For over 29 years Ruben De La Cruz has been bringing his “alegre” style of Conjunto music to the people and I am honored to share just a brief backstory on him and his band.
De La Cruz was born in Joliet, Illinois but raised in Elsa, Texas working alongside his father as field farm workers, and at just 8 years old he began playing the accordion.
Together with his father David De La Cruz Sr., Ruben was making appearances at local bars and restaurants showing off his unique ability to exactly mimic the late great Ruben Vela.
He started gaining popularity in other states such as Michigan, Florida, and California and in 1990 Ruben De La Cruz Y Su Conjunto was born. The talented musician also plays the bajo, bass, drums, and keyboard but the accordion is where his bright talent shines the greatest.
His backline has changed since the band’s inception and now the band currently is made up of some fantastic musicians, who are extremely experienced and also very talented in their own craft. Playing bajo is Frank “Panchito” Hernandez of San Benito, Texas, who has been a longtime friend and longest bandmate of De La Cruz.
Hernandez is also the second vocalist and has composed countless original songs such as “Agua de Fruta”, “Es mejor decir adios”, and “Negro Corazon”.
Felix Aleman is the bass player from Edinburg, Texas. He joined a few years ago and is also another very talented and experienced musician who has played with the likes of Ruben Vela, the late Gilberto Garcia, Sr., as well as his son Gilbero Garcia, Jr., Ricardo Guzman Sr., Ruben Garza and has also collaborated on album “Caliente Como el Sol”.
Mike Vallejo, a member since 1996, was the drummer but has moved to the MC position and sits in on drums occasionally, he was also awarded 2015 Drummer of the Year by the South Texas Conjunto Association. Their current drummer since 2017 is Joey Anzaldua from Brownsville, Texas.
Road crew and sound engineer include Ruben’s son Ruben De La Cruz Jr., and Rafael “Cookie” Luna of Harlingen, Texas, making sure the sound is on point and all the members are set.
Ruben De La Cruz has released over 16 albums with labels such as Hacienda Records, C.C. Discos, Ro Records, and many more. He has also collaborated with many different artists on their albums such as Ruben Vela, Elida Reyna, Flavio Longoria, Ricky Guzman, and many more.
Awards include a vast variety of “Single of the Year”, “Accordion Player of the Year”, “Conjunto of the Year”, by the STCA, the Freddy Gomez Ambassador award and many more that Ruben De La Cruz is very proud of. Ruben’s father, David De La Cruz, was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.
The ability, talent, and determination have got this group of men where they are today. Each member is an integral part of the team. Their music is uplifting and “alegre”, without seeing them and just listening, I can instantly tell the distinct style and know instantly who is playing.
Ruben married his longtime love Maribel De La Cruz in 1991 and they have four daughters and one son. Maribel is not only Ruben’s wife but also serves as the booking manager, business partner, merchandiser, and clothes coordinator.
Ruben De La Cruz fans can catch the group live at the 38th Annual Tejano Conjunto Festival in San Antonio at Rosedale Park on Sunday, May 19. As for other upcoming performances you can go to their official Facebook page (Ruben De La Cruz Y Su Conjunto) and get up to date info on events, merchandise, and booking info.
Ruben would like all his family, fans and friends to know he thanks them for their continued support of their music and they are anxious for the release of their 17th recorded album with Hacienda International Records.
The single off the new album “Me Enamore Otra Vez” is already a hit. Ruben thanks all their supporters, KEDA radio, Street Talk Magazine, Tejano Nation and his great band members and especially his family for everything they have done to support him and the band.
Lastly on a personal note, I cannot say enough how great this band is. The entire unit works seamlessly together to bring their very best to each and every performance, they have a huge fan base and most of all from the tiniest detail they make sure that you “the fan” enjoys every minute of their show.
To book RDLCYSC you can call Ruben (956) 246-8057 or Maribel (956) 472-7321.
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