He was awarded music scholarships at each of these institutions. While in college he won numerous solo awards at jazz festivals throughout the country including: The Elmhurst Jazz Festival, The Notre Dame Jazz Festival, The Wichita Jazz Festival, The UT-Austin Jazz Festival, The University of Arizona – Flagstaff Jazz Festival and the University of California – Berklee Jazz festival. He was a winner of International Trumpet Guild Jazz Solo competition and leader/director of the first student combo to perform at the International Jazz Educators Conference.
Since 1986 he has performed as a featured jazz trumpet soloist with one of the nation’s premier full-time jazz ensembles in Washington DC. During that time he also served as the group’s musical director, trumpet section leader and assistant group leader. In addition to performing, he has composed or arranged over 75 pieces for the band. As a member of this prestigious ensemble, Craig has traveled extensively both performing and serving as a clinician. In addition to visiting much of the United States, he has performed in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Germany, China, St. Thomas and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
During this time, Craig has pursued a significant solo career as well. He has released eleven compact discs with his own groups and has appeared on dozens of others as a side-man. His 1994 release, So In Love (with Dave Liebman) reached number twelve in national jazz radio play according to Billboard Magazine. Other performance highlights have included an appearance as guest jazz soloist with the Brass Band of Battle Creek for the premier of Wycliff Gordon’s “Tribute to Muhammad Ali” as well as the Kennedy Center’s presentation of Ramsey Lewis’s “Proclamation of Hope”, both of which were
recorded for PBS. Craig continues to maintain a busy schedule in the Washington D.C. area. He is a dedicated educator and has been a faculty member (Associate Professor) at the Shenandoah
Conservatory of Music since 1989. His duties there have included teaching Applied Jazz Trumpet, Jazz Coaching (applied jazz lessons for any instrument) Music Theory, Jazz Arranging and Composition,
Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Combo and has been the director of the Jazz Ensemble since 1999. A highlight of his tenure as director was the band's 2003 tour of Senegal, West Africa. He also travels as a jazz clinician and guest artist.
Craig has studied improvisation with Dave Liebman, Kenny Wheeler, Chuck Marohnic, Rich Matteson, Dan Hearle, Jack Peterson, and Frank Puzzullo. Additionally, he cites the remaining faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts (1985- Dave Holland, John Abercrombie, Don Thompson, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, and Julian Priester) as major influences. His principal trumpet teachers have included Dennis Najoom, Dr. Leonard Candelaria, Don Jacoby, Dr. Wayne Cook, Steve Kossoris, Chuck Tumlinson and Ken Van Winkle. Educational materials recordings are available for free download at: http://www.craigfraedrichmusic.com
Craig about his Adams flugel: Without a doubt, the best flugel for what I want out of the horn that I have ever played.