Tony Craddock, Jr.
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Tony Craddock, Jr.

Woodbridge, Virginia, United States | INDIE

Woodbridge, Virginia, United States | INDIE
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2013 is proving to be a big year for smooth saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr. Not only has he graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Health from George Mason University but has also released his sophomore CD, the extremely easy on the ear ‘Convection’. Already described elsewhere as “an organic intersection of jazz, weather, and faith”, ‘Convection’ builds through a central theme of God's love, which Craddock musically conveys through the imagery of weather. Indeed this interesting blend of original music and creative arrangements of gospel favorites has something for everyone and is enhanced by guest performances from the likes of Ken Navarro and up coming Philadelphia vocalist, Ashli Rice.

‘Convection’ is quickly up and running with the edgy yet melodic title cut that includes nice flashes of keyboard from Ricchye Ric who later takes writing credits for the evocative ‘Tropical’. Here the imagery is all about sea, sand and swaying palms and Tony retains this tender tone for the romantically inclined ‘Retrograde Motion’ which is right up there with the best that ‘Convection’ has to offer.

In all Tony writes seven of the ten choice songs with two of them being the extremely pleasant ‘Second Glance’ and the mesmerizingly mellifluous ‘Virga’. In contrast, ‘You Brought The Sunshine’ first came to prominence courtesy of gospel vocal quartet The Clark Sisters and Craddock’s instrumental version is delightfully embellished by a powerhouse horn section and wailing rhythm guitar from Kevin Williams. The theme of weather perpetuates with ‘Wind At My Back’ where soulful vocals from Ashli Rice hints at a promising career to come and when Craddock again turns to the gospel music that he holds so dear the result is a zesty take on Stephen Hurd’s ‘Let It Rise’.

Elsewhere, although ‘Moving Forward’ proves to be a one-minute plus interlude that checks some serious smooth jazz boxes its the lyrical nylon-string acoustic guitar of contemporary jazz notable Ken Navarro which lights up the mid-tempo ‘1102 Bradfield Hall’.

The track is Tony’s homage to Cornell University where he studied meteorology yet if his musical career develops in the way this extremely mature collection suggests it might he will be soon thinking about stars of an altogether different kind. - Smooth Jazz Therapy, Denis Poole


2013 is proving to be a big year for smooth saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr. Not only has he graduated with a Masters Degree in Public Health from George Mason University but has also released his sophomore CD, the extremely easy on the ear ‘Convection’. Already described elsewhere as “an organic intersection of jazz, weather, and faith”, ‘Convection’ builds through a central theme of God's love, which Craddock musically conveys through the imagery of weather. Indeed this interesting blend of original music and creative arrangements of gospel favorites has something for everyone and is enhanced by guest performances from the likes of Ken Navarro and up coming Philadelphia vocalist, Ashli Rice.

‘Convection’ is quickly up and running with the edgy yet melodic title cut that includes nice flashes of keyboard from Ricchye Ric who later takes writing credits for the evocative ‘Tropical’. Here the imagery is all about sea, sand and swaying palms and Tony retains this tender tone for the romantically inclined ‘Retrograde Motion’ which is right up there with the best that ‘Convection’ has to offer.

In all Tony writes seven of the ten choice songs with two of them being the extremely pleasant ‘Second Glance’ and the mesmerizingly mellifluous ‘Virga’. In contrast, ‘You Brought The Sunshine’ first came to prominence courtesy of gospel vocal quartet The Clark Sisters and Craddock’s instrumental version is delightfully embellished by a powerhouse horn section and wailing rhythm guitar from Kevin Williams. The theme of weather perpetuates with ‘Wind At My Back’ where soulful vocals from Ashli Rice hints at a promising career to come and when Craddock again turns to the gospel music that he holds so dear the result is a zesty take on Stephen Hurd’s ‘Let It Rise’.

Elsewhere, although ‘Moving Forward’ proves to be a one-minute plus interlude that checks some serious smooth jazz boxes its the lyrical nylon-string acoustic guitar of contemporary jazz notable Ken Navarro which lights up the mid-tempo ‘1102 Bradfield Hall’.

The track is Tony’s homage to Cornell University where he studied meteorology yet if his musical career develops in the way this extremely mature collection suggests it might he will be soon thinking about stars of an altogether different kind. - Smooth Jazz Therapy, Denis Poole



Saxophonist Tony Craddock, Jr. is one interesting artist. Besides being a talented musician, he is a degreed meteorologist and devout Christian. All of the titles to the tracks on his latest work, Convection, are related to weather, using it as a metaphor for communicating a message related to Christianity. Craddock states, “The title ‘Convection’ is a direct reference to one of the most important processes that impacts weather, but it’s also a reference to my conviction in Christ (ironically, the words are only one letter apart)…The goal is to not only engage the listener musically but also spiritually, as they see the symbolism used to connect God and the weather.” Like I said, interesting.

