As a young artist in New York, Craig Bailey worked with drummer Charlie Persip's Superband before joining the world renowned group of Panama Francis and his Savoy Sultans, where he learned about traditional swing music. He then landed an audition with Ray Charles and became Charles’ lead alto saxophonist from 1988 until 2004. While working with Ray Charles, Craig worked with other artists such as the Tana Reid Quintet, Bobby Watson's Tailor Made Big Band, and the Tom Harrell Big Band. His debut album, A New Journey, was met with critical acclaim, and is referenced in "The Encyclopedia of Jazz" (revised by Ira Gitler). His second release, Brooklyn, met with a favorable review in Jazztimes Magazine. Bailey has released two more ablums: Brooklyn Big Band Live at Sweet Rhythm (2009) and Music à la Fleek as Craig Bailey and The Ohio Jazz Players (October 2018). Since 2014, Bailey is also the Assistant Professor of Music in Jazz Saxophone at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music.