Vince Tuzzi has lived many lives.
He’s popular around the holidays in his longtime role as a local Santa. He used to own a hot dog stand on the wharf. And as a founder of the Ukulele Club, he’s made Santa Cruz a mini-mecca for the instrument.
“I’ve been playing ukulele since way before it was cool,” Tuzzi says.
The Ukulele Club led him to his band, Cruz Control, which started in 2010 when he and fellow band members Stan Parola and Gary Cunningham met there and started jamming.
“Everybody always said, ‘It sounds like you guys have been playing together forever.’ But we’re all retired. We all came from the ’60s and the same kind of music,” Tuzzi says.
Tuzzi has been playing music for 50 years (he started playing the ukulele 25 years ago), but there’s something special for him about Cruz Control. The band does covers and plays a diverse list of songs that is generally inspired by reminiscing on the music members grew up loving.
They have a pool of over 400 songs loaded onto their iPad. All they need to do on a given night is pull the sheet music up on the screen, and away they go.
“It’s a pretty special set up between the three of us. We play everything from Sir Douglas Quintet’s ‘She’s a Mover’ to Boz Scaggs ‘Fly Like a Bird,’” Tuzzi says. “That’s a pretty wide array of things you’d want to hear. Basically, it’s Americana.”
INFO: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 20. Michael’s on Main, 2591 Main St., Soquel. $10. 479-9777.