Working both soprano and alto saxes in quite an effective manner to convey his message, Craddock has personally composed most of the tracks here. Partnering with guitarist Ken Navarro on one track and vocalist Ashli Rice on another, the young saxman has begun to network in a way that places his collaborators directly in the path of his own positive perfect storm. I suspect that they’ve found it a bit hard to resist the energy he has poured into this project.

The material is quite pleasant, almost as pleasant as the artist himself who resides in the Washington, DC, suburb of Woodbridge, VA, home of this very site. The rhythms are tight and the compositions well-conceived.

Leading off with the driving title track, Craddock does a clean job of bringing off some polished material. While I’m not personally blown away by all of the melodies here, it is clear that Craddock knows his way around a sax as easily as he probably knows his way around a weather map or frontal system. I do have my faves: The title track, “1102 Bradfield Hall” with Navarro, the Brazilian flavor of “Let It Rise,” the cool caress of “Second Glance,” the soft exoticism of “Tropical,” and seductive smoothness of “Virga.”

In my opinion, there is more than enough here in which to sink your teeth. This young man is on his way. The storm that you may feel brewing in the distance just may be called Tony Craddock, Jr. – Ronald Jackson
- The Smooth Jazz Ride, Ron Jackson


Sad but that is in fact the attitude even the most enlightened followers of the radio format commonly known as smooth jazz hold when a formidable talent such as Tony Craddock Jr. shares a little bit of himself with the world. Meanwhile those keeping this segment of the contemporary jazz tree growing are writing and posting on social media their beliefs, ideals and moral convictions while the artist that chooses to pursue a more unified and inclusive secular approach are left holding the bag and forced to work twice as hard for the recognition they so rightfully deserve. Tony Craddock Jr. is no exception. Religion is not necessarily the primary focus here but an over all spiritual vibe is unmistakable.

Contributing music to the Weather Channel is certainly nothing for the jazz purists to look down their nose on as smooth jazz was essentially born on this channel with groups such as Spyro Gyra and the early days of the Jeff Lorber Fusion. With Convection Tony Craddock Jr. does his own riff on what has fascinated man the most since the dawn of time, specifically the weather and the search for true spiritual enlightenment. Special guest and guitarist extraordinaire Ken Navvaro makes a welcome cameo appearance with the end result a more open ended sound far removed from some of the artists whose releases sound as though they have been sanitized for your protection. Tony Craddock Jr. is a technician with a whole lot of soul and thus elevates a stagnate format back to an engaging experience for all jazz aficionados.

There is a solid ebb and flow that runs through Convection, something sadly missing in most attempts coming out of the smooth jazz camp. "You Brought The Sunshine" is a vibrant gospel tinged composition that is well developed and allows for Tony Craddock to shine as an instrumentalist that is far from a one trick pony as one could get. The previously mentioned Ken Navarro brings his acoustic guitar for a textured finish on "1102 Bradford Hall" while the lone vocal track is simply crushed by Ashli Rice. Convection breaks the mold of the run of the mill smooth jazz experience but never goes to the self righteous extreme of what some may consider the more hard core gospel jazz. This particular release offers something for everyone while alienating no one and this is why the release is so deserving of a serious look by sites such as www.smoothjazz.com.

Tony Craddock Jr. is just one of many Independent artists that have reached out to me in order to have someone give their work a fair shake and hopefully a platform from which to build more interest. A good critic has to have a little publicist lurking just below the surface. Convection has a warm accessible sound with incredibly depth and should peak the interests of not only the gospel jazz fan but those that enjoy taking a walk on the smoother side of jazz.

4 Stars and a name to remember! - CriticalJazz, Brent Black


Sad but that is in fact the attitude even the most enlightened followers of the radio format commonly known as smooth jazz hold when a formidable talent such as Tony Craddock Jr. shares a little bit of himself with the world. Meanwhile those keeping this segment of the contemporary jazz tree growing are writing and posting on social media their beliefs, ideals and moral convictions while the artist that chooses to pursue a more unified and inclusive secular approach are left holding the bag and forced to work twice as hard for the recognition they so rightfully deserve. Tony Craddock Jr. is no exception. Religion is not necessarily the primary focus here but an over all spiritual vibe is unmistakable.

