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Craig Buhler

Craig Buhler is Director of the 17-piece "Stardust Dance Band" in which he plays first tenor sax. He is also director of the two big bands at Camp Heebie Jeebies http://www.campheebiejeebies.us/, Music Director for the Carmel Big Band Workshop in Calif., and director of one of the two big bands at the Northwest Big Band Workshop http://www.nwbb.info/ For the past 15 years, Craig has been a full-time instructor in clarinet, saxophone, flute, ear training, and improvisation. The comprehensive Second Edition of his revolutionary New Ears Resolution is helping musicians worldwide learn to improvise http://craigbuhler.com/play-by-ear/ . Craig is a charter member of the rock band "HONK," http://www.honkband.com/index.htm whose yearly reunion concerts are still a priority for California audiences raised on HONK's 5 albums (including the successful soundtrack to "Five Summer Stories"), and their numerous appearances with "The Beach Boys," "Loggins & Messinah", "Chicago," Dave Mason, Jackson Browne, etc. Among his nine CD's are six jazz combo collections and three original contemporary worship albums.

He has been a professional jazz, rock, & dance musician for many years, having participated in over 25 recordings and live appearances in Europe, Asia, & North America with 100+ bands.

Craig studied music privately with Bill Green, Al Learned, and Mitchel Lurie and at UCLA & the University of Redlands, later earning an M.S. from the University of Washington.

Craig was an Artist Clinician for the late Boosey & Hawkes Musical Instrument Company. He sings & plays soprano, alto, & tenor saxophones, clarinet, & flute. Audiences enjoy hearing Craig play 2 saxes at once!


Album Review

Craig Buhler: Skykomish

Read "Skykomish" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Reed man Craig Buhler, an educator by profession, is in every sense of the definition a West Coast jazz musician. He also serves as Musical Director of the 18-piece Stardust Big Band and as leader of the Jazz 101 combo--all significant credentials to being an established jazz artist. But there is another side to this versatile musician that emerges here, drawing from his experience as a rock and gospel playing musician, with Skykomish eschewing traditional jazz compositions in favor of ...

Album Review

Craig Buhler: Skykomish

Read "Skykomish" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

On Capistrano Sessions (Discernment Music, 2007), saxophonist/arranger Craig Buhler boldly updated the sound of West Coast Cool, effectively making him the heir proper to composer Marty Paich. Buhler tempers his grip on said inheritance with Skykomish, an effort to add to the new book of jazz standards while suggesting two of his own. An “everyman" musician, he is involved in recording, performance, education, church and local activities in his North West community of Sequim, Washington, where he lives with his ...

Album Review

Craig Buhler: Capistrano Sessions

Read "Capistrano Sessions" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

This is the first album for saxophonist/composer/bandleader Craig Buhler, who hails from the Seattle area. Since the early '70s, Buhler has also had a successful run with his rock band, Honk, as well as providing, in another phase of his musical life, Christian music.

Buhler and his quintet provide eleven original compositions that evoke what he refers to as a jazz journey along the Pacific Coast. In many ways, the music is typically West Coast and seems like ...

Take Five With...

Take Five With Craig Buhler

Read "Take Five With Craig Buhler" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Craig Buhler: Charter member of Honk since 1972. We released five LP/CDs on Epic, 20th Century and Restless, toured with the Beach Boys, Loggins and Messina, Poco, Jackson Browne, Santana, Chicago and others.My jazz group, Storyville, featured Paul Kreibich, John Ferraro, Dan Barrett, Karen Hammack, Brian Atkinson and others. We opened for Dizzy Gillespie ("nice baritone sax sound") and The Crusaders.I have six of my own jazz albums and have recorded with Ian Matthews, Brian ...

Album Review

Craig Buhler: Capistrano Sessions

Read "Capistrano Sessions" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Welcome to the West Coast, and welcome to some buoyant cool jazz on Capistrano Sessions. Multiple reedist Craig Buhler (clarinet, alto and tenor saxophones) takes us on a “trip along the Pacific Coast" on this recording. This quintet outing fits the mold of fellow West Coaster Art Pepper's sound, though Buhler and his mates have perhaps a more upbeat, outgoing and slightly less intense approach.This disc of all original material opens with a zingy, swinging “Lookear," where Buhler ...

Album Review

Craig Buhler: Capistrano Sessions

Read "Capistrano Sessions" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

A blind spin of The Capistrano Sessions immediately evokes the recordings Shorty Rogers made in the 1950s. The sound, the swing, the je ne sais quoi is a vintage West Coast jazz vibe. One of the hallmarks of the West Coast sound is the facile ability for small combos to sound like a much larger band. This ability is a function of the musical arrangement, the West Coast having a stable full of such talent. Multi-instrumentalist leader Craig Buhler provides ...

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Performance / Tour

Craig Buhler in California Jan. 10

Craig Buhler in California Jan. 10

Source: Kari-On Productions

Craig Buhler


Buhler Releases His New CD, Capistrano Sessions with an Emphasis on Melodic Colors and Textures of Landscape Requesting: CD Review/Live Performance Review

Buhler, a highly respected and well-versed clarinetist and saxophonist from the Seattle area is proud to announce the release of his new CD, Capistrano Sessions, on Discernment Music (ASCAP.) Buhler's new release is an authentic jazz quintet setting with beautifully composed original jazz selections that draw its inspiration from the people and places ...

FROM: Jazz Improv Magazine & NY Jazz Guide (May 2007) by Joe Knipes “Craig Buhler is a clarinetist and saxophonist from the Seattle, Washington area. Each song on Capistrano Sessions is an original that shows off Buhler’s ability to write in a variety of jazz styles. The leader also generously shares the melody chores with each of his band mates, and creates arrangements that allow each song to have its own stamp of individuality. area, who has assembled a strong quintet for his latest release." READ FULL ARTICLE: http://craigbuhler.com/reviews/jazz-improv-magazine-ny-jazz-guide-may-2007-by-joe-knipes/
Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


jazz clarinet, saxophone, flute, ear training, and improvisation. My ear training book "New Ears Resolution" is helping musicians worldwide learn to play by ear. http://craigbuhler.com/play-by-ear/ My other book, "Keys to Music" is a complete course in jazz clarinet, sax, or flute, starting at the beginning and progressing up to a semi-pro level. Comes complete with an audio CD containing 26 original etudes performed by a professional 5-piece jazz group. Lessons available via Skype or at my studio in Sequim, WA for $25 per hour.

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Discernment Music


Capistrano Sessions

Discernment Music



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