Idle Poets
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Idle Poets

Portland, OR | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Portland, OR | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Jazz Pop




"Lil Bayou singer poised to take over Hollywood"

After starting in jazz clubs and lounges in Portland, two years and over 250 shows later, Craig Marquardo now headlines dozens of festivals every year all over the region.

Having been to some of his shows on earlier visits, I suggest getting there very early, as there tends to be standing room only at least an hour before the show starts, Get there any later, and they cannot let you in else go over capacity.

The show is lively, fun, engaging and interactive. (Unless you really CAN sing, do not raise your hand if he asks the audience who can.) But it is his magical way of turning a familiar favorite into something new and compelling that will capture you.

Van Morrison's 'Moondance', U2's 'One', a few different pieces by Sting - not what one would expect from a jazz singer. But, is he really?

No matter what he is, he is a show not to be missed. - Daily Astorian (Coast Weekend section)

"Music and a Movie"

....Saturday night featured jazz man Craig marquardo, who was joined by not only his band, but a 30-person choir from the University School in Spokane.

The concert was buzzing even before Craig took the stage, mostly because of the two camera crews filming the crowd as they arrived and seated, even an impromptu interview here and there. They were filming the concert to include in Craig's upcoming feature film debut 'Sway', where he plays (big surprise) a jazz singer.

Well, the movie is about more than that, but for the purposes of the concert, it added a huge buzz leading up to the first song.

The show started with a bang, with the band rocking out on a hip funk version of the Classic's song 'Spooky'. They blended lounge jazz, pop, funk, blues and swing very tightly in the performance. The highlight was during a sexy interlude of the latin hit 'Sway', when the 30-person choir came out and joined in on the final verse and chorus. The crowd was visibly surprised by their appearance and gave the whole show a standing O quite a few times..... - Inlander (Spokane)

"Screen Play"

Craig is a virile powerhouse with a no nonsense approach to success, and though he seemed to slip out of the woodwork overnight, his voice and mission are climbing by octaves....

...With his musical career on a rocket trajectory, his shows are a cant-miss event. The throes of women lined up in front of the stage and more aptly, in line to get backstage, are a testament to Craig's admittedly intentional sex appeal of the music. And having movie star good looks doesn't hurt either... - Florida International Magazine

"So Movie-Making businessmen can sing after all"

Even Craig Marquardo would hesitate to call his trio a Jazz ensemble. It has the right recipe: an upright bass, manned by Ron Delano, Stephen Leiker on the keys, and Craig behind the mic. Call it a brainteaser: Is it still Jazz if they cover the likes of Sting, Van Morrison, and Al Green? If Johnny Cash proved that Nine Inch Nails could be made into country-rock, Craig has a good chance to find his niche in cool trio lounge.

You can find them in many a packed house, bending old standards and more recent chart-toppers over a mood-lit room–and it is a pity. The ambient noise in a crowded café could never allow justice to a breathy musical number from the surprising voice of Mr. Marquardo.

Why is he surprising? After a decade spent in the Movie Business (capitalized), you would think that an ex-executive would be as musically lifeless as the rooms in which major deals were closed. Since then, he has pulled the posters off his Florida home walls and reattached them in Hood River, Oregon. “I was tired of the game. I was ready to have some fun for a change.”

He spoke of his days before getting into movies when, at 15 years old, he sang backup for Sting during Amnesty International’s 1988 Human Rights Now! tour. “It was a fluke after a fluke after a fluke,” Craig recalled over a tall cup of water (he doesn’t drink). His tableside manner smacks of a seasoned entertainment professional–relaxed and only too proud to offer his life story. A life story from him sounds like a rags to riches story–starting with being emancipated at age 13, experiencing homelessness, and then some modest success in movies.

Despite his humble roots, Craig has the satin voice to back himself. Five minutes in his audience will capture your ears and leave you thinking, didn’t I hear that somewhere? The trio’s fresh feel is a testament to new beginnings.

Delano, based out of Portland, and Leiker, the newest member of the trio (replacing former member, Rich Garber) are both seasoned musicians whose stage goofiness is demonstrative of their comfort with the group. Delano has his own solo guitar album available online, and Leiker is a recent transplant from Kansas City–brought in after leaving the Noah Peterson Soultet.

Before his life began to shift, Marquardo expressed his interest in tapping into the revival created by Harry Connick Jr., “I saw [him] do the Tonight Show, and he did ‘Don’t Get Around Much, Anymore’ and ‘Recipe For Love’…and I’m looking at him thinking, I can do that.” He then listened to every classic jazz album he could get his hands on, and pulled his voice out of the cobwebs at a piano bar he co-owned in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Jumping forward to today, it still needs to be seen if this trio can make it onto MTV (one of their more lofty goals). Success beyond a crowded nightclub will rely partially on Craig’s background as a business “force of nature,” and the reception to his new upcoming film, Sway.

Sway will feature the trio, and tell a “phoenix from the ashes” story of an ex-executive who cuts off his ties to take a break from the industry, while simultaneously finding his passion in music. Sound familiar? The movie will begin filming in Hood River “as soon as the weather gets better,” and is due for release later this year. It is starred in, produced, and written by Craig Marquardo himself.

When Delano and Leiker were asked about being on film, a small flash of nervousness passed before their eyes. “Craig did give us each a few speaking lines, the rest of the time, we just play,” Ron remarked. - Musica Magazine (Seattle)

"Mr. Hollywood Goes To Hood River"

....Craig has been wowing audiences all over the northwest for a few years now. If you ever have the chance to hear him sing, you will be taken aback with his way of making the entire room disappear as he sings only to you. While it may be a risky venture for you gentlemen to take your best girl to a show, it is sure to be a date she remembers. - Mt. Hood Gorge Connection

"Businessman transforms into drooner"

Craig Marquardo can sing. No doubt.

Craig apparently aims for more than just the audience captivated by Harry Connick, Jr., with Marquardo's throaty melodies crossing genres left and right. But no worries for the fans of the classics either, Marquardo can indeed croon. - Portland Business Journal


2020 - Under A Fading Sun



Our new album, Under A Fading Sun, is a collection of songs that Craig Marquardo has written over 25 years of his life. 'Love Or Lust' was written way back in 1994, whereas 'A Little Happiness' was written in 2019. It wasn't until he met pianist Dave Fleschner that he was finally able to turns these songs into reality.

Idle Poets was formed in 2017 and went through a few personnel changes before finding the incredible talents of Tom Andes (drums), Richard Armida (bass), Lance Vallis (guitar), and of course Dave Fleschner on piano.. Since then they have been headlining festivals all over the west coast.

Prior to becoming Poets, the various players have played with the likes of Sting, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Harry Connick Jr., BB King, The Pointer Sisters, Steve Miller, Johnny Mathis and Curtis Salgado.

The album was produced alongside Kris Lewis, who is also the bass player for the Prog Rock band VEIO, and also engineered the album. Kris also lent his bass and guitar skills to a few tracks.

We also added a few covers we have really made our own. An old Police tune, an obscure song from Harry Connick. Jr., and a completely re-imagined version of Rihanna's club dance hit.

We hope you enjoy our music, 25 years in the making.

Band Members