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Craig Holiday Haynes

The Drummer Mr. Craig Holiday Haynes (named after Billie Holiday), studied the accordion, piano, and guitar, before playing the French horn in elementary school in St. Albans (Queens) NY. Craig began his professional music career playing tenor saxophone at the age of 14. Having majored in music starting in junior high school, then playing in dance and R&B/pop bands of the day, behind groups like The Toys, Brook Benton and Bo Diddley, with the Fabulous Uniques, even doing some soul and R&B music recording sessions. His first sideman session wound up on the radio as a top 10 R&B single. Later, at 20 years old, he felt a “calling” to play the drums. He did a successful tour as a drummer with a top 40 band (Gary Toms Empire) within the same year. He soon felt another “calling” of a more somewhat spiritual nature. He felt the need to preserve what seemed to be an almost dying art form, an art form based on feeling…tradition and culture…. (Swing, Bebop and “real” JAZZ!). Craig soon began studying and performing (on drums qnd percussion) with masters such as Chief Bey and later, Sun Ra and bebopper Barry Harris, even turning down an offer to work with R&B great James Brown. He ran the Art Blakey Breakfast Jam session for 5 years, from 1982-1987 at the Jazz Culture Theater in NYC, and has since been called to play with jazz greats such as Gloria Lynne, George Benson, Jimmy Heath, Donald Byrd, Tony Bennett, Lionel Hampton, Geri Allen, Clark Terry, Stanley Jordan, Onaje Allen Gumbs, Tony O (of the Legendary Blues Band), Marcus Miller, John Hicks, Lalah Hathaway, Gladys Knight and many, many more.

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Primary Instrument



New York, NY

Willing to teach



I have taught privately, off and on for many years. Back in the early '90s, I was asked to do private classes at The New School. I did some (for $50 and hour) but neglected to follow-up when asked to become part of the faculty. (wrong move) I also have done clinic at a few colleges and universities throughout the USA. I am available for clinics, workshops and personal classes at this time.

Clinic/Workshop Information

I have done a few clinics (regarding drums and jazz) at universities as well as concert/performance workshops

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