The Man Who Played Violin at the Corner of Woodridge and I-45 South Has Passed

Violin Man Don Luis Cruz at Woodbridge and I-45, Gulfgate, Houston

Don Luis Cruz, also known as the octogenarian violinist often found trilling and harmonizing with Gulfgate traffic, passed away yesterday at Pasadena’s Bayshore Medical Center, having reached the age of 90. He was a daily fixture at the intersection of Woodridge Dr. and the Gulf Fwy. feeder road until the summer of 2012, when he was beaten by a man in a wheelchair over the money in Cruz’s violin case. “Over the years,” writes the Chronicle‘s Craig Hlavaty, “crooks targeted The Violin Man for his tip money, bike, moped and even his amp. After each incident, however, Cruz would ignore his family’s pleas and head back out to his corner.” This video feature on Cruz’s string habit aired on Telemundo in 2011:


Video and still: Telemundo Houston

11 Comment

  • Not a huge deal but no mention made that this man was also breaking the law by being out there on that median. This guy becomes a celebrated local character but that intersection at Woodridge is usually close to full of various other people who occupy the medians and corners and wade into traffic etc. and HPD isn’t interested in doing anything. However if a few people were out there with signs saying Sept 11th 2001 was an inside job they’d be told quickly to leave, I’m sure.

  • I thought I saw him over there during the holidays but guess not. He seemed like a happy person, in spite of his hardships.

    His family must have many good memories to get them through this time.

  • RIP Baby!! You brought joy to a lot of people!!

  • Sounds like he brought sunshine to a lot of people.

  • RIP Don Luis Cruz. You brought such a pleasant human touch to a mote of utilitarian blight.

  • long live Don Luis… and all median dwellers.

  • Sadly the two ends of the spectrum displayed at once. The talented character who makes you want to open up your wallet, then you have the man in the wheelchair who beat him down that reminds you why you dont give your money to people on the street.

  • You got it Rex.
    My wife and I enjoyed seeing him out there. He always had a smile, and just seemed happy to be here sharing his talent with whoever cared to listen. (This was the one guy you hoped you had a red light for). Glad to finally know his story, but a shame we have lost him, and that he was accosted by others during his time with us. Thanks for the smile, song, and friendly wave as we hurried too much along our way Mr. Cruz.

  • How do you get beat down by someone in a wheelchair?

  • No one gets out of Bayshore alive. Poor guy!

  • RIP Abuelo Luis. One thing he taught my dad was to help others when you can and not to expect nothing back. He was truly one of a kind.