From a Southern California stage at the age of three, with a loosely strung ukulele, to one of the many great concert halls in the world today, armed with just a guitar (he refers to it as “My Band”), Thom Bresh, the 2001 inductee into the “Thumbpickers Hall of Fame” and his six string friends have been entertaining people for a lifetime. Whether he is leaning against a wall telling you how his day went or shaking the walls of a concert hall with that famous hard driving thumb, first and foremost, you will be entertained. He is equally at home on stage in a stadium or on a couch in someone’s living room. Add to this scenario a deep, witty and gritty singing voice set in the middle of that relentless, powerful groove and you have a genuine force to deal with.
The Breshman was born in Hollywood, California and raised in the middle of guitar royalty. His father, Merle Travis, was the most influential American guitarist of the 20th Century. With this sort of heritage and upbringing, what do you have? As Chet Atkins put it, “Thom Bresh is a “World Class” guitarist that deserves to be heard.” On every performance Bresh pays tribute to his father. When he lays into his father’s thumbpickin’ classics, he and that guitar will leave the Travis style pickers hungry and the rest of us breathless. Buster B. Jones sums it up like this.. “Bresh is a drop-top version of his daddy with a souped up engine and a whole lot more chrome.”
But there is even more in the Bresh arsenal than singing and playing a guitar. Bresh started writing songs at the age of 13. He has written theme songs for two major motion pictures and had numerous cuts in his career. His quick comedic timing and sharp ear has made him an incredible impressionist. That led to two HBO Specials. Thom hosted his own TV show and has guest starred on numerous others.
Behind the scenes, as a producer, he has received two Grammy nominations and one for an Academy Award.
In his own words.. “The guitar is my first love, my partner in life. We grew up together and we’ll most likely die together. Everything I’ve accomplished was with it. Every great moment in my career was because of it. Remember my heritage. To me, playing the guitar is not about licks and speed. That’s only for the insiders. Playing it makes music and music is an emotion. Emotions are stimulated by feelings and sounds.. That works on everybody. When the sound and feel are right… Wow..
I never really learned how to play the guitar.. I was born with it.. I’m an entertainer… Who happens to play the guitar.”
Each year Edgar Cruz performs more than 200 concerts and has played throughout America, Europe and South America. He has been a headliner at the prestigious Chet Atkins Guitar Festival every July in Nashville since 1995 and is a strong icon at major festivals in Oklahoma. Those who have witnessed Cruz’s performance immediately become entranced at the precision, speed and complexity with which his fingers strike the strings of his guitar to create a symphony of sound unusual to just one instrument. Cruz offers an incredible live repertoire of the greatest hits of the guitar, such as “Malagueña,” “Classical Gas,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “In the Mood,” “Dueling Banjos,” “Hotel California,” a classical medley, Latin favorites, originals and medleys on the fly. Audience interaction, participation, clapping, singing, dancing, snapping, “olés” and “yee-haws” are all encouraged. Seventeen CDs and two DVDs are currently available. Country, Western, Beatles, Inspirational, Celtic and Broadway are just a few more in the works.
Edgar has been named the Oklahoma’s Top Performing Artist and/or Acoustic Guitarist for more than 15 years by the Oklahoma Gazette. He has received numerous civic acknowledgments for his contributions to various charitable events. He also performs a wide variety of bookings including concerts, festivals, weddings, receptions, banquets, schools, churches, conventions, fiestas, memorials or any special occasion. Edgar holds a bachelor’s of music degree in guitar performance from Oklahoma City University. He was recently added to the Hispanic exhibit at The Oklahoma History Center and was also honored with a Distinguished Alumni Award from Oklahoma City University in 2010. His You Tube video of “Bohemian Rhapsody” has more than 14,000,000 hits worldwide.