Contributing music to the Weather Channel is certainly nothing for the jazz purists to look down their nose on as smooth jazz was essentially born on this channel with groups such as Spyro Gyra and the early days of the Jeff Lorber Fusion. With Convection Tony Craddock Jr. does his own riff on what has fascinated man the most since the dawn of time, specifically the weather and the search for true spiritual enlightenment. Special guest and guitarist extraordinaire Ken Navvaro makes a welcome cameo appearance with the end result a more open ended sound far removed from some of the artists whose releases sound as though they have been sanitized for your protection. Tony Craddock Jr. is a technician with a whole lot of soul and thus elevates a stagnate format back to an engaging experience for all jazz aficionados.

There is a solid ebb and flow that runs through Convection, something sadly missing in most attempts coming out of the smooth jazz camp. "You Brought The Sunshine" is a vibrant gospel tinged composition that is well developed and allows for Tony Craddock to shine as an instrumentalist that is far from a one trick pony as one could get. The previously mentioned Ken Navarro brings his acoustic guitar for a textured finish on "1102 Bradford Hall" while the lone vocal track is simply crushed by Ashli Rice. Convection breaks the mold of the run of the mill smooth jazz experience but never goes to the self righteous extreme of what some may consider the more hard core gospel jazz. This particular release offers something for everyone while alienating no one and this is why the release is so deserving of a serious look by sites such as www.smoothjazz.com.

Tony Craddock Jr. is just one of many Independent artists that have reached out to me in order to have someone give their work a fair shake and hopefully a platform from which to build more interest. A good critic has to have a little publicist lurking just below the surface. Convection has a warm accessible sound with incredibly depth and should peak the interests of not only the gospel jazz fan but those that enjoy taking a walk on the smoother side of jazz.

4 Stars and a name to remember! - CriticalJazz, Brent Black


Tony Craddock, Jr. passed along some exciting news - he has just released his debut saxophone album!

The album is entitled Christmas In The Air and features 10 traditional and contemporary Christmas classics with very upbeat and creative arrangements. The concept behind the album title is centered around meteorology and enjoying the wintry weather that we associate with Christmas time, which is reflected in the album artwork.

Hopefully the album can help make for a joyful Christmas season for you and all meteorologists around the world! - Cornell University, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences


Tony Craddock, Jr. passed along some exciting news - he has just released his debut saxophone album!

The album is entitled Christmas In The Air and features 10 traditional and contemporary Christmas classics with very upbeat and creative arrangements. The concept behind the album title is centered around meteorology and enjoying the wintry weather that we associate with Christmas time, which is reflected in the album artwork.

Hopefully the album can help make for a joyful Christmas season for you and all meteorologists around the world! - Cornell University, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences


Although originally released late last year, ‘Christmas In The Air’ by saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr. is making a welcome comeback for the 2012 holiday season and in so doing is proving just how durable festive collections can be.

Familiar tunes such as the Peanuts-inspired ‘Christmas Time Is Here’, perennial favorite ‘The Christmas Song’ and the winter themed ‘Let It Snow!’ all serve to reinforce the Christmas spirit while the lead single is the magical ‘Deck The Halls’.

Back in December 2011 two songs from the album were featured on The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” and for those of you who are unaware of the contribution to smooth jazz that the Weather Channel continues to make one need look no further than the 2007 CD ‘The Weather Channel Presents: The Best of Smooth Jazz’. The 30-year-old station has always featured music and that which plays in the background six times per hour during the network's signature ‘Local on the 8s’ has evolved over time. In fact smooth jazz on the Weather Channel has become almost as familiar as its famous storm watcher Jim Cantore.

As for the Washington DC based Tony Craddock Jr., he is already back in the studio and working on his next project, ‘Convection’ which is projected for release in early 2013. Among the guest artists rumored to feature on it is none other than renowned contemporary jazz guitarist, Ken Navarro.

Check back here soon for an early review of ‘Convection’.
- Smooth Jazz Therapy


Although originally released late last year, ‘Christmas In The Air’ by saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr. is making a welcome comeback for the 2012 holiday season and in so doing is proving just how durable festive collections can be.

Familiar tunes such as the Peanuts-inspired ‘Christmas Time Is Here’, perennial favorite ‘The Christmas Song’ and the winter themed ‘Let It Snow!’ all serve to reinforce the Christmas spirit while the lead single is the magical ‘Deck The Halls’.

