OTJ Authors

Craig Brenan

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Creative jazz trombonist and composer Craig Brenan has performed and recorded in various settings from trio to large ensemble and has been featured on over 20 albums as a composer and performer. Craig was born in 1969 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and at the age of 12, began his training on the trombone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Years later, Craig moved to Boston to work on his master's degree in jazz studies at the New England Conservatory. While in Boston, Craig studied with artists including Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Bob Brookmeyer, Danilo Perez, Steve Lacy, George Lewis, Curtis Fuller, Gene Bertoncini, and Bob Moses. Craig's recent works include composition for a wind septet recently recorded featuring drummer Ted Poor and tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist John Ellis.

Craig is also a dedicated educator and has been involved in teaching music since 1991. Craig has taught beginners to professionals in jazz and classical education and is currently an associate professor at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. A recipient of the Tommy banks award for jazz education, Craig has also received provincial teaching awards and is a recipient of the Prime Minister's award for teaching excellence.

OTJ Reviews


What Have I Done? A Review

By Craig Brenan • September 15, 2021
Neumeister is a solely unique trombonist. His solos are filled with his own 'language;' expressive, fun, playful, even perhaps a bit dangerous. The trombone in Neumeister's hands is a vehicle to make his intentions heard. Neumeister is a risk-taker, he is a seemingly fearless individual.



Nebulebula: A Review

By Craig Brenan • January 11, 2021
This two-disc collection of music covers the gamut from intense driving modern jazz, free form improvisation, gospel choir(, moody, introspective, almost jam band-esque, to music that reveals hidden treasures as the music progresses.



A Matter of Time: A Review

By Craig Brenan • October 19, 2003
What is it about trombonists and their need to record with other trombonists? A Matter Of Time recorded by the New York Trombone Conspiracy enters the rich collection of trombone ensemble albums.



The Golem Shuffle by Dan Gottshall: A Review

By Craig Brenan • June 01, 2002
Gottshall has produced a very interesting hybrid, utilizing the most modern elements of Jazz and Hip-Hop, based on a firm foundation of good tunes with exciting and creative execution by each member of the ensemble.



Beautiful Dancer: A Review

By Craig Brenan • January 06, 2002
Carelli, while being a trombonist, and a skilled one at that, really uses this album to showcase his considerable vocal talents. Carelli offers eleven selections, all but one featuring vocals as well as trombone.



To The Sky: A Review

By Craig Brenan • September 28, 2001
To The Sky is a big band offering by trombonist/composer/arranger Ryan Haines which depicts a musical perspective of the United States Air Force. This 10 track set, originally conceived as The Blue Sky Suite was designed to appeal to both the general public and fellow musicians.



Easy Jazzy Etudes: A Review

By Craig Brenan • August 08, 2001
Mark Nightengale expands his pedagogical publications with this book of jazz etudes for the younger trombonist.



Movin' Up: A Review

By Craig Brenan • November 15, 2000
Larry McClellan's album gives the listener an opportunity to hear the writer, educator, administrator and trombonist perform in what is an obviously comfortable setting.