Founder & Director
Brandon Cruz has been involved in a variety of musical settings. As a classical percussionist, he has performed with the New World Symphony, Miami Symphony Orchestra, Miami Master Chorale, Civic Symphony Orchestra of Boston, and in 2011 he was timpanist of the Fundacion Sinfonica Orchestra in Santo Domingo for their biannual National Festival of the Arts. He was also timpanist and Latin percussionist for the World Champion Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps in 1995 and 1997. Mr. Cruz has also performed for over a dozen musicals including productions of “Cabaret”, “Leader of the Pack”, & “Anything Goes” among many others and has performed in the “Show Band” on multiple ships for Norweigian Cruise Lines.
As a jazz musician, Brandon has performed with several groups including the big bands of Sam Lussier and Barry Mann, the FIU Jazz Lab Band, and NEC Jazz Orchestra. He has shared the stage with Peter Cetera, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Bob Moses, and Dave Liebman. He was a member of the organ trio Big Fun 3. Their debut album was released in April, 2010 on the Ropeadope record label. They performed throughout South Florida as well as on WDNA and were featured on WLRN. For 21 years, Mr. Cruz regularly performed at private functions and corporate events through music entertainment companies. These companies included Suman Entertainment Group, Shajar Music Inc, and Music by Varon. In addition to a wide spectrum of performance experiences, Mr. Cruz has always been actively involved as a writer, arranger, and educator. He has written percussion music and arranged for several Miami-area high schools. Over the past 18 years he has directed several Miami-based percussion programs and has regularly performed clinics, set up workshops, and consulted area schools throughout. Since 2008 Mr. Cruz has also been an adjudicator for the Florida Bandmasters Association.
From 2010-2014, Mr. Cruz joined the faculty of his alma mater, Florida International University, as Director of Marching Percussion and was hired as Percussion Coordinator for the 2011 and 2012 Orange Bowl as well as the 2013 BCS Championship game.
During his summers, Mr. Cruz served as music director for the Broward Arts Camp from 2004 through 2008, where he fully developed, programmed, and prepared young musicians of all ages and levels for performances at the end of each camp session. Based on that experience, he decided to create the South Florida Rhythm Music Camp in the summer of 2010. In 2011, the camp transformed into the 2011 Summer Workshop Series with five high school programs taking part. From 2013-2015, Mr. Cruz was a guest clinician at the Treasure Coast Percussion Camp in Vero Beach, FL.
In addition to these activities, the focus for Mr. Cruz is the South Florida Center for Percussive Arts, which he founded in 2013 and currently directs. Through a vast array of educational, outreach, and technical services, the SFCPA is dedicated to creating new and enhancing existing opportunities to study, perform, and enjoy music through percussion.
Mr. Cruz received his Bachelor's Degree in Classical Performance from Florida International University in April 2000. He earned his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from the New England Conservatory of Music in May 2003. He is currently endorsed by Vic Firth, Remo, Zildjian, Grover, Dynasty, and Mapex.