"The cream always rises to the top. So it follows that guitarist Craig Brann would then be the crème de la crème and has firmly established his place at the table of NYC jazz cats." - Mark Corroto (All About Jazz)
During the mid-nineties, Brann came to the NYC-area from rural Maine to attend William Paterson University's jazz program under the artistic direction of Rufus Reid, James Williams and other masters and later graduated from the University of Maine at Augusta. He has studied with many wonderful educators including John Foss, David Demsey, Tony Gaboury, Bob Thompson, Steve Grover, Richard Nelson, Paul Meyers, James Weidman, Rich Derosa, and Don Braden, however, his education was not limited to formal environments.
At the same time, Smalls Jazz Club was in its nascent boom of a creative community. With weekly residencies by Kurt Rosenwinkel, Sam Yahel, Josh Redman, Brian Blade, Chris Potter, Omer Avital, Avishai Cohen, etc. — including late-night jam sessions hosted by Sasha Perry with guests like Roy Hargrove—Smalls provided Brann a whole 'nother world of learning. Later, these same luminaries—Mark Turner, Greg Tardy, Joel Weiskopf, and Matt Wilson—would join him on the bandstand and on various recordings.
Since his arrival in NYC, guitarist Craig Brann has quietly and steadily established himself as one of the elite players of his generation. Now Brann has residencies and regular performances throughout NYC (Smalls, Bar Next Door, Tomi Jazz, Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola @ Jazz at Lincoln Center, etc). The band may include the mentors above or other seasoned greats such as Seamus Blake, Donny McAslin, Rudy Royston, his fellow WPU alums Nick Morrison, Freddie Hendrix, Ethan Herr, Sam Barsh, and Johnathan Blake, or rising stars like John Raymond or Sanah "Hawk Eyes" Kadoura.
Brann lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Rebeccah Hope, and their four children: Tehilah ('07), Irving ('09), Verdinah, ('13), and Dorothy ('15). He has recorded 5 albums for SteepleChase: Advent(ure) ('12), Mark My Words ('14), Conversation Between Brothers ('16), Lineage ('18), and The Twelve ('19).