Back in December 2011 two songs from the album were featured on The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” and for those of you who are unaware of the contribution to smooth jazz that the Weather Channel continues to make one need look no further than the 2007 CD ‘The Weather Channel Presents: The Best of Smooth Jazz’. The 30-year-old station has always featured music and that which plays in the background six times per hour during the network's signature ‘Local on the 8s’ has evolved over time. In fact smooth jazz on the Weather Channel has become almost as familiar as its famous storm watcher Jim Cantore.

As for the Washington DC based Tony Craddock Jr., he is already back in the studio and working on his next project, ‘Convection’ which is projected for release in early 2013. Among the guest artists rumored to feature on it is none other than renowned contemporary jazz guitarist, Ken Navarro.

Check back here soon for an early review of ‘Convection’.
- Smooth Jazz Therapy


Please visit website. - Beldon's Blues Point


Please visit website. - Beldon's Blues Point


Please visit website - Beldon's Blues Point


Please visit website - Beldon's Blues Point


The debut album from saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr., Christmas In The Air, is as interesting as the saxophonist himself. The Cornell University graduate received his exposure to the world of smooth jazz from an atypical source: The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” program. Why there? The young man, now residing in northern Virginia and pursuing a Master’s in Public Health, has a passion for meteorology (his chief focus at Cornell). Having met and chatted with the saxman, who is extremely respectful, courteous, and clearly intelligent, it is also immediately obvious that he is a well-rounded young man with solid and varied interests.

The depth of his perception and innovative nature can be clearly found in this recording of many of our beloved Christmas tunes, which he recreates in many ways to place a very impressive signature on them. A case in point is his interpretation of the classic “Deck the Halls,” which has the kind of jazzy twist that will surely place it among the more creative versions we’ve heard. Another remarkably creative cover can be found on “Silent Night” with strong spiritual vocals by one Aaron Banks. This version has a bossa nova-like feel while not losing a bit of the sanctity of the very moving piece. With Banks’ vocals, this is a diverse combination that is certain to make one take serious notice.

It is always refreshing to listen to music that is well-conceived, even if it consists of covers (which can be the most difficult to reproduce in a stand-out way without an abundance of creativity and imagination). Craddock puts such a nice touch of each of these and really makes you feel as though this is a production of all-original material. “O Tannebaum” is presented in such a clear and original fashion, shuttling between an air of jazz to blues and employing the use of great instrumental phrasing, that the arrangement makes hearing it once again such a pleasurable experience – and Craddock does create listening experiences. Ever heard “The First Noel” with a strings and funky slap bass effect?? Yes, I think you get my point…and, as mentioned earlier, the spiritual nature of the tune remains intact and as beautiful as ever.

Christmas In The Air is a truly marvelous holiday find for your music collection but, more importantly, Craddock firmly establishes his credentials as a producer, arranger, and artist in an undisputable manner. Kudos to the young man – Ronald Jackson
- Smooth Jazz Ride


The debut album from saxophonist Tony Craddock Jr., Christmas In The Air, is as interesting as the saxophonist himself. The Cornell University graduate received his exposure to the world of smooth jazz from an atypical source: The Weather Channel’s “Local on the 8s” program. Why there? The young man, now residing in northern Virginia and pursuing a Master’s in Public Health, has a passion for meteorology (his chief focus at Cornell). Having met and chatted with the saxman, who is extremely respectful, courteous, and clearly intelligent, it is also immediately obvious that he is a well-rounded young man with solid and varied interests.

The depth of his perception and innovative nature can be clearly found in this recording of many of our beloved Christmas tunes, which he recreates in many ways to place a very impressive signature on them. A case in point is his interpretation of the classic “Deck the Halls,” which has the kind of jazzy twist that will surely place it among the more creative versions we’ve heard. Another remarkably creative cover can be found on “Silent Night” with strong spiritual vocals by one Aaron Banks. This version has a bossa nova-like feel while not losing a bit of the sanctity of the very moving piece. With Banks’ vocals, this is a diverse combination that is certain to make one take serious notice.

It is always refreshing to listen to music that is well-conceived, even if it consists of covers (which can be the most difficult to reproduce in a stand-out way without an abundance of creativity and imagination). Craddock puts such a nice touch of each of these and really makes you feel as though this is a production of all-original material. “O Tannebaum” is presented in such a clear and original fashion, shuttling between an air of jazz to blues and employing the use of great instrumental phrasing, that the arrangement makes hearing it once again such a pleasurable experience – and Craddock does create listening experiences. Ever heard “The First Noel” with a strings and funky slap bass effect?? Yes, I think you get my point…and, as mentioned earlier, the spiritual nature of the tune remains intact and as beautiful as ever.

