This feature is part of the 2017 Good Living Tour storytelling project thanks to presenting sponsor the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and to generous support from Peter Kiewit Foundation, Nebraska Community Foundation, Humanities Nebraska,Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Pinnacle Bank, Nebraska Loves Public Schools, Union Pacific Railroad, Center for Rural Affairs, and the Nebraska Arts Council.
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To Kearney musician Cruz Salazar, playing jam music in Central Nebraska presents a challenge. Country and cover bands have long dominated audiences’ tastes in that region, resulting in what he says is a reliance on lyrics.
With Cruz Control, his band of nearly three years, he hopes to convey the emotions and experiences of his personal life through music.
“We want people to go home feeling something different,” Salazar says.
Salazar did not arrive at the University of Nebraska at Kearney looking for to play in a band, but like many of his in-scene colleagues, one happened by chance. Shortly after his 2015 enrollment, he met current bassist Caleb Schescke and their shared affinity for the likes of Sublime and Peter Tosh formed the beginnings of Cruz Control.
Steadily in the mix since then, Cruz Control has grown with Kearney’s music scene, adding guitarist Luis Panduro, repeating appearances at Hear Grand Island and becoming a fixture at Gillies Bar — including for its now-annual Halloween cover show tradition. Watch as Salazar talks about the local music scene and how his band hopes to change people’s minds in the latest artist profile.
Video & Interview by Arianna Bohning
Concert footage taken during Cruz Control’s appearance at Gillies’ Southside Music Festival on Saturday, Nov. 11. Listen to the band’s full set here.