Craig Martin is a talented entertainer who cleverly combines traditional and contemporary swing with great flair and imagination; he is a natural on stage, exudes charisma and performs many of his own arrangements of the jazz and swing classics with a style unique to him.
During his early teens he learnt how to sing, harmonise, play guitar, bass and harmonica playing along to his mum’s Beatles records. A few years later he was playing in the pubs and clubs in Liverpool with his mates at all the venues where the Beatles had once performed.
In 1996 he was cast as John Lennon and the young Gerry Marsden understudy in the musical ‘Ferry ‘cross the Mersey’ which starred Merseybeat legend Gerry Marsden as the narrator. Craig and Gerry quickly became best friends, travelled together on tour and Gerry told Craig countless Beatles stories very few other people know!
In the late 90’s Craig was introduced to Big Band swing music after listening to Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra, formed a Swing Band and has never looked back! He performed with many of the UK’s best Big Bands including the number one band ‘The Syd Lawrence Orchestra’.
Since exploding onto the Queensland music scene in 2010 Craig has now performed with many Australian greats at a variety of events; from singing with Jessica Mauboy at Redland City’s ‘Christmas by Starlight’, inviting Darren Percival to duet with him at last year’s ‘Redfest’ Festival, having James Morrison’s first lady of jazz, Emma Pask open his Big Band Show at the Arts Centre Gold Coast, singing with Normie Rowe at Runaway Bay Carols to performing in front of 10,000 people at Logan City Mayor’s Christmas Carols with ‘The Voice’ stars Mahalia Barnes and Prinnie Stevens. Craig has even made ‘Opera Swing’ when he performed shows with Andre Rieu’s principal soprano and Aria award winner Mirusia and more recently with ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ finalist and tenor extraordinaire David DeVito!
Craig and the band have also become a popular choice for festival music events and have enjoyed the success of a sell-out show at the Hoot! Adelaide Hills Jazz Festival, as well as capacity audiences at Logan’s ‘Jazz & Shiraz’ Festival, the Brisbane Festival, Ignite Redlands Festival, The Wynnum Manly Jazz Festival and singing with swing legend John Morrison’s band at the Brisbane Jazz Club as special guest vocalist at the Big Band Festival in 2013. Craig and his band were also asked for the second year running, to perform at one of Queensland’s finest winter festivals ‘Jumpers & Jazz’, it was below freezing in a Warwick winter wonderland but after the dancing started it was like a warm summer day! Another highlight of the Festival season was performing the closing set with his 9-piece Swing Band at the ‘Redcliffe Remembers’ three day Celebration. Craig was even asked to perform from the balcony of the Gambaro Hotel to the Liverpool FC crowds who travelled to Brisbane for the historic Liverpool v Brisbane Roar game in July ’15. To see 10,000 Liverpool fans singing along to Beatles Swing in the middle of a closed down Caxton Street was a real treat! Craig was delighted to have been given the slot before the headline act Taxiride at ‘Redfest’ last year and was lucky enough to have appeared as the featured artist on Channel 7’s ‘The Great South East’ as promotion for this three day festival.
Not content with re-arranging traditional swing/jazz standards, Craig recently turned his mind to The Beatles and after reworking some of the finest tunes ever written, Craig was honoured to be given the permissions by Sony/ATV to perform 25 of the greatest Beatles songs swing style! The only artist in the world to have these performing rights! ‘The Beatles Swing’ premiered on the Gold Coast to a capacity crowd in 2015, and last year enjoyed a four show sell out run at the Brisbane Reservoir in March, proving there is still a huge appetite for Beatles music even performed in this brand new swingin’ jazzy way!
Craig Martin who is fast becoming known as one of the best ‘front men’ in Australia and was delighted to be the opening act at last year’s Redlands Carols Concert performing with renowned MD John Foreman.