Craig Marquardo

Craig Marquardo

BandJazzPop

Hip, sexy, commercial and radio-friendly jazz. Possible? Think a male Norah Jones, only edgier and harder. From clever and witty originals, to inventive covers of Van Morrison's 'Moondance' and Sting's 'Sister Moon'.

Biography

Singer, actor, film producer, deal-maker, businessman...but as they say, It's all about the music.

Despite a prolific career in film and his various business ventures, not to mention a stint in the Navy during the first Persian Gulf War, Craig Marquardo's passions are exemplified with the bookends of his career - music.

In 1988, at the age of 15, he played a key supporting role by singing backup on the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour. He backed the likes of Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Bruce Springsteen and Tracy Chapman. But after touring 47 countries in only six months, he wasn't sure he was cut out for the rock star life just yet.

Fast-forward a dozen years to Hollywood, Florida, where Craig was heading up one of the largest independent movie companies in the world.

He had been very inspired years before after seeing Harry Connick Jr. on the Tonight Show. It was a new flavor on an old style, It was music that was going to be different every night. It was sexy and fresh. So he partnered with a world reknowned European pianist and bought a piano bar on Fort Lauderdale beach. The grand opening saw performances from Toni Braxton and Kenny G, with the guest list including Sylvester Stallone, Madonna, Jon Secada, Donald Trump, Gloria Estefan, and many other Florida celeb-royalty. It was here that Craig flexed his jazz chops with an opening night performance. Then he coupled his club performances with fronting a 15-piece big band for two years.

Florida International Magazine said "(Craig) is a virile powerhouse with a no-nonsense approach to success, and though he seemed to slip out of the woodwork almost overnight, his voice and his mission are climbing by octaves."

New Times magazine commented that "Marquardo swings and sings".

In 2003, Craig left the Florida sun, and the movie business, to move to the Northwest. His new home was in Hood River, Oregon, famous for it's windsurfing and closeness to the fantastic Mounts Hood and Adams. Being only 60 miles from Portland and it's eclectic music scene, he thought it was time for something different.

Every musician in the Gorge (as the Hood River area is called) said that Rich Garber was the best piano player in town. Craig and Rich charted some of the initial songs they wanted to cover. Then they came across Ron DeLano, who was a stellar upright bass player. Ron was playing with another local group Django's Cadillac, when he wasn't out on the river windsurfing. And thus the trio was born. In their first year, under the ill-advised name of Fathoms Rain, they played the Rose Garden, Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club, Skamania Lodge, and a dozen festivals around the area.

About a year into the band, Rich decided he wanted to spend more time with his wife and do some non-touring travel. Then came the wonderful talents of Stephen Leiker, and then Mike Seregow. But eventually, they both left to pursue musical passions a little closer to their hearts (rock and funk for Steve, classical for Mike).

And then came Dave Fleschner. As soon as Crag and Ron did the first rehearsal with Dave, they knew the band and the music wouldn't be the same again. Dave flows easily between jazz, classical, funk, blues - whatever. With complete reverence to the players before him, he was the best set of hands Craig had played with.

Their performances prompted a hearty response from the press.

Musica Magazine in Seattle wrote, "Call it a brainteaser: Is it still Jazz if they cover the likes of Sting, Van Morrison, and Al Green? If Johnny Cash proved that Nine Inch Nails could be made into country-rock, Craig has a good chance to find his niche at making cool trio lounge into popular fare. You can find them in many a packed house, bending old standards and more recent chart-toppers over a mood-lit room–and it is a pity. The ambient noise in a crowded room could never allow justice to a breathy musical number from the amazing voice of Mr. Marquardo. Craig has the satin voice to back himself. Five minutes in his audience will capture your ears and leave you thinking, why haven't I heard of him yet? The trio’s fresh feel is a testament to new beginnings."

The Mount Hood Gorge Connection said, "If you ever have a chance to hear him sing, don't miss it. You will be taken aback with his way of making the entire room disappear as he sings only to you. While it may be a risky venture to take your best girl to a show, it is guaranteed to be a date she remembers, even if not for the reason intended."

Even the typically rigid Portland Business Journal had this to say, "(Craig) apparently aims for the commercial audience captivated by Harry Connick, Jr., with Marquardo's throaty melodies complimenting the light background sprinklings supplied by a bassist and pianist. The shows seem to augment Marquardo's multi-media career trajectory. And yes, Marquardo can indeed croon."

After two years and over 200 shows, including headlining dozens of festi

Discography

First record being released under Groove Grotto Records in the Fall.

Set List

Typical show is 3 hours, 50 minutes each set, with two 15 minute breaks.

Originals:
Start Tomorrow Again
Sunday Afternoon
Love Or Lust
Or So It Seemed
I Believe In You
If You Ever Say Goodbye
Devils Romance

Covers include:
Moondance
Sister Moon
Spooky
Its Alright With Me
Nobody But Me
Sway
Georgia
Summertime
Dont Get Around Much Anymore
To Miss New Orleans
Wink & A Smile
Blue Suit Boogie
Straight Up
Rock This Town
Me & Mrs Jones
All I need Is The Girl
Hollywood Nocturne
How Deep Is The Ocean
I Could Write A Book
Moon Over Bourbon Street
Tomorrow We'll See
One
Tea In The Sahara
Let's Live It Up
Good Rockin At Midnight
(And a dozen harry Connick originals)