Call-Out for Musicians for Project
Are you a student musician? If so, would you like to participate in a project in September of 2020?
Craig Brenner is composing and recording original jazz, blues, and boogie woogie tunes. The recording, titled Passages, will be available in August of 2020! It features Craig on piano, Lori Brenner and Merrill Garbus on vocals, Nate Brenner and Ron Kadish on bass - with Nate also on synth and as producer of "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.
Now that the recording is complete, student musicians are being sought who want to gain experience performing original music and making videotapes of themselves playing along 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 interested in being part of this project, please click here for information and to find out how you can be involved.
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.
Arts in the Parks and Historic Sites Survey - Please complete and submit if you attend an Arts in the Parks & Historic Sites concert!
6th Annual Indy Winter Blues Fest
Craig returned to the 6th annual Indy Winter Blues Fest at Birdy's Bar & Grill, Indianapolis. Craig played solo blues and boogie woogie piano. Andra Faye & Scott Ballantine, Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel, and Dwight Edwards Band also performed.
Craig Awarded 3rd Individual Artist Grant from Indiana Arts Commission
Craig received a 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 produce the festival, which took place on Aug. 9, 2015. This activity 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 the Bloomington High School South Jazz Band and record the students' concert performance using equipment and software purchased with grant funds. The music was also made available for other school bands.
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 in New Orleans