From performing Rhapsody in Blue for two guitars as a featured soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under conductor Erick Kunzel, to touring and recording with platinum-selling rock band Days of the New, Craig Wagner is recognized as one of the most versatile guitarists on the scene today.
Craig’s recording career includes three albums with the Java Men, a quartet he has been involved with for over ten years. Letter to St. Paul (1994), Void (1999) and Orbituary (2000) have been heard on many college and NPR stations throughout the country. Craig’s previous solo album, Color of a Mirror, was released in 2000.
As a member of Java Men, he has played at venues as large as Lollapolooza, as intimate as the Knitting Factory, and as sprawling as the New Orleans Jazz Festival. They’ve shared the bill with Victor Wooten, the Charlie Hunter Trio, the Brian Setzer Orchestra and David Byrne.
Craig’s own work has been featured in publications such as Guitar Player, Guitar One, Acoustic Guitar, Just Jazz Guitar, 20th Centry Guitar, Vintage Guitar, Keyboard Magazine, The Village Voice, Cadence and Spin.
You could also find Craig as a featured performer at the Chet Atkins’ Society Guitar Festival in Nashville or at the Great American Guitar Show in New York, sharing the stage with guitarists Jimmy Bruno, Howard Alden, Jack Wilkins, Paul Bollenback, Ron Affif, Russell Malone and Gene Bertoncini. Mel Bay’s Master Anthology of Jazz Guitar Solos features Craig, and he continues to have articles featured in Guitar Sessions series.
Craig graduated from Bellarmine University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with an emphasis in Jazz Guitar Performance, in 1993. He has studied with Jimmy Raney, Attila Zoeller, Gene Bertoncini, Howard Alden, and BenMonder. Craig teaches guitar privately as well as jazz guitar at the University of Louisville.