She fell in love with music when she was just a little girl. Now all grown up at 22, Jessica Calamera, of Yorktown, is getting ready to make a splash into the music industry and make it big.
The 2008 Lakeland High School graduate has been surrounded by music her whole life – both of her parents are musicians and performers – and music has always been prominent in every aspect of her everyday life.
"My parents have videos of me performing and writing songs as early as two years old so I guess I just kind of always knew this was what I was meant to do," Calamera said.
The pop/country singer and songwriter will be filming and recording her first television concert special and debut album, titled "This Much Fun," completely live at the historic Winery at St. George in Mohegan Lake on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with a special show for the press and industry on Oct. 1.
She will lead a band of some of the country’s finest musicians through the recording and filming of 12 new songs.
The tracks on the album range from sassy rock and roll and blues, driving in your car sing-alongs to beautiful heartfelt ballads, she said.
No stranger to the spotlight, Calamera's music has been featured in television and film and there are a few music videos. You can also hear some of her songs, by clicking here. She said she was excited to be filming her first concert special live, but she was not nervous because she feels she and her band are ready.
"I am so confident in the amazing band that we have put together, and I know they will give an incredible performance," Calamera said. "They are some of the finest musicians and people I have ever met and I feel so blessed to be sharing a stage with them. I just can’t wait for everyone to hear all of the new songs and see the show."
A few years ago, the woman was featured in her composer father’s own nationwide PBS television special, "Cal…Forever and Beyond." Calamera's heart wrenching ballad, “Favorite Stranger,” which details a couple’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease became a high point of the show.
"My dad has always been my number one fan and has been right beside me working every step of the way through all of the ups and downs I've experienced throughout my career so far," she said. "I really owe everything to him because of how much he has always believed in me and encouraged me to reach for the stars."
Calamera writes all of her own music and songwriting has always been an outlet for her, she said.
"The inspiration for my songs comes from my real life," the musician said. "When people hear my music, they are hearing my diary. I have an interesting story to go along with each and every song I have ever written and I hope that people can relate and connect to the music and the things that I write about being that I’m sure they have gone through them too at some point."
Calamera said through her music she hopes to make a difference in someone’s life through her own stories and life experiences, or even just simply bring a smile to someone's face on a rough day while they sing along to her songs.
The young woman's has always taken music seriously – she began taking piano lessons in elementary school, later learning the guitar and drums.
But it wasn't a year and a half ago that she knew she had to make what she calls an important life decision – she decided to pursue a solo career and leave the pop/rock band she had formed when she was just 14 years old.
"It was becoming clearer to me as I hit this crossroad in my life, coming near to the end of college and really being faced with the challenges of growing up, that I knew what I had to do," she said.
If she really wanted to make it, she had to go after her dreams.
"That is when I returned to my love of country music, wrote a whole batch of new songs in this genre and started to form the incredible 13-piece band that will play beside me at my showcases at The Winery at Saint George on Oct. 1 and 2," Calamera said.
Tickets for the filming at the Winery are sold out, but Calamera and her band will be making their way around the New York area in a series of local concerts as the film and CD are prepared for their official release dates around the holidays.
"My dreams and goals for my music career are to make a living touring, performing and doing what I love to do while making a difference in the lives of many," Calamera said.
Calamera has a Bachelor's degree from Pace University in math and adolescent education, and she is currently working on her Master's in special education at Pace University.
Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.