Pediatrics financial assistant moonlights as a musician

Tamara Vineberg - 26 May 2021

jori-de-la-cruz2-1920x1080.jpgJori de la Cruz is a financial assistant for education in the Department of Pediatrics. We discovered he has a passion for music and wanted to find out more.

Why do you love working in the Department of Pediatrics?

I love the team that I work with! We’re a tight-knit group that I have gotten pretty close to over the time that I’ve worked here. But to be honest, how can you not love working for the Department of Pediatrics?! Everyone I’ve met is so kind, albeit only being at the actual office for just under a year. A lot of my time is communicating with students about their funds, so a shout out to all of you for being easy to work with.

We heard you have a love of music. How did this start and where has it taken you?

I’m an accountant by day and a musician by night. It really got started in my junior high years, when I got my first Green Day CD and took up drum classes for about three years. My brother HATED when I got a drum set for Christmas and couldn’t fit it anywhere else in the house except beside his bedroom.

Since then, music has always played an important role in my life. I love watching live shows around Edmonton, and have even left the province just to see some great rock n’ roll. Since COVID-19 though, I’ve had to make do with watching live show recordings on YouTube.

I’ve even been a part of some bands of my own!

How did you become involved with a band?

I played the drums (mostly just casually jamming with friends in my parents’ basement) for most of my adult life, but I’ve since taken up self-learning the electric guitar in order to facilitate playing music in an apartment, and made a small time band in early 2019 with my good friend, Raymar Yu, who sings and plays guitar for the band. Recently we picked up a drummer, Miguel Soco, from a friend of a friend. We are Casper Day! We’ve made several songs together, and even home-recorded/released a few that you can find on Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you like to find music. Give it a listen!

What type of music do you play and why?

Based on our releases, it’s mostly easy-going alt rock that’s not very complex. However, we’ve come a long way since recording those songs and I hope our future releases will be even better. Look out for us in July/August if you’re interested. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, we held back to only sending each other samples of song ideas and trying to compose a full song out of them. Here’s to hoping we can meet again soon and play some live shows!

Where have you performed?

Years ago I performed along with my high school band at schools for talent shows, played for local “Battle of the Bands'' contests, and even at West Edmonton Mall! With Casper Day, we’ve only performed at the Mercury Room on 114 Street, along with some house gatherings for friends and family. Most recently, we took part in a virtual festival back in April, called 2Seater, organized by some other talented Edmonton musicians.

We also heard you love the outdoors. What types of outdoor activities are you involved with?

I love being outside! Winter running is something I never thought I’d get into - but it’s refreshing, getting that cool air in your system while exercising. It’s training for hiking in the mountains during spring and summer. Fingers crossed, I’m hoping to do my first multi-day hike this summer.

I also like to snowboard in the Rockies a few times a year and bike around the city when I can. I’ve been in the market for a new mountain bike, but everyone in Canada has had the same idea as me, and snatched up all the affordable bikes.

How else have you been keeping busy?

Aside from being outside, I’ve been occupying my time by reading Harry Potter for the first time (I’m on Half-Blood Prince), competing with my girlfriend on Duolingo to learn Katakana, and taking care of our tortoise, Rocky - the winner of the highly competitive Pediatrics Winter Celebration pet contest.

Listen to a Casper Day song