Hawaii musician invited to inauguration

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - With President-Elect Barack Obama's inauguration just day's away, one local singer songwriter is packing up his slippers to perform at the historical event. Grammy award winning musician John Cruz plays his acoustic guitar at the beach. Its the warmth before the cold. Tomorrow he makes his return to the nation's capitol after 25 years to play at President-Elect Barack Obama's inauguration.

"You can still wear the slippers but you have to wear socks," Cruz said.

Both of John Cruz's albums are winners of contemporary Hawaiian music's top honor, album of the year. "It feels great whenever people connect with the music it's a blessing always," Cruz said.

When the President-Elect started campaigning, Cruz wanted to get involved. "When he was doing his campaigning here the first time I had a chance to I went and volunteered to play," he said.

He and his east coast friends thought of a song they wrote 20 years ago. "It did spark the interest in connecting with Obama and what his message is, the song is called We The People," he said.

Cruz says you'd be surprised how many people on the east coast have ties to Hawaii. "They come out, they come out of the woodwork they throw on their best pair of slippers and they come out," he said.

Cruz will be packing his slippers and wearing them with socks in the nation's capitol. After the inauguration festivities Cruz will do a small tour of the northeast before returning home to Hawaii.