About 300 people attended the ‘Coming Home’ concert Saturday featuring David B. Hooten and Edgar Cruz at the Simmons Center.
This is not the first time for the pair to perform together on that stage. Hooten and Cruz have performed hundreds of times over the last 22 years, many of those at Mama Lucia’s restaurant in Oklahoma City after Hooten bought the place from his mother, so she could retire.
The Thursday night concerts became so successful at packing in the house for two shows that eventually it outgrew itself and they had to stop offering them. With the birth of Hooten’s second child, he and his wife, Whitney, chose to close the restaurant so he could focus on family and concerts. But that hasn’t stopped the two artists from finding ways to perform together.
A polished trumpeter, playing since he was about 9 years old, and Cruz, a classical guitarist not limited to one style of music, the two blend their talents and personality into a full-fledged show of about two hours.
Hooten said he wanted to provide a show after Duncan received so much negativity in the media — national and internationally — with the intent of dispelling that unddeserved reputation.
“That is not the Duncan I grew up in,” he said Saturday. “Duncan is a success story like none other.”
Hooten is example of his own statement. He’s played for a president of the United States, the Pope and in many prestigious venues.
Cruz, while he isn’t from Duncan, is an Oklahoman and has performed in Duncan before — as a solo artist — and with Hooten.
Both men were glad to return to Duncan Saturday for the concert. They were introduced by Duncan’s Jeremy Gossett. The concert will be featured on National Public Radio. They hope that people who listen to the radio presentation will hear them talk about how great Duncan is, all with the intent of rebuilding the growing city’s reputation.
Hooten said he was amazed at the growth of Duncan.
The concert was made possible by Hooten’s lifelong and childhood friend, Jimmy Tilley and his wife, Kimberly, who own Tilley Trucking. Other sponsors included Bank of Commerce, Ace Hardware and Homeland, Hooten said.
Editor's note: Oct. 24. This version has been corrected to reflect the age that Hooten began playing trumpet.