When someone thinks of The Jazz Standards and The Great American Songbook, they think of an ancient, outdated relic of abygone era of music. But 20-year-old St. Louis native Caden Turner, who just moved to New York following his viral success on social media, proves that such thoughts are unfounded.
Before I say anything more, you should know that jazz is not my cup of tea. But when every family member and friend you know from New York tells you to go Birdland Jazz Club...well, you go. And so I did, with my proverbial bar set to the floor, expecting to fall asleep on the table and go back home wondering why I wasted a whole night on another failed attempt to enjoy my grandfather's music. However, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that my expectations this time around were blown out of the water. The reason is simple: Caden Turner.
From his captivating stage presence to his remarkably subtle yet charming voice, Turner is the full package set to revive America's long lost love of song. Although he still has a ways to go before he can think of matching legendary singers such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, he has a certain spark that is utterly unseen in the vast majority of today's young talent.
After arriving home from this young idol's stunning performance, I got ahold of him through social media in the hopes of answering some nagging questions.
When did you first discover the jazz standards?
My dad was the first person to introduce me to Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, and all those other cool cats. I've always considered myself an old soul. My go-to music is anything post-1990, but when I first heard the glorious sound that is jazz, I knew I was hooked.
What inspired you to start singing a now-forgotten style of music?
I started collecting vinyl records when I was 17. The first jazz record I bought was Frank Sinatra's "Songs for Swingin' Lovers!" Really, I was absolutely blown away by the way he sang. So, one day, I just decided to start singing. It's as simple as that.
Have you ever taken any vocal lessons?
I didn't take singing seriously until 2018 when I entered into a teen talent show back home in St. Louis. I have taken vocal performance classes with other teen broadway and jazz singers, but I've never been coached privately.
Where do you plan on taking your talent?
At the moment, I've been really committed to creating a studio album. There's no release date for it yet, but the project has been a passion of mine ever since I first started singing.