2018 Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival

The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival - known as Bloomington Boogies - features acclaimed piano players, dancers, food and beverages. With free and ticketed performances at multiple venues and free educational components, the 2016 festival was voted one of the top 10 festivals in Indiana! 

The festival presents acclaimed piano players in ticketed and free performances and free educational programs so that young people and young pianists are exposed to world-class artists in Bloomington, Indiana.

The next festival will be Aug. 11 - 13, 2018!  Visit the festival website for more information!

3rd Annual Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival

The 3rd annual Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival was Sunday, Aug. 13 and Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, with widely acclaimed blues and boogie woogie pianists from around the world!  It was our best festival yet, according to reports from those who attended.  The festival included the following:

•    Ticketed concerts in the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center at 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Aug. 13, featuring fantastic musicians and dancers; we gave 20 tickets to Fairview Elementary students
•    Free performances on the Arts Plaza outside the Waldron, with food and beverages available from five vendors
•    Informal free performances “after hours” at Malibu Grill on the Square, hosted by Austrian pianist Katharina Alber
•    Free concerts at Fairview and Templeton Elementary Schools on Aug. 14
•    Free piano workshops after school on Aug. 14 at both Fairview and Templeton

Guest musicians in 2017 included Bob Seeley, C. J. Chenier, Rob Rio, Mitch Woods, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Josh Paxton, Bill Sims, Jr., Katharina Alber, Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues, Cassidy Gephart and more. They were tremendous! Many of them play regularly around the world, and we are thrilled to have presented them.

Photos and videos are at We are receiving feedback from those who attended at
We are now working on 2018! We received a 2018 Tourism Grant from Visit Bloomington to advertise outside Bloomington; and we received a Zone Arts Grant from the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association to help present educational activities.  We will present a diverse group of great artists in ticketed and free performances for the public and continue our free educational offerings. Sponsorship opportunities are available at

2017 Major Festival Sponsors included VisitBloomington, Ivy Tech Community College, Carmin Parker P.C., Maple Grove Farms, LP, and Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association. Festival Underwriters included Classic Touch Limousine Service, Tim and Cheri DeBruicker, Becky Hrisomalos, Robert Kissel’s Foundation, Mother Bear’s Pizza, Nick’s English Hut, Stumpner’s Building Services, Inc., The Ryder, TravelIN Magazine, Trojan Horse Restaurant & Tavern, and The Uptown Café. Additional Supporters included Bob Arnove, Dr. Steven I. Ball, Michele Brentano, Bloom Magazine, Bill C. Brown Associates, David Carter, CFC Properties, Haldan Cohn & Phyllis Lugger, Curry Auto Center, DATS on Grant, Fourwinds Lakeside Inn & Marina, Chris Gaal & Dr. Beth Florini, Griffin Realty, Ken Grooms & Zain Mackey, Val Haughton & Frank Motley, Sophia Hauserman, David Hummons, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, IU Credit Union, John & Julie Lawson, Limestone BBQ & More Catering, MainSource Bank, Malibu Grill on the Square, Ed Marshall, MeadowCreek Luxury Homes, Melody Music Shop, David & Louise Michaelis, Millican Realty, MPI Solar, Tanya Mitchell-Yeager, Newhouse Construction, Oliver Winery, Stephen Percy, Pi Kappa Alpha – Delta Delta Chapter, Kevin Robling & Jenny Stephens, Rudolph Wm. Savich Attorney at Law, Phil & Linda Stafford, Rob Stone & Karen Green Stone, Story Insights, Vance Music Center, Martha Wainscott, Marcy & Michael Wenzler, WFHB, WFIU, Mark Wiedenmayer, Gary Wittlich, World Wide Automotive Service, Rod Young, and Charlotte Zietlow.

Bloomington Boogies received a 2017 VisitBloomington Tourism Grant and a Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association Zone Arts Grant.

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 funds performances in 2019, at which Craig will explore the jazzy side of blues, boogie woogie and other music, focusing on Indiana composers and musicians. Craig will bring percussion instruments and invite attendees to play along at each location. Performances will include Craig and members of Craig & The Crawdads. These activities are supported by the Indiana Arts Commission and National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For dates and times, see the calendar.

