Born: April 5, 1973 Primary Instrument: Bass
Craig Akin is an in-demand upright and electric bass player living in New York City. Between 1997 and 2007 he averaged 270 gigs a year in his musical hometown of Kansas City. There he developed his rhythm and tone while playing or recording with nearly everyone on the jazz and blues scene. Craig has also performed with emerging pop and indie songwriters as well as legendary jazz artists including Tim Hagans, Pete Christlieb, Frank Mantooth, John McNeil, Dick Oatts, Karrin Allyson, Gary Foster, Bobby Watson, Dave Pietro, Claude Williams, Ken Peplowski, among others.
To continue his growth as a musician, Craig moved to New York in 2007. He honed his skills even further with the help of Jay Anderson, Scott Colley, and Larry Grenadier. Craig was thrilled to be able to study with legendary Miles Davis bassist, Ron Carter, for two years.
Ron demanded high standards and accepted nothing less than perfection. With his experience and amazing ears I felt like I was under a giant microscope. Just being in his presence was inspiring. I walked away every time feeling recharged. -Craig, talking about studying with Ron Carter
From jazz to pop, and folk to rock, Craig is comfortable and creative, and can deliver the goods like any veteran on his instrument. He has performed well over 3,000 gigs and has now added home recording to his arsenal.
Brandon Draper, drummer, composer, producer, educator Kansas City, MO ________________________________________________________
“Craig is a true professional, always prepared, always engaged, a stellar musician, and genuinely great guy.”
Little Embers New York, NY ________________________________________________________
I'm very happy to have gigged and recorded with Craig Akin. His sound is fat and warm, and it's a pleasure to play a solo when you have him in the rhythm section. He made my compositions sound great. My next project in New York will have him on bass again, that's for sure.
Martin Schulte, guitarist, composer Cologne, Germany ________________________________________________________
Akin is equally impressive on electric bass or upright. He's got enormous technique, great imagination, and an approach to his instrument that is unusual and fresh.
Rich Hill, Jazz Ambassador Magazine Kansas City, MO ________________________________________________________
Craig is an incredibly musical and accomplished bassist. He has huge ears, beautiful tone, and complements any style of music with intelligent, relevant ideas. He nailed an entire record's worth of my tunes in one session. You won't find any musician more committed to the soul of the music than Craig. And he's a seriously fun guy to hang with.
Rick Bruner, Singer/Songwriter Lawrence, KS ________________________________________________________
Craig is a great bass player. He's easy to work with on gigs or in the studio and plays several styles with ease.
Pete McCann, Guitarist/Composer/Educator New York, NY ________________________________________________________
I'm new to playing bass, so I asked Craig if he would come up with bass parts for the new tunes Red Molly was working up. When I heard what he came up with, I was amazed by the parts; they sounded SO good! Not too simple, not too complex, really interesting, and just perfect for the song. I wasn't sure I could learn them, but Craig wrote out bass tablature for me and somehow made it easier than I could have imagined. Now I'm actually playing the parts he wrote, which is thrilling. He's like our behind-the-scenes secret weapon! I can't overstate how talented Craig is and how fun he is to work with. His love of music (and especially his love of the bass) is completely contagious.
Laurie MacAllister, Red Molly Jersey City, NJ ________________________________________________________
Craig Akin is one of the most versatile bassist I've worked with. He is equally skilled with acoustic or electric bass and can play any style. Regardless of the setting, Craig always plays with commitment and creativity.
Kerry Strayer, Artistic Director/Conductor, Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Kansas City ________________________________________________________
When Craig comes into the studio I already know the bottom of this mix is going to kill. His feeling and musicianship is [are] unmatched in my book.
Jon Castelli, The Hit Lab Los Angeles ________________________________________________________
Craig is an inspiration -- both on stage and in the classroom. The things that make his playing so great -- the organic, soulful funkiness, the depth and intelligence -- are the same things that make him a great teacher.
Aaron Sizemore, Program Director, Music House School of Music Overland Park, KS ________________________________________________________
TONE!...few of us think about our sound as much as Craig does. He can play in any style, in any key, read charts or improvise. Whether it's on stand up or electric bass, Craig is a total pro, a great musician and a great guy.
Nathan Bliss, Barnaby Bright Brooklyn, NY ________________________________________________________
Craig offers the sensitivity and responsiveness that we all seek. He finds the balance between suggesting new direction and nurturing the space for creating music spontaneously. And the result - playing with him feels like the process of burgeoning musicality that we all live for.
Caroline Davis, Saxophone, Composition Chicago, IL ________________________________________________________
In addition to his expertly honed chops, Craig brings an innovative creativity and soulful musicality that raises the bar for everyone else
Aimee Allen, Vocalist New York, NY ________________________________________________________
Craig is a real natural. He learns material at light speed and immediately sends it through the 'Craig filter' and makes it all better. He's the perfect balance of technique, artistry and attitude.
Beau Bledsoe, Alaturka, Tango Lorca, Bach Aria Soloists Kansas City, MO ________________________________________________________
A fantastic player. Akin's playing is the convergence of proficiency,sensibility and vibe
Anthony Rizzo, Guitarist New York, NY ________________________________________________________