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Craig Pruess

Craig began performing and composing from an early age in the competitive environment of Westchester County, New York State, specialising in brass (classical, big band, and jazz), piano, harpsichord, woodwind, and percussion. At the age of twelve, he performed the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in Eb, and appeared on a prime time American national television show, "To Tell the Truth" with Art Linkletter, where he played drums with jazz artist Barry Miles.

Craig started his own successful professional jazz trio at the age of fourteen, The Radical Three - arranging, composing and leading the group playing piano. From the age of sixteen he appeared as featured soloist on trumpet with many orchestras and bands, also featuring in live radio broadcasts in New York City.

He attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides his studies in physics, philosophy, media technology, and electronic music, he pursued early work in controlling laser beams with music (1969-71). During his years in Boston, he forged musical partnerships and friendships with undergraduates of Berklee School of Music such as top US session musician Jeff Lorber, and was greatly influenced during this time by the work of up-and-coming masters like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Mahavishnu John McLaughlin.

Through his contacts in England and abroad, he was invited to join the staff of the East African Conservatoire of Music in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1971, conducting the National Symphony Orchestra and appeared as the featured soloist in a National Concert of the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in Eb. While recording and studying African music, he also started a popular white soul and rhythm band in Nairobi, appearing on National Television, and setting the Nairobi dance clubs alight, heading the band as a singer, keyboard player, and trumpeter.

Returning briefly to the US in 1973 (before aiming for England) to purchase the latest electronic synthesisers of the day, Craig happened to attend a concert at MIT by one of the great Indian music masters, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, which was to have a immense impact on him, and this kindled a long term passion for Indian classical music - both the science of the rhythms and the sublime intricacies of the raga melodies.

Craig Pruess

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