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HPR’s Latin Beat Concludes on July 30

Ray Cruz Host of Latin Beat on HPR-1
Ray Cruz, host of Latin Beat

HPR bids a fond “adiós” to Latin Beat, the show that brought the rhythms of salsa, classic salsa, and Latin jazz to listeners across the state and beyond. Host Ray Cruz has decided to step away from the microphone after more than 30 years on HPR’s airwaves. The program, which airs Fridays from 8-10 pm on HPR-1, ends on July 30.

"Three decades is a long time, and a great run for radio,” said Ray Cruz. “I wanted to make sure the quality and creativity of the show remained intact, and leave on a high note.”

Cruz, who grew up in New York City, showed an early interest in radio. As a child, his mother gave him a reel to reel recorder, into which he would emulate his favorite radio DJs and then listen back to the recordings.

Cruz became a volunteer host at HPR in 1990, during which time he also worked full time as a flight attendant for United Airlines. He was hired on to the station’s staff in 2006 as a Board Operator, and served in a variety of roles supporting station operations. Cruz will continue to serve in his role as Manager of Operations for the station, where he oversees programming traffic, leads the station’s team of Board Operators, and provides voice talent for station promotions.

Starting August 6, the 8-10 pm time slot will feature World Cafe, a live performance and interview program featuring music and conversation from essential and emerging artists. It is produced by WXPN in Philadelphia.

Ray Cruz sat down with The Conversation to reflect on his last 30 years as host of Latin Beat.

Ray Cruz on HPR's The Conversation on July 26, 2021