British Jazz Pianist of the Year 2010
Craig was born in Bexley, Kent and took piano lessons from the ages of 7 -12, but has no formal jazz training. Craig’s main influences are Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans and his jazz interest was spawned by his fathers record collection, initially the Boogie Woogie pianists and then Oscar and Ella. Craig began performing in public as young as 10 years of age, but it was not until he was 21 that he turned professional.
In 1989, he played a months residency in Zurich with jazz trombonist Roger Mark’s Quintet. From 1992 to 1995, he was with the Pete Allen Jazz Band and toured regularly across Europe and the UK, performing at the top jazz festivals and venues. He played regularly on the BBC Jazz Notes programme. In 1994 he toured across California, including performances at the Sacramento Jazz Festival. From 1995 -1998, Craig was part of Terry Lightfoot’s Jazz Band. Regular UK and European tours followed. He also toured twice across the Middle East and played two broadcasts for ‘Jazz Notes’.
In 1997, he joined Digby Fairweather’s eclectic group Dig’s Half Dozen, and has performed regularly at London’s Pizza on the Park. A CD ’12 Feet off the Ground’ was released in 1999 on Flat Five Records. He appeared twice as one of the ‘Kings of Jazz’ on the Oriana cruise ship in 1998 and 1999. He also played as one of the ‘Pizza Express International Band’ on a two week residency in Istanbul in 1999.
The year 2000 saw Craig and clarinettist Julian Stringle perform the first ever jazz concert in Albania in a marble pyramid! The years 2000-2001 saw Craig performing regularly with the Post Office sponsored group ‘First Class Sounds’ including a CD ‘Making Tracks’. 2002 highlights included a three week jazz cruise in the Caribbean with Digby Fairweather and Jack Parnell, and an extended feature and front cover in May’s edition of Jazz Journal International. Craig continues to work in a variety of settings. He is a member of Digby Fairweather’s Half Dozen (2 time winner of the British Jazz Award for best small Group 2005, 2006) and from 2002-2007 was the backing unit for the late George Melly, recording 3 acclaimed CD’s and including 4 month long residencies at Ronnie Scotts. The year 2003 saw him on the front cover of Jazz Journal International with a feature article and his CD ‘It’s a Jazz Life’ was CD of the month in The Observer.
In 2005 his trio CD ‘Three Flow’ was reviewed by Richard Palmer (Biographer for Oscar Peterson’s ‘A Jazz Odyssey’) and was his choice for CD of the year for Jazz Journal International. The CD was launched at The Pizza Express, Dean St., London to much praise. For 4 years from 2003-2007 he organised his own Jazz Festival, The Hayne Barton Jazz Festival, where he featured the cream of British Jazz Talent from across the entire jazz spectrum including support for artistes from the Southwest.
2007 saw Craig team up alongside Digby Fairweather and Paul Jones (Manfred Mann, The Blues Band) in a new show ‘The Sounds Of Jazz’. He was also involved in a new show ‘Jazz Goes To The Movies’ with Digby Fairweather and award winning vocalist Val Wiseman. 2008 saw Craig as busy as ever. In February he performed in New York with saxophonist Carol Sudhalter and was asked to play the same week at the birthplace of modern jazz, Mintons Playhouse in Harlem. Craig continues to perform in a host of musical situations.
As well as being involved with Digby Fairweather’s projects, he has many of his own groups. His show ‘A Tribute To Oscar Peterson’ with his Quartet paying homage to Craig’s greatest inspiration (CD’ Live At The Lights’).
“Britain’s nearest to Oscar Peterson and the best to come along in the last 20 years” Digby Fairweather
“A master of whatever he chooses to perform, a truly great British Trio” Humphrey Lyttleton
“An extravagantly gifted pianist with an unrivalled swing” Dave Gelly, The Observer
“A hard swinging pianist whose chops certainly bring to mind, the great Oscar Peterson” Cadence Magazine, USA
“Surely one of the most gifted British pianists with technique and Imagination in abundance” Le Jazz Hot, France
“World class solos… such a gifted all rounder should be cherished by the entire jazz fraternity” Jazz Journal
Craig Milverton is one of Britain’s finest Jazz Pianists and this was recognised in 2010 by winning Best Jazz Pianist in the British Jazz Awards and 12 Awards with Digby Fairweather and his Half Dozen in the Best Small Group Category. Also 5 Awards for Best Recording in The Small Group Category.
The Jazz Rag Winter 2010
London Jazz News Review of Tricotism
“No shame here. And no pretence. The inspiration for Nostalgia is announced upfront: a celebration of Oscar Peterson’s fearsome mid-20th century trio with Joe Pass and Ray Brown, a peerless combination of supernatural chops, irrepressible joie-de-vivre, mercurial reactions and precision interplay.” Read the full review here.
To purchase Tricotism as a CD or digitally, see the links on this website.
Review of Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now
CD with Craig Milverton and Bruce Adams. Read the full review here.