They are no strangers to the New York music scene – and their body of work encompasses jazz styling’s as diverse as the people that make up the great metropolis.

The velvet melodies of Brooklyn-born saxophonist Craig Crawford, a long-time resident of Queens, and leader of the one-time Dove Award & two-time Stellar Award nominated Craig Crawford Players for two decades – convey all that is New York City on a clear, crisp day or a rainy night. Like a craftsman who has perfected his tool, Craig masterfully weaves together a blend of inspired and moving arrangements sure to connect the heart and soul – with his Players skillfully navigating the ride.

On “I Love You”, Craig and his crew take listeners on a musical journey not to be forgotten – featuring ten Craig Crawford originals (including the album’s title track) and soulful deliveries of traditional gospel classics. There is no mistaking Craig’s gospel roots which soulfully resonate throughout “I Love You”. From the funk grooves of “Impact”, “Purpose Driven” and “Distractions” to the cozy romantic “I Love You” and “How Much I Love You” – the man and his sax are one. Hearers are sure to find encouragement in Craig’s simplistic, yet reassuring “Forgiven” or comfort on “Praying For You”.

Never afraid to bring on the funk, Craig and his players turn up on the hard-hitting, “Distractions” – delivering a hard-edged jazz sound - at once unpredictable and without apology. His cover of the classic “Amazing Grace” and “Give Me A Clean Heart” are equally enticing.

Never one to cram his talent into a box, Craig and his players continue to perform for diverse audiences in New York City, BET, JAMS, St. Albans Jazz Festival, and around the world. His influences include legendary artists of modern jazz as well as the gospel greats of our time and beyond. Craig and his five-member band have had the privilege of performing with high-profile artists including Alicia Keys, Najee, Donnie McClurkin, Deniece Williams, and the late gospel patriarch, James Cleveland to mention a few.

In addition, Craig is a video producer/cameraman/editor who has provided media segments for Fox, ABC, Bloomberg TV, Madison Square Garden and several other news outlets. He is executive producer on an upcoming reality show as well! He has travelled the globe with the PBA and Hall of famers, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Oscar Robertson, Vin Baker and many other pro basketball players. Craig has written, produced or performed musical scores for HBO, NBC, VH-1, PBS, MSG, Nickelodeon and Fox Television.

Additional Photo Credits: Brian Francis