“Sax players who can realize each of the distinctly gorgeous tones within the soprano, alto and tenor are tough to find. One horn, usually the soprano, suffers. If you add to this a weighty sound on flute and alto flute Craig Yaremko may be the only player left standing.”
-New York City Jazz Record
Craig Yaremko is a dynamic performer on all saxophones, flutes and clarinets. “An artist who…has a powerful musical personality. (Whose) originals, which touch on the jazz tradition while also looking forward, are rife with musical adventures.” (Newark Star-Ledger) Craig’s diverse musical tastes have led to performances with world-class jazz, classical, rock and pop artists, establishing himself as one of the most exciting and versatile artists on the New York-area music scene.
As a leader, Craig has released three recordings to critical acclaim. His latest project, the Craig Yaremko Organ Trio, has featured organists Brian Charette and Ron Oswanski and guitarists Dave Stryker and Bob DeVos, as well as front-line soloists Ryan Keberle, Pete McGuiness, Alan Feber and Mike Lee. His 2013 recording CYO3 (OA2/Origin) features his regular working band of organist Matt King and drummer Jonathon Peretz, as well as the late great Vic Juris on guitar, and finds them exploring originals and contemporary arrangements of classics by Monk, Strayhorn and Fats Waller. This recording follows the 2007 release, Sync (Jazz Excursion), which was named one of the Top Ten CDs of year by Hot House magazine.
A constantly in-demand sideman, Craig has performed alongside noted jazz artists Gerri Allen, Helio Alves, Tim Armacost, Jerry Bergonzi, Paul Bollenback, Don Braden, Paulo Braga, Randy Brecker, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Jimmy Cobb, Kermit Driscoll, Paquito D'Rivera, Wycliffe Gordon, Joe Magnarelli, Hendrik Meurkens, Paul Meyers, Bob Mintzer, Rufus Reid, John Riley, Dave Samuels, Bobby Sanabria, Byron Stripling, Dave Stryker, Dave Valentin, and Ray Vega. Known for his impeccable section playing, he has worked with some of the New York area's finest big bands, including a nine-year run as the lead alto saxophonist with the Cecil’s Big Band (directed by Mike Lee) at Cecil’s Jazz Club. Other big band performances include Diane Moser's Composer's Big Band, the Water Gap Jazz Orchestra, and Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band as well as the BMI Composer's Workshop (with Jim McNeely, Mike Holober and Michael Abene)..
Craig has appeared on numerous albums, including three albums with the Nathan Eklund Group, three with the Michael Treni Big Band (all featuring saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi)and a soon-to-be-released project with guitarist John Ehlis and frame drum and percussion pioneer Glen Velez.
Craig received his M.A. in Music Education from Montclair State University and his B.F.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance from the New School University. During his years at the New School, Craig had the opportunity to study with many legends of jazz, including Jane Ira Bloom, Joanne Brackeen, Joe Chambers, Eddie Gomez, Barry Harris, Junior Mance, Cecil McBee, Ron McClure, Charles Tolliver, and Reggie Workman. He has also studied conducting with Dr. Thomas McCauley, Dr. Craig Kirchhoff and Dr. Mallory Thompson. During his formative years, his primary saxophone and woodwind teachers were Mark Friedman and Ken Hitchcock (who passed on the teachings of Joe Allard and Thomas Nyfenger).
A truly eclectic musician, Craig has also performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New York City Symphony, and numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway pit orchestras. He has backed-up such artists as Clay Aiken, Frankie Avalon, Lou Christie, Linda Eder, Michael Feinstein, Aretha Franklin, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Patti LuPone, Johnny Mathis, Bobby Rydell, Paul Sorvino, Toni Tennille, Leslie Uggums and Frankie Valli.