P R O F I L E
Jazz Performer and Educator
Craig Thomson is an award-winning saxophonist and educator currently based in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Through his dedication to the arts and music education, Craig’s public school and private students have earned numerous national and
international honours over the past decade, including multiple wins at the instrumental AAAA level of the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.
Raised in an area of BC long known for its top-quality music programs, Craig was inspired by his teachers at an early age to pursue a career in both music performance and music education, leading to study at Grant McEwan University in Edmonton, Capilano University
in Vancouver and the University of British Columbia.
Craig is the Artistic Director for the B.C. Interior Jazz Festival, an annual three-day educational event that brings together over 1000 students from around Canada and the United States and connects them with the expertise of North America's finest music professionals.
He was also the Festival Coordinator for ten years.
In 2013, Craig was honoured as the Okanagan Musician of the Year, and in 2016 he received the Greater Westside Board of Trade’s Performing Artist of the Year award. In 2014, he was thrilled to join the Yamaha Canada artist roster as a Yamaha Artist Educator. He presents
regular educator workshops for the annual BC Music Educator’s Association conferences, student and educator workshops and clinics throughout the Okanagan, and has adjudicated for the Washington State University Jazz Festival.
As well as promoting music education on a local and national level, Craig is an extremely busy and in-demand performer and session musician whose 2012 solo debut CD of all-original compositions, entitled Bright Beginnings, garnered much acclaim and received play on CBC
radio. A second album is currently in production. Craig has also been featured on many more recordings over the last 15 years as a guest soloist
Craig can be seen performing across the Okanagan Valley on a weekly basis, often leading his own projects. He is comfortable in jazz, blues, R&B, soul, rock, and classical styles. He is best known for his high-energy jazz solos and performances, but is no stranger to soulful, emotional ballads
Craig is proud to be a Yamaha Artist Educator. He performs on the YTS 82ZUL (WOF) II tenor sax, the YAS 82ZUL alto sax, and the YSS 82ZSII soprano sax.
Thomson is one of the key pillars of the jazz scene in Kelowna.