Cruz Contreras’ music career started early in Nashville, Tennessee and by the end of his college career at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, he had co-founded Robinella and the CC Stringband. The “CC” part of the stringband, Contreras played mandolin and co-authored several songs from their four studio albums. The first two records were independent. Then in 2003, Contreras, along with Grammy Award winning producer Russ Titleman, co-produced their third and self-titled album with Columbia Records for their major label debut. Their fourth album, “Solace For The Lonely” was signed by DualTone Records and released in 2005.
Contreras began singing, and in 2007, started what would become a fast and furious 12 years with his own band, The Black Lillies. From 2009 to 2019, The Black Lillies put out five records, toured nationwide and across Europe, performed at the Grand Ole Opry 40 times, and his independent records topped both Americana Album and Radio Charts. Contreras and his band played countless festivals including Bonnaroo, Jazz Fest, Picathon, DelFest, Floyd Fest, High Sierra, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Red Ants Pants, CMA Fest, Stagecoach, Mile Zero Fest, and more!
The end of 2019 brought the beginning of Cruz Contreras’ solo career. Unintentionally, but cosmically timed, this coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic which shut down the music industry as we all knew it. Throughout 2020, Contreras continued touring; rather than festival stages, he played socially-distanced yard parties and outdoor venues. Contreras will continue to establish his music under his own name. His debut solo album, ‘Cosmico’, is a testament to all Contreras has experienced as a lifelong musician and the caliber of his songwriting and musicality.