2021 Future Jazz Master Announced

Published: 04.23.2021

Above: Caelan Cardello

The BMI Foundation has awarded Caelan Cardello for the Sixth Annual BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship. The $5,000 prize was announced as part of BMI's celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellows at the April 22nd concert. Cardello is a pianist and composer at William Paterson University in New Jersey. “I am so deeply humbled and grateful to receive the Future Jazz Masters award, and I encourage any young serious jazz musicians to apply. Thank you BMI and NEA for this wonderful, inspiring opportunity!” said Cardello. 

The BMI Future Jazz Master Scholarship is an annual competition for rising jazz stars pursuing an academic degree in jazz studies. The award was established by BMI in 2015 in honor of the NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship, a lifetime achievement recognition program widely considered to be the highest honor in jazz music, and pays tribute to the artistic excellence of jazz pioneers while providing crucial support for an emerging artist. The scholarship is awarded by a panel of NEA Jazz Master judges based on evidence of talent and potential as a jazz performer and composer.

Born into a musical household, Caelan Cardello began playing piano at the age of 5. By the age of 10 he was studying both jazz and classical separately with jazz pianist/arranger Allen Farnham and Juilliard Alum. Steven Masi. Throughout his middle and high school years, Caelan had the opportunity to perform for/ play with jazz idols such as Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb, Ravi Coltrane, Ingred Jensen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Brad Mehldau, Wynton Marsalis, and Teanecks own Jon Faddis and Freddie Hendrix. He was apart of the organization Jazz House Kids for 7 years, in which he got the opportunity to learn from the greatest jazz masters and perform at venues such as Dizzys Club and the Montclair Jazz Festival. Caelan has also performed at venues in NYC such as Smoke Jazz Club and The Jazz Standard, as well as the Detroit Jazz Festival. Other accolades include 2018 winner for National YoungArts, 2017 Finalist for Grammy Jazz Band, and 2016,17 All State Jazz Band pianist. Caelan is currently finishing up his junior year as a Jazz Performance major at William Paterson University. He studies privately with saxophonist Vincent Herring and pianist David Kikoski, and has previously studied with Mike Ledonne, Geoff Keezer, Harold Mabern, and Kevin Hays. Caelan plans to attend grad school in New York City and hopes to release an album within the next year