The Indiana Arts Commission is providing funding for many activities at Indiana's State Parks and Historic Sites in 2019.  Craig also received grants in 2016, 2017, and 2018. See all 2018 Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites activities.

If you attend 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. 

Click here to see additional photos on the Media page.

Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites Survey - Please complete and submit if you attend an Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites concert!

Bloomington Boogies 2016 Voted into Top 10 Festivals in Indiana!

Bloomington Boogies: The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival, the annual festival in Bloomington, IN, featuring outstanding blues and boogie woogie piano players, dancers, food and beverages, takes place at several venues and has multiple educational components. The first festival, held in August, 2015, featured Bob Seeley, Marcia Ball, Carl Sonny Leyland, Sunpie Barnes, Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues, and Craig, a rhythm section and professional swing dancers. See photos and videos from the first Bloomington Boogies.  

The second festival, Aug. 14 & 15, 2016, featured Seeley, Barnes, Brenner, Henry Butler, Bill Sims, Jr., Mr. B, Cynthia Girtley, Ricky Nye and others, with ticketed performances on Aug. 14 at the Ivy Tech Waldron Arts Center and informal performances that evening - "Bloomington Boogies After Hours" - at Malibu Grill on the Square and GRAZIE! Italiano, concluding Aug. 15 with a concert attended by 550 students, faculty and staff at Templeton Elementary and a free piano workshop. 

Go to the festival website for photos, videos and more!  

Bloomington Boogies 2016 was voted one of the top 10 festivals in Indiana!  

6th Annual Indy Winter Blues Fest

Craig returned to the 6th annual Indy Winter Blues Fest on Feb. 12, 2016, at Birdy's Bar & Grill, Indianapolis, IN. Craig played solo blues and boogie woogie piano. Andra Faye & Scott Ballantine, Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel, and Dwight Edwards Band also performed.  

More information about the Indy Winter Blues Fest on Facebook.

Craig Awarded 3rd Individual Artist Grant from Indiana Arts Commission

Craig received his third Individual Artist Program (IAP) grant from the Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) for fiscal year 2016 for his project, "Bloomington Boogies: The Bloomington Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano Festival." The grant helped Craig to produce the festival, which took place on Aug. 9, 2015. This activity was made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.  Read about all the individual artists and projects receiving FY 2016 IAP grants. 

Craig received his second IAP grant for fiscal year 2012 for his project, "High School Jazz Musicians Pay Tribute to New Orleans, the Birthplace of Jazz."  The grant enabled him to arrange his composition "Homage to New Orleans" for performance by students in Bloomington High School South's Jazz Band, and record the students' concert performance of the piece using equipment and software purchased with grant funds. The music was also made available for other school bands.

BHSS Band Director Robert Dubinski directed the performance by the BHSS Jazz Band in Carmichael Auditorium at Bloomington High School South.  Scroll down to view photos of the band rehearsing and performing "Homage to New Orleans."  Watch a video of the performance.  You can also watch a video with introductory comments by Band Director Robert Dubinsky.

This activity was made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Craig Plays "Piano Hour" at Old U.S. Mint

Craig explored the jazzy side of blues and boogie woogie on April 20, 2016, at the Old U.S. Mint in New Orleans, in a concert presented by the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. Craig's performances there in 2012 and 2013 were recorded by engineer Danny Kadar and are available on the CD Live At The Old Mint: Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano, with "Uganda" Roberts on congas and Lori Brenner on rubboard.  Roberts, a native of New Orleans, has performed and recorded with many New Orleans greats, including Professor Longhair, Dr. John, the Meters, the Wild Magnolias, Willie Tee, John Mooney, and others. In 2005 he received the Sidney Bechet Award for Innovation presented by the New Orleans International Music Colloquium. Lori is lead vocalist on Live to Love by Craig Brenner & The Crawdads, and also plays accordion and percussion with the band and in a duo with Craig. 

Read a review of Live At The Old Mint: Blues & Boogie Woogie Piano written by Rex Bartholomew in the July 27, 2014 issues of Blues Blast.

Craig and Uganda Roberts at the Old U.S. Mint.
             Lori and Uganda rehearse for a performance at the Jazz National Park.

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Bloomington High School South Jazz Band