Called a fine and funky pianist by Living Blues, pianist and composer Craig Brenner has been voted Best Musician in Bloomington, IN numerous times in the Bloomington Independent; Craig Brenner & the Crawdads have been selected best band in the same poll. A graduate of Florida Southern College, Craig attended the Indiana University School of Music from 1976 through 1980, studying with composer John Eaton, pianists Joseph Rezits and Enrica Cavallo Gulli, and jazz educator David Baker. Craig has also studied with boogie woogie and stride master Bob Seeley and blues pianist Big Joe Duskin through a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.
Craig's first recording is Backstage Boogie (1990) with drummer Dan Hostetler. His second, Play it Again, Professor! (1995) includes award-winning conga drummer and Professor Longhair collaborator Alfred Uganda Roberts, drummers Kenny Aronoff and Tim Brookshire, guitarists Gordon Bonham and Stuart Norton, bassists Brian Lappin and John Huber, tenor sax-man Dennis Riggins, and trombonists Tim Riggins and Dave Pavolka. Craig's third recording is the jazzy CD Man At the Piano (1997) featuring the Crawdads.
Window On the Soul, recorded at Echo Park Studios, Bloomington, IN, includes 10 original compositions and features Craig's sons Eli and Nate Brenner as well as Gordon Bonham, Tim Brookshire, James Campbell, Jeff Chapin, Joe Donnelly, Bob Dubinski, Pat Harbison, Janiece Jaffe, Jane McLeod, Jerry Morris, Stuart Norton, Dave Pavolka, Sonja Rasmussen, Mark Robinson, Sue Swaney, Pete Wilhoit and others.