Brian Caselli Jordan is about to brag about himself in the third person! Brian was born and raised in Downers Grove, Illinois but resides in Philadelphia where he works as a musician, elementary school teacher, and garden educator. He comes from a musical family, and draws heavily from the examples set by his Grandpa Eugene Caselli, his Uncle Tony Caselli, his Mom Julie Ann Caselli, and his sisters, Jamie and Leslie Jordan. Brian's voice, style and arrangements are an evolving blend of such varied influences as the Jazz greats Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Harry Connick Jr. with a hint of philosopher-musician Jack Johnson, Motown miracle Stevie Wonder, and hip hop/R&B legend Lauryn Hill, among others. Brian graduated with a degree in Italian (and Environmental Studies!) from the UW Madison, and relishes any opportunity to share some songs (and speak!) in Italian, Spanish or French (and a little bit in Portuguese and Mandarin :)
Brian has been singing for most of his life, fell in love with his guitar in 2008, and has been playing at weddings and other special events for over five years. Brian was recently chosen as the winner of the Philadelphia city council's PHL Live Jazz Competition. Brian sang for thousands of listeners on Celebrity Cruise Lines throughout the Mediterranean and the Caribbean with the 4-man a cappella group, "The Cat's Pajamas", and has performed as a soloist in Spain, Chicago, San Francisco, Wisconsin, Philadelphia and Italy in various Jazz and pop music contexts. In addition to singing and playing elegant, soulful renditions of music from the great American songbook at private events and restaurants throughout Philadelphia and the east coast, Brian plays with the conscious acoustic duo, "City Love".
I (gonna switch back to first person here...) would also like to take a moment to pay homage and give thanks to the African American roots of the Jazz tradition that has been such a liberating force in my life. Jazz is an art form that demands freedom and spontaneity of expression, and it has been a blessing for me to get to play this music that encourages me to keep searching for my voice and never get too comfortable playing the same old thing. Right now so many children who have a great need for the healing and expressive outlet that music offers have had the music program cut at their school because of budget problems. I hope we may come to a day when all children learn music as a birthright, and when that day comes, who can know the beauty of the music that will be brought into the world? Thank you for reading. -Brian
Photographer: Jenny Chen