Christopher Cargnello is a versatile composer/songwriter, as well as an esteemed musician in Montreal. He obtained a master’s degree in jazz performance from McGill University in 2009, where he studied 7-string guitar and composed for the school’s symphony orchestra. In recent years, he has performed with Juno nominated folk-jazz singer Coral Egan, Haitian world-music artist Vox Sambou and soul songstress Sarah MK. He has toured across Canada, United States, Brazil, Cuba, West Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, sharing stages with acts as diverse as David Byrne, Alpha Blondy, Blue Rodeo, Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Blind Boys of Alabama, and Elza Soares. He is now the musical director and guitarist for singer-actress Aiza.
Cargnello has an intuitive grasp of many musical styles, having worked with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, reggae legend Ken Boothe, keyboardist Roger O’Donnell from the iconic British rock group The Cure, acclaimed Canadian jazz pianist-vocalist Laila Biali, and the Paris-based steelpan virtuoso Andy Narell.
As a composer, Cargnello has written the theme song and featured music for the TV show “The Street Speaks” (MaTV), and scored much of the soundtrack for the feature documentary “Clay vs. Clay” (Redhead Productions, broadcast on CBC television). He has written for artists such as Lee Oskar (founder of the American funk band War), KRS-One, Andrius Mamontovas (Lithuanian rock icon), Chris Velan (producer for Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars), and continues to build his catalogue as a member of the production duo Skinny Bros with his brother Paul Cargnello. In summer 2016, the second single (“My bébé go fait dodo”) from their album “Party Gras” remained in Quebec’s Top 100 charts for 11 weeks. Their music has found many placements on TV and film, including the 2006 TIFF and Genie award-winning movie "Familia" directed by Louise Archambault, as well as on CBC, Discovery UK, Investigation Discovery, Télé-Québec, Évasion, and Canal D.
Cargnello’s accessible and lyrically mature writing style has become increasingly sought in a diverse range of projects: He is a co-writer, arranger, and performer on Jasmine Bleile’s upcoming album, which features collaborations with Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Ana McGarrigle, and Murray Lightburn from The Deers. He co-wrote and performed guitar on the funk-boogie song “This Time” featuring Illa J (brother of hip hop producer J Dilla) released by Voyage Funktastique (Montreal) / Bastard Jazz Recordings (New York City). One of his songs is featured on the NYC jazz-pop singer Lisa Gary’s upcoming album “Goin' Your Way” which was produced by Rob Mounsey (producer/arranger for Aretha Franklin, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Aaron Neville). Cargnello is currently producing singer-actress Aiza’s upcoming debut album on Kartel Musik.
Whether on stage, in the studio, or behind the pen, Cargnello is a reliably hard-working artist with an unmistakable passion and drive for music.
© 2018 Christopher Cargnello