MEET THE BAND

Santa Cruz Band is one of the most versatile groups you'll ever hear.

With their outstanding vocal harmonies and high energy, you will love Santa Cruz's renditions of pop hits from every decade. The popular group plays a wide variety of music from the 70s and 80s, especially the disco and Motown hits, as well as today's most requested top 40. Santa Cruz is also known to surprise nostalgic partygoers with a few of their "Big Band" arrangements for the swing and jitterbug dancers.

This group fulfills the wish list of any event planner, party giver or bride with their superb musicianship, sparkling vocals, great song selection, high quality sound and lighting, consistent professionalism and lots of personality. 

Santa Cruz Band is the perfect group for any occasion including conventions, reunions, wedding receptions, or any special event. Santa Cruz has shared the stage with such acts as The Temptations, Martha Reeves, Barbara Mandrell, Kathy Mattea, The Four Freshmen and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

This impressive group provides top-notch equipment including state-of-the-art sound system, musical instruments, a dazzling lighting show and qualified personnel necessary for a professional production.

From a small reception to a full day at a large convention, Santa Cruz Band can handle events of all sizes. We can't wait to be a part of your next event!
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It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved bass player James Hairston. James has been a part of the Santa Cruz family since 1997 and will be missed by all who knew him.
JOHN SPEAKS
  • John started playing drums in junior high school at age 14. He went on to play professionally at age 16 at the Apollo Theater. 

  • John has played opening acts for BB King, Average White Band, Ray Charles, James Brown, Four Tops, Bad Company, 38 Special, Foreigner and the O'Jays. He has also played with local bands in the Virginia Beach area including the Dynamiks.

DAVE SHORT
  • Dave fell in love with playing the guitar ever since he taught himself at age 14.

  • Having played for several bands around the tri-state area including The 119 South Band, Novo Tempo Big Band, Willie D and the Nightlife Band, and Pavlov's Dogs, Dave brings a mixture of blues, funk, country and rock to Santa Cruz.

  • Dave believes the group's camaraderie, along with the professionalism of all the members, makes playing with Santa Cruz an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

TINKER BALL
  • "Tinker," his nickname that has stuck with him from early childhood, has been playing in groups since his high school days in Logan, WV. He continued to play in groups in the Huntington, WV area while attending Marshall University. Tinker later began playing in the eastern Kentucky area where he still has many musical ties and is one of the "Resident Artists" at the Long Island Recording Studio in Lexington.

  • Tinker has opened for such artists as Earl Thomas Conley, Trisha Yearwood and Willie Nelson. He has also performed with Percy Sledge and Mack Rice, the composer of "Mustang Sally," during his "Mustang Sally 2000 Tour" (That's right, Wilson Pickett did not write Mustang Sally!)

  • A fan of Santa Cruz for several years, Tinker says he is elated to now be performing with the group.

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TAZE THOMAS
  • Taze got a late start in the music biz, but has more than made up for lost time by staying busy singing with several bands over the years, including Big Fun, Stagefright, Little Misery, The Tangled Roots and Moses Lazarus. 

  • The road has taken Taze to gigs in NYC, Nashville, Knoxville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton & Morgantown, WV, in addition to just about every bar/club/dive in the Tri-State area. 

JIM BATEMAN
  • The multi-talented Jim Bateman came to Santa Cruz by way of Union City, Ohio and Morehead State University. He is the master of many musical instruments.

  • Moving to Charleston after graduation, Jim was a part of several professional musical groups before joining Santa Cruz in 1991.

  • Jim wows the crowd with his vocals and keyboard talents, among many others.

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PHIL WASHINGTON
  • Phil is the newest bass player for the Santa Cruz Band.

  • He teaches bass and guitar at West Virginia State University.

  • He has formerly played with Charleston's Esquires and has played gigs with Wynton Marsalis, Doc Severinson, The Drifters, The Marvellettes, The Shirelles, and many more.

  • He has a Master's degree in music from Marshall University

  • He is the on-air talent for the West Virginia Lottery.

  • Phil also plays Christopher Payne in the movie "River of Hope" currently playing on Amazon Prime.

SHAMITA SMITH
  • Shamita Smith, a native of Dayton, OH, started singing at a young age in the church choir and continued singing throughout her high school years.

  • Shamita moved to Charleston, WV in 2000 and performed with other local bands before joining Santa Cruz. Her personality and vocal range makes her a great addition to the Santa Cruz family.