Boyz II Men, Abi formed a four-man group, called 4X's Fresh. Abi taught the group harmony, style, and delivery. They vigorously worked on polishing their skills and relentlessly rehearsed at the neighborhood park district's locker room. Before they knew it, 4X's Fresh began to perform at local venues and quickly created a buzz in Chicago. The group obtained a manager and in less than a year found themselves in Los Angeles where they showcased for Warner Brothers music and Jermaine Jackson. Unfortunately, the group's youth and lack of experience in the music business cost them the opportunity to secure a major record contract.
4X's Fresh continued to open for acclaimed artists such as Mark Anthony, George Lamond, and Ice Cube. In 1992 they caught the attention of Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, who asked them to back him on his album, which became Abi's first professional recording, "Ivory Pyramid". Ramsey's admiration and respect for the group's talent increased Abi's confidence and drove his will to succeed.
4X's Fresh eventually dissolved, but Abi's passion for music allowed him to continue writing and producing original songs along side his brother, Jesse, who plays acoustic Spanish guitar. With the addition of C.J. Lawrence on electric guitar (formerly of the Sammy Fender band) there was an infusion of blues and funk into the mix, and the Abi Cruz Project was born.
The Abi Cruz project has evolved into something rare in today's music world- a truly unique and original sound. It is a musical blend of Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Latin, Soul and Funk influences that effortlessly transition across different genres and cultural lines. The dedicated musicians involved in this up-and-coming group have made it their home. This has facilitated the creation of original music that integrates a wide variety of influences into every composition and performance. This sets the Abi Cruz Project apart from other groups, as well as the fact that every performance showcases soulful vocal stylings and harmonies, powerhouse Latin guitar work as well as the integration of cutting edge Spanglish Rap and Hip-Hop.
The songs represented on Abi's self-titled debut CD are just a small sampling of material that demonstrates Abi's artistic abilities as a singer, songwriter and producer.