About Santiago Delacruz

Denver-based pianist, Santiago Delacruz, creates a signature sound that weaves the sweeping romanticism of classical music with the song-like melodies of popular music and movie musicals. Hints of jazz and other musical influences spice the mix for an irresistible and surprising experience. Each of his compositions is moving in some way—Delacruz doesn’t shy away from emotional moments in his music, insisting these are the stories that stick with us. This creative premise of telling stories through music is explored brilliantly on his debut recording Lost in Longing. On the album, Delacruz whisks us away, piece by piece, on an emotional narrative that, somehow, we all share.

Santiago began his own musical journey on the piano working out favorite movie themes, like Star Wars, and songs on the radio by ear as a youth. This was the gateway for improvisation and he later used the skills to play music for his church, backing up the choir and acting as unofficial “in-house” musical director as an elementary school student. Later, he took up piano lessons from Mrs. Jones, a beloved member of Delacruz’ hometown, who (in addition to making fresh doughnuts for all her students and their families) encouraged practicing by ear in addition to traditional sheet music. To this day, Santiago composes music by improvisation: playing different melodies over chords until the song feels right.

Santiago’s music has been described as poignant, heartfelt and cathartic; it is no accident, therefore, that he credits Debussy as his favorite composer, whose work brims with unforgettable melodies and clear human emotion. “Music helps us make sense of our feelings, through hard times or joy, and also helps us express those feelings,” says Delacruz. In many of the pieces on his debut album, one emotion dissolves into another as time progresses, just as in life, and, just as in life, many emotions often compete for rule.

Delacruz’ music feels both present and particular, not an imitation of music of the past but rather an exploration of the relevance of this type of music today. It is bristling with syncopated rhythms and flavored with the occasional—and always surprising and delightful—jazz chord voicing.

Take a listen to his song, Now You Can Fly, which, though it begins with a melancholy introduction evoking a scene from a lonely bar, is actually a Waltz—but not Beethoven’s Waltz!

Starting with the single, Your Broken Heart Awakens, available now, and later with his debut album, Lost in Longing, due out July 1st, 2022, Santiago is hard at work composing songs for his next album.