A native of Portland, Oregon, Caili O’Doherty has received national awards for jazz piano performance and composition from Downbeat Magazine as well as an ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer award. Initially trained as a classical pianist, Caili was exposed to a variety of musical styles before discovering her love for jazz at age eleven when she transferred to a performing arts school. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA on a full scholarship and graduated with a degree in jazz piano performance. During her time at Berklee, Caili was a member of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, an intensive honors performance program headed by highly acclaimed pianist Danilo Perez. Through this program, Caili had the opportunity to work closely with some of the leading musicians in the jazz world, including Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Dave Liebman, Adam Cruz, Terri Lyne Carrington and Danilo Perez.
Caili has performed with various jazz groups at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia (opening for pianist Martial Solal), the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Panama Jazz Festival (opening for the Wayne Shorter Quartet), Mt. Hood Jazz Festival (as pianist for Terrell Stafford), Portland Jazz Festival, the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival in Ireland, Boston Beantown Jazz Festival, MICI International Film Festival in Mexico, Stanford Jazz Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, and UNESCO First International Jazz Day in Paris, as well as two US State Dept. supported tours to Colombia and Togo and Benin in West Africa.
In 2010, Caili was one of five female jazz pianists invited to participate in the inaugural Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artists Workshop held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and to perform at a showcase concert at the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.
Caili is actively involved in jazz education and outreach activities. As a member of the Global Jazz Institute, she conducted workshops and master classes in the US and abroad, and performed at prisons, orphanages, women’s shelters, and other venues to bring jazz to a wider audience. In addition, for several years, she was an instructor for the Berklee City Music program, a nonprofit education program for underprivileged 4th to 12th grade students. Caili also performs regularly with her own groups at retirement centers and children’s hospitals in the New England area.
Since graduating from Berklee and relocating to New York City, Caili has embarked on a career to satisfy her equal passions for composing, performing, educating, and humanitarian work.