what people are saying

"CRAIG HARTLEY/Books on Tape V. 1: This jazz piano man waited until he was 31 to unleash a record like this? Whew. How is he going to top himself? A swinger with a bigger storehouse of energy than a gas refinery, Hartley is in the tradition all the way but he's also his own man all the way. An utterly killer piano trio date that should be in as many cardio emergency rooms as defibrillators, you are going to be wondering when this bad cat has been all your life. Chalk this up as one of the great debuts of all time" —

A graduate from the Manhattan School of Music, Hartley also attended the New School in New York City and the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, studying under such jazz greats as Jackie Mclean, Joe Chambers, Gary Dial, and Andy Laverne. Respected and admired for his musical talent, Hartley has taught multiple master classes, including one at The Hartt School. As a jazz pianist, Hartley has performed or recorded with musicians including Anthony Braxton, Eddie Henderson, Mario Pavone, Steve Davis, John Benitez, Steve Slagle, Claudio Roditi, and E.J. Strickland etc. He is also an alumni member of the New Jazz Workshop, a musician's collective led by Dezron Douglas and Lummie Span, with which he performed an opening set for Wynton Marsalis' group at "Beyond the Storm," a benefit for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Records on which Hartley has lent his talent include Grammy Award Nominee Fabio Morgera's recent cd under the Universal/Emarcy label and Antonio Barbagallo’s Splendida Luce under Dodicilune Records.

Hartley has played at a multitude of prominent venues and events across the country and around the world. He has performed at legendary New York jazz venues such as 55 Bar, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Kitano, Cornelia Street Cafe, and Fat Cat as well as rock ones like The Living Room, Spike Hill, The Glasslands Gallery, Cake Shop, Trash Bar, Pete's Candy Store, and many others. Outside New York, he has performed with his own groups at events including the Hartford International Jazz Festival and the New Haven Jazz Festival in Connecticut, and has played at venues from Boston to San Francisco. His international performances include the Veneto Jazz Festival, which was part of a tour in Italy. He also was commissioned to perform an original composition and solo performance for the Numazu Festival for International Design in Numazu, Japan. Hartley has even been heard on international airwaves through features and performances on radio stations like NPR/PRI.

As well as continuing to work with the many of the above mentioned artists, Hartley is currently working on a vast array of projects, including composing original vocal works and commissioned modern dance performance pieces, creating film soundtracks, and leading multiple ensembles. For instance, Hartley is currently working on the following projects outside of jazz: he is a member of Jim Oblon’s (Paul Simon, Phil Ramone, Jim Keltner) Thin Veil, and can be heard on the rock band’s well-received album One; Hartley is also working on an original project (Small Multiples) with guitarist Eli Friedmann and producer Aaron Nevezie (The Black Keys, Danger Mouse, Black Taxi); and he will soon be returning to Japan for a tour and special performances of his compositions arranged for an ensemble that includes Japanese Taiko drums. Hartley has also recently signed with Skidoo Records to release "Books On Tape Vol.1," his debut jazz recording as a leader. He recently returned from Italy, where he performed with his trio at the Marigliano in Jazz Festival.