The Kelly Craig Sextet

The Kelly Craig Sextet


The antidote for the tepid reception of chamber Jazz, the Kelly Craig Sextet has proven to be a prolific Jazz machine. The Sextet’s enthusiasm is infectious. Their ability to produce original material with polish and ease allows movement throughout the Jazz spectrum.


The Kelly Craig Sextet was formed to satisfy a need for a deep serving of soul-influenced bop. The band has performed weekly at numerous clubs and festivals since its inception. It has always drawn from a deep talent pool, earning the group recognition and notoriety.

The 2012 arrival of Adam Daudrich to the Sextet has had a profound effect on the sound of the group. Kelly had asked Adam to replace Mike Manny as the piano player when Mike moved to Winnipeg, but since Adam was moving to Montreal, he could only serve as a substitute on his visits to Ottawa. Adam approached Kelly about recording his piano trio at Shine Studios in Ottawa. Kelly offered a barter, with Adam contributing tunes for the sextet in lieu of payment. Adam jumped at the chance as he is an active composer and was very interested in writing for the Sextet. The current lineup was formed when Adam was acid testing these arrangements with his trio. Once the rhythm section was prepared Adam requested that the horns travel to Montreal to rehearse and stay for the trio’s weekly Tuesday night jam at Deize Onze. Brian Asselin was not available so Patrick Lampron was asked to fill the Tenor Sax chair for those sessions. The intention was originally to continue with the previous sextet lineup, but since the musical approaches of these members fit the tunes so well, this became the full-time lineup. Since then, Daudrich’s insatiable drive to compose has produced 20 compositions for the Sextet’s repertoire. Building on the original concept, Daudrich’s work is specifically crafted to the collective tastes and strengths of the new players. The group has solidified its vision in this format, playing to enthusiastic audiences in concert halls and festivals throughout 2012. They often take time between selections to share anecdotes that reflect the band's sense of humour and give the performance character. Kelly has always thought that his role as bandleader was to assemble the right personnel to execute the Sextet’s vision and make comments on the music only when necessary. When asked, Kelly states: ”Adam gets me. The tunes were written with my strengths and later, the players’ strengths in mind. They are monsters and cool dudes to boot. The less I interfere, the better it sounds. For now, my job is to get everyone in the same room. I have some compositions that will be added to the book, and by the time we record them, all the members will have made suggestions and alterations. I love that. ”

The current lineup consists of four members from Montreal and two from Ottawa.

OTTAWA Kelly Craig (Trumpet); Zakari Frantz (Alto sax)

MONTREAL Adam Daudrich (Piano); Patrick Lampron (Tenor Sax); Alex Bellegarde (Double Bass); Alain Bourgeois (Drum Set)

Kelly Craig
Trumpet and Flugelhorn

The addition of the Daudrich contributions to the Sextet book has encouraged Kelly to revisit his musical roots. Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, he was fortunate to have access to excellent trumpet instructors including; Karen Donnelly, now Principal Trumpet in the NAC Orchestra, and Ed Lewis, who holds a Masters from Eastman and a Ph.D. from Juilliard. Since the age of 7 he was a member of a police sponsored band organization, and his high school had a strong music program. Throughout his teens he attended The Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts. In addition to these formal avenues of education, he was exposed to local music via weekend jam sessions. Gut bucket guitar blues, soul and r&b music were explored on these stages. Attending these jam sessions led him to seek out and play instruments common to these styles. He picked up electric bass, blues harmonica (short lived), started to sing, as well as play trumpet at these sessions. This was complemented by his love for Count Basie and James Brown records. These early experiences have left an indelible mark on his musical choices in the jazz milieu.

While Kelly was attending Floyd Standifer’s jazz history course at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts he was impressed by Floyd’s reminiscences about what the jazz world was like before the emergence of formal jazz education. Floyd spoke about back room discussions, where new ideas were constantly the main topic of conversation. In an effort to carry on this tradition, Kelly took the road less travelled and left the University of Regina in 1991. He focused on building a strong foundation in blues and r&b bands such as Otis Clay, Long John Baldry and many bands in Regina and Saskatoon. It eventually became necessary for him to relocate in order to pursue musical avenues more suited to his maturing tastes. His decision to move to Ottawa was not hastily considered. He saw the potential to work in three major Canadian centres while still within driving distance of New York, the eastern seaboard, Detroit and Chicago, all hotbeds of jazz. Once in Ottawa he found his skills in great demand. Seeing that he played trumpet, bass and, additio


The Kelly Craig Sextet Plays Daudrich (Electronic release completed Oct 29,2012)

1-Masters of the Blues
2-Got Get It
4-Last Dance
5-Minute to Minute (Fade May 12, 2012 version)

Snapshot (2011,independent)

2-Shimmy of the Skeptics
3-Everything Changes in September(studio 2011)
4-Foxy Foxo
6-Another Night in Tunisia
7-Stella by Starlight
8-Stardust(Studio 2011)
9-The Mover (Live in the Courtyard)
10-Everything Changes in September (Live in the Courtyard)

Arrivals and Departures (2004)
2-Tribute to Minors
3-It Could Happen to You
5-Stardust (Live NAC 2004)
6-1:20 am by Denlight
7-I Could Write a Book
8-Time Travel
9-I Remember Clifford

Set List

(Set lists may vary):

Minute to Minute
Last Dance
Love Police
Name of the Game

Masters of The Blues
Heat of a Woman
Go Get it
Mood Indigo
It's Saturday