Coming from a musical family in Teaneck, NJ, Caelan Cardello started taking classes at the JAZZ HOUSE in 2012 and stayed until graduating in 2018, when he would continue his studies at William Paterson University under the tutelage of Harold Mabern and Bill Charlap. As a rising star in the New York City area, Caelan credits JAZZ HOUSE for teaching him how to be a professional in the industry.
“I learned a lot about how to carry myself, how to prepare music, and I watched the faculty not only in how they played with each other but how they handled themselves off-stage after the music was done. The fellowship continued even after the last chord, and that left a huge impression on me.”
The mentorship that Caelan valued in his time as a student re-appeared as an alum when he was asked to join the JAZZ HOUSE Faculty Ensemble for a trip to Bahrain in fall 2021. “It was eye-opening – it was my first international tour, and I got to see two sides of the coin, both playing with my mentors but also hanging out with them off-stage. This time I wasn’t watching the fellowship but I was getting to be a part of it.”
Sharing some thoughts on being part of this competition with Isaiah and Esteban, he said, “I’ve always looked up to both of them, even though Esteban is younger. When I first auditioned for JAZZ HOUSE in 2012, I heard Esteban playing some incredible classical piano piece, and I was kind of put on notice. I was expecting a college kid, and out walks little Esteban. Also, seeing Isaiah go from the JAZZ HOUSE Big Band to playing with Wynton and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra has been really special. Seeing their successes is motivating for me, just like it always has been.”
Caelan has some great happenings in the works – a special big band performance in May, an event to keep an eye out for at the 92nd Street Y, and possibly an album in the next year or so. He will also be attending Juilliard in the fall for his masters degree in jazz performance.