New Recording: Passages
Passages consists of eight original tunes in different styles, played by a stellar crew: Craig on piano; Lori Brenner and Merrill Garbus on vocals (Merrill appears courtesy of 4AD); Nate Brenner and Ron Kadish on bass - with Nate also on synth and producing "Looking for a Job"; Dena El Saffar on violin and viola; Dan Hostetler and Tim Brookshire on drums; Mike Baker and Gordon Bonham on guitar; Joe Donnelly and Jake Belser on sax; Kyle Quass on trumpet; and Dave Pavolka on trombone. Dave Weber recorded and mixed at Airtime Studios in Bloomington.
The album is full of multiple emotions, and includes playful and uplifting jazz and boogie woogie ("Tut's Boogie Woogie," "Paradiddle Boogie Woogie," "Spring Is Near"), sultry blues ("Some Sexy Blues for Ya Right Here, Y'all"), introspective jazz piano ("Life Is Precious"), reflections on life and death ("No One Should Die Alone," "For My Brother"), and a contemporary remix by Nate of a 2009 recording by Craig & The Crawdads ("Looking for a Job").
Click to read an article by Connie Shakalis published in the August 23, 2020 Bloomington Herald-Times.
Student Musicians Participate in Project
Students musicians have responded to the call-out for participants in the IAP grant project! Scroll down for responses to the original post calling for student musicians; the original post said the following:
"Are you a student musician? Would you like to participate in a project in September of 2020? Craig finished composing and recording original jazz, blues, and boogie woogie tunes - there's even a one-movement composition arranged for string quartet. The entire recording, titled Passages, is now available! Scroll down for information about the recording.
Now that the recording is complete, student musicians are needed who want to gain experience playing original music and making videotapes of themselves playing with the recordings for the public to view online. This could be you!
This activity is made possible in part by the Indiana Arts Commission, which receives support from the State of Indiana and the National Endowment for the Arts. Read the complete listing of 56 Hoosier artists receiving 2020 individual grant awards.
If YOU are a student interested in this project, please click here for information and to find out how you can be involved."
Click here to read an article by Connie Shakalis in the Aug. 23, 2020 Bloomington Herald-Times about the project and album.
Student musicians received recordings and charts for the music Craig composed and recorded on Passages. Watch some videos they made and/or listen to them performing. Also listen to the music as recorded on Passages.
- Anna W. plays first violin along with the recording of "For My Brother" as recorded on Passages
- Dena El Saffar leads a seven-person group playing "For My Brother"
- Another video of Dena El Saffar leading a seven-person group playing "For My Brother" as filmed by Eliot, age 8
- Listen to "For My Brother" as recorded on Passages
- Elvin D. plays "Spring Is Near"
- Listen to "Spring Is Near" as recorded on Passages
- Elvin D. plays "Some Sexy Blues for Ya Right Here, Y'all"
- Gabriel N. plays "Some Sexy Blues for Ya Right Here, Y'all"
- Listen to "Some Sexy Blues for Ya Right Here, Y'all" as recorded on Passages
- Elvin D. plays "Tut's Boogie Woogie"
- Listen to "Tut's Boogie Woogie" as recorded on Passages
- Elvin D. plays "Paradiddle Boogie Woogie"
- More student videos to come:
- Jackson Creek Middle School Choir sings "No One Should Die Alone"
- Listen to "No One Should Die Alone" as recorded on Passages
2020 Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival - Canceled
The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival - known as Bloomington Boogies - features acclaimed piano players, dancers, and refreshments. With free and ticketed performances at multiple venues and free educational components, the festival has been voted one of the top 10 festivals in Indiana!
The mission of Boomington Boogies is to present world-class pianists and other musical artists in ticketed and free performances in Bloomington, Indiana, and to introduce young people to the artists and to various musical styles through free educational programs.
The 2020 festival, scheduled for Aug. 7, 8, and 9, has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to go to the festival website.
2019 Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival
The 2019 Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival featured acclaimed musicians performing at multiple venues and free workshops and master classes.
The next festival is in August of 2020, with three days of free and ticketed events, beginning on Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 9. Visit the festival website for more information!
Craig Awarded "Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites" Grant
Craig received a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission for Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2019, for the project, "Craig Presents Music in Indiana State Parks and Historic Sites". The grant funded four performances in state parks during which Craig explored the jazzy side of blues, boogie woogie and other music, focusing on Indiana composers and musicians. Craig brought percussion instruments and invited attendees to play along at each location. Performances included Craig and members of Craig & The Crawdads. The activities were supported by the Indiana Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
The Indiana Arts Commission provided funding for many activities at Indiana's State Parks and Historic Sites in 2019. See all 2019 Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites grants to individual artists. Craig also received grants in 2016, 2017, and 2018. See all 2018 Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites activities.
If you attended any of Craig's "Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites" concerts, scroll down to the "Arts in the Park and Historic Sites Survey Form" below and submit your comments and suggestions!
Photo at left is from the 2018 performance at Clifty Falls State Park
Photos immediately below are from 2017 grant-funded performances at Brown County (left) and Clifty Falls State Parks
Photos below are from 2016 Arts in the Parks performances at Paynetown at Monroe Lake.