Christmas In The Air is a truly marvelous holiday find for your music collection but, more importantly, Craddock firmly establishes his credentials as a producer, arranger, and artist in an undisputable manner. Kudos to the young man – Ronald Jackson
- Smooth Jazz Ride


Discography

Convection - May 2013
*Accepted on Pandora Radio (will be available soon)

Christmas In The Air - November 2011
*Available on Pandora Radio on "Tony Craddock, Jr. (Holiday) Radio"
*Featured on The Weather Channel in December 2011 & 2012
*Airplay on nearly 50 terrestrial and internet radio stations, including stations in the U.S., Spain, and the United Kingdom

Photos

Bio

Warm, smooth, and moving are just a few words that come to mind when you hear the soothing saxophone of Tony Craddock, Jr. Wrapping emotive tones around inspiring melodies is what he has been gifted to do. Tonys goal is not just to relax the listener, but also to uplift and encourage. After success with his debut album "Christmas In The Air", he is excited about the recent release of his multidimensional-themed sophomore album "Convection".

"Convection" is an organic intersection of jazz, weather, and faith. The album is very unique, as it gives the listener the option to engage in the music at whatever level(s) they choose. Tony says, When you read a novel, you dont take it at face value; you dig deeper to find out what the author is really communicating. I would like for people to approach my music with the same attitude of discovery in mind. Tony uses song titles related to weather, then connects them to Biblical scriptures, in order to illustrate the stories of life in a spiritual and intellectual way. With a central theme of God's love conveyed through the imagery of weather, this album touts energetic and relaxing originals, along with creative arrangements of gospel favorites You Brought The Sunshine (The Clark Sisters) and "Let It Rise" (Stephen Hurd). The lyrical nylon-string acoustic guitar of award-winning contemporary jazz great Ken Navarro is featured on the mid-tempo waltz "1102 Bradfield Hall", a song where Tony pays homage to the classroom at Cornell University where many of his meteorology classes were taken. Up-and-coming Philadelphia vocalist, Ashli Rice is introduced to the masses on "Wind At My Back", as she communicates a story about persevering through the storms of life. All 10 songs on "Convection" were co-produced and co-arranged by the creative duo of Tony and associate producer/keyboardist Ricchye Ric.

"Christmas In The Air" has become a best-seller at stores in the Washington D.C. area, defined by its creative and upbeat arrangements. The Weather Channel Local on the 8s has featured its songs for two years in a row on their December 2011 and 2012 playlists. The album found a home on Billboards Smooth Jazz Most Added, and SmoothJazz.coms Most Added and Top 10 SPINcrease charts throughout the 2012 holiday season, in addition to receiving airplay on nearly 50 terrestrial and Internet radio stations, including stations in Spain and the United Kingdom.

Born and raised in Northern Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C., Tonys musical gifting began at the age of twelve. A few years later, he began playing saxophone at his home church. He has always had a passion for meteorology and largely credits The Weather Channels Local on the 8s, which features contemporary jazz music, as his initial inspiration for exploring music. As a teenager, he organized an instrumental trio to play inspirational songs at nursing home facilities throughout the D.C. Metro area. Community involvement such as this and superior academic achievements led to his feature in EBONY Magazines June 2006 Edition as one of the Top 35 Black High School Students in America.

Tony took his talents in music and meteorology to Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Atmospheric Science in May 2010. The saxophone became an undeniable part of his identity as the saxophonist for Cornells Chosen Generation Gospel Choir and co-founder of the instrumental ensemble After Six, which became a registered student organization under his leadership, and has opened for R&B singer Goapele. While at Cornell, he was also initiated into the Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. in Fall 2009. He followed-up on his undergraduate studies by earning a Master of Public Health degree from George Mason University in May 2013.

He has performed at several venues in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area including the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Summer Jazz Series (Reagan National and Dulles Airports), Verizon Center, Howard University, National Harbor, Town of Dumfries Summer Concert Series, and WUSA TV-9. Among the highlights of his musical career, in October 2011, he opened for Grammy-nominated and Stellar Award-winning gospel pianist Ben Tankard.

Tony believes that his music has nothing to do with him, but rather the gifts with which God has blessed him. He says, I believe that music should reflect who you are. For me, spirituality is a big part of who I am and that cant help but be reflected in my music." Some of his musical influences include Boney James, Pat Metheny, Kirk Whalum, Kenny Garrett, Robert Glasper, and Tye Tribbett. Tony hopes to create a sound that has, a consistent blend of melodic simplicity, technical creativity, and the depth and richness of Anita Bakers voice.

Band Members