In-demand solo piano artist, Cara Sandahl is a 4th generation Seattle native. She began playing at the age of 4. Along the way, Cara memorized thousands of classics and popular song titles and was given the Arion Award– the oldest and most prestigous national award for outstanding musical achievement by promising new performers, as well as accomplished musicians who have made a significant contribution to music culture.
She received her B.A. from the University of Washington, studying with Dave Barduhn (former pianist with the Stan Kenton Orchestra), Patricia Michaelian (“A Major Artist”-New York Times) and Barney McClure (who performed with jazz luminaries Milt Jackson and Bud Shank).
Beginning at age 18, Cara toured the Pacific Northwest, California and Alaska with critically-acclaimed R & B- Funk/show groups, one of which opened for Jerry Lee Lewis and Bill Cosby. She also was the pianist for the biggest smash in Seattle theater history, “Angry Housewives” and performed with Clark Terry, Charlie Musselwhite and most surprisingly, Barney the Dinosaur and Famous Amos.
After college, Cara moved to Los Angeles where she was flown down by Nordstrom to hire all the pianists for a new store opening. She quickly became the preferred pianist at many upscale establishments and worked with major L.A. film composers. She was discovered by the McConkey Artists Agency, one of Hollywood’s leading talent agencies, which handles Grammy Award-winning pop superstar Tori Amos, signed big band greats Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, and the Four Freshmen.
Cara returned to her native Seattle, establishing herself as a veteran pianist of the top establishments in the city. She won both Emmy and Telly awards for her nationally-aired compositions. For years, Cara was voted #1 by Seattle A-List and in the top 5 of KING 5’S Best of Western Washington for Best Ceremony Music. Sample clients include Maestro Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony, Boeing Corporation, British and Finnish Consulate Generals, Bruce and Craig McCaw, and the Staubach Company.
Suffice it to say, Cara crosses gracefully between musical genres and knows scores of songs. Feel free to make a request! Chances are, she’ll know it.
“Cara Sandahl is truly one of the best pianists of our time. I am honored to know her.”
– Larry Washington, L.A. Radio Host, The Larry Washington Show
“Can’t say enough great things about pianist Cara Sandahl. If you want to add some class and creativity to your next event, sign her up at once!”
– Jim Dever, KING 5 Evening Magazine
“Fabulous. From her fingers flow grace, beauty, humanity, humor and the exquisite celebration of love.”
– David Steven Cohen, Emmy Award-Nominated T.V. Writer
“Cara is extraordinarily gifted with a beautiful spirit!”
– Annemarie Juhlian, KING 5’s Best of Western Washington- 1st Place: Wedding Officiant