Michele Caniato & Cam Ray with Escape to Create
Born in Venice, Italy, composer Michele Caniato grew up in an Anglo-Venetian household where classical music, gospel, opera, jazz, and plays were prominent. Since attending Berklee School of Music on scholarship and receiving his doctorate from Boston University, Caniato’s compositions have been performed nationally and internationally and have received numerous awards. A Fulbright Scholar at Metropolia University, Helsinki, Finland, and professor of music at Fitchburg State University (MA), Dr. Caniato is a published theorist with a focus on jazz theory and conducting. He will be working on piano and choral pieces and a commission for fall 2016 concert benefitting students in need through Music For Food. Caniato will present his engaging PowerPoint lecture “What To Listen For In Music.”
Cam Ray is one of North Florida’s most sought-after pianists for both solo and group settings. His diverse styles range from Classical to Jazz and Broadway to Motown, keeping his keyboard playing in high demand. Cam studied classical music for 12 years when he then began studying jazz. He has scored top ratings at numerous National Piano Guild competitions for classical piano as well as received many scholarships and awards for jazz piano. Cam graduated from the University of North Florida in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies and Piano Performance. After college, Cam became the instrumental director at Christ’s Church Mandarin for 3 years. Cam has been playing professionally in the Southeast for over 20 years and has also been a private music teacher for over 15. He has performed in many different venues in varied settings from solo piano to 17-piece big bands and off-Broadway pit orchestras.