Caelan Cardello in the Theater
February 20 @ 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Born into a musical household in Teaneck, NJ, Caelan Cardello practically had music infused in his DNA from the start. He started playing piano at the age of 5 and within two years had begun parallel arcs of formal training in both classical and jazz piano, starting with jazz pianist/arranger Allen Farnham and Juilliard classical alum Steve Masi. Caelan’s consistent musical growth enabled him to secure mentorships with some of the most sought after luminaries in the jazz piano pantheon, most notably Fred Hersch, Frank Kimbrough and Dave Kikoski
Caelan’s early involvement with several distinguished arts programs figure prominently in his musical development. First and foremost was the renowned Jazz House Kids in Montclair, NJ – a comprehensive and immersive community jazz arts program developed and run by jazz vocalist Melissa Walker and husband, bass icon Christian McBride. Caelan often held “featured artist” status when playing with the JHK ensembles and his 7 years with the program afforded him invaluable opportunities to regularly play and study with some of the most prominent figures in jazz today including Jimmy Cobb, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jack DeJohnette, Wallace Roney, Ravi Coltrane, Paquito D’Rivera, pop songsmith Bruce Hornsby and of course Christian McBride to name but a few. As an alumnist of the program, Caelan’s affiliation has continually opened doors for him to perform with many other celebrated jazz greats in NYC’s legendary jazz haunts like Dizzy’s Club, Minton’s Playhouse, Smalls Jazz Club and The Jazz Standard.
Caelan cites two additional program experiences as being particularly impactful; they are his performances with The New Jersey All State Orchestra (2016, 2017) and the prestigious National Young Arts NYC program (2018) for which he was selected from a substantial and very competitive pool of talented young musicians.
Over time, Caelan’s musical accomplishments and live performances have garnered him several prestigious awards including the New Jersey Governor’s Award, the James Moody College Scholarship Award for “Outstanding Musicianship,” and the prestigious 2021 BMI Foundation’s Future Jazz Master Award which lists Ahmad Jamal, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock among their judges. One honor of particular mention is the “Outstanding Soloist” award he received at the Charles Mingus HS Competition & Festival which resulted in Caelan being “tapped” for a “sub” slot with the Mingus Big Band at the Jazz Standard in NYC. Most recently, Caelan was selected as one of the five finalists for the very prestigious American Pianists Association Jazz Piano Competition.
“Caelan Cardello is a natural…a great talent with an innate ability to communicate with other musicians and with the audience, his playing is uplifting and effervescent.”
— Bill Charlap