Luca Santaniello is a drummer, composer and educator living in New York City. His proficiency in many different musical situations and settings, and his strong versatility skills on the drums have earned him wholehearted praise in the United States, Europe and South America. He entered the international scene by performing with some of the great masters of jazz such as Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Benny Golson, Ron Carter and Roy Hargrove and recording on major music label Verve/Universal in the album of japanese jazz pianist Chihiro Yamanaka “ Running Wild”, and on some of the most acclaimed European jazz artists albums like incredible pianist Roberto Tarenzi with whom he recorded two albums “13 Floors” and “ Dig Deep” for the label Music Center, great tenor saxophonist Emanuele Cisi “Where or When” for Max Jazz -horn series, and saxophone virtuoso Dmitry Baevsky “Some Other Spring” for the French label Rideau Rouge. Luca cheers another long time , deep and strong collaboration, the one with trumpeter Carlos Abadie, with whom he has been playing since 2003 and has recorded 2 albums “Immersed in the quest Vol.1” and “Immersed in the quest Vol.2-Carlito’s way” for record label Truth Revolution Records.
Luca Santaniello began taking drums lessons at the age of eight in his hometown of Campobasso, Italy, and started playing drums in rock and jazz bands at the age of fourteen. At the age of 12 he enrolled at the local music conservatory “L.Perosi” as a percussion major, and soon developed a passion for jazz, after discovering the music of Art Blakey and Elvin Jones through his first drums teacher.
After graduating with High Honors at the Conservatory “L.Perosi”, he relocated to the United States in 2001 at the age of 21 to study at the Brooklyn-Queens College of Music in New York City.
In 2009 Luca Santaniello has been chosen by a jury of world jazz masters like Carl Allen, Ron Carter ,Kenny Washington and Billy Drummond, to be part of the Artist Diploma Program at Juilliard School, the world leading institution in arts education. In this highly selective post-master and full scholarship program, Luca Santaniello represented Juilliard School throughout United States, South America and Europe through performance and educational outreach activities sharing his music knowledge in master classes and workshops with university level students from all over the world. After graduating from Juilliard in 2011 and sharing the Commencement stage at Alice Tully Hall in New York City with world famous artists such as pianist Herbie Hancock , composer John Adams and actor Derek Jacoby, Luca Santaniello still honors the established collaboration with Juilliard School being the first Italian musician that has never been be part of the top performance program in jazz studies at Juilliard School.
Since arriving in New York, Luca Santaniello quickly earned a reputation as a valuable freelance drummer, working in the trio of veteran Roland Kirk pianist Ron “Rhan” Burton and recording with the likes of Makoto Ozone and Harry Allen. Also highly regarded as a private drums instructor and studio musician , Luca Santaniello has often been seen performing in some of New York’s world-famous concert halls and clubs, such as the, The Blue Note, The Harvard Club, The Paul Hall and Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 55 Bar, Smalls, Jazz Standard, Sweet Rhythm, Lenox Lounge, Zinc Bar and Smoke.
Luca Santaniello has also been featured in several other high-profile magazines, newspapers and e-zines, including the JazzMan-France, All About Jazz-New York, and Jazz Inside-New York.
Over the years, Luca Santaniello has built an impressive performance resume appearing with the Spoleto Symphony Orchestra of the International Music Festival of Spoleto-Italy, and with several top international jazz artists, such as vibraphonists Joe Locke, Mark Sherman pianists Aaron Goldberg, Makoto Ozone, Anthony Wonsey, Eric Lewis (Elou), Dan Nimmer, Jeb Patton, Roberto Tarenzi, Jon Davis,; vocalists Carolyn Leonhart, Lezlie Harrison, Alice Ricciardi, saxophonists Joe Lovano, Lee Konitz, Harry Allen, Vincent Herring, Lew Tabackin, John Ellis, Joel Frahm, JD Allen,Wayne Escoffery, Melissa Aldana; trumpeters Roy Hargrove, Brian Lynch, Terrell Stafford, Joe Magnarelli, Jim rotondi, Jeremy Pelt, Duane Eubanks; bassists Ron Carter, Ben Wolfe, Ray Drummond, David Wong, Jay Leonhart, Ugonna Okegwo, Cameron Brown; guitarists Joe Cohn, Jimmy Bruno, Rodney Jones, Paul Bollenback, Jonathan Kreisberg, William Ash.
As an orchestral percussionist and drummer, Luca Santaniello has also worked with world-class symphonic orchestras and chamber groups such as The Spoleto Symphonic Orchestra, Giuseppe Verdi Symphonic Orchestra of Salerno, The Molise Symphonic Orchestra, Solisti Aquilani Chamber Group and conductors such as Luigi De Bernard, Riccardo Muti, Roy Hragrove Big Band,. His international performing schedule with The Juilliard Jazz Quintet and other artists has brought him to Colombia , Brazil, Costa Rica as well as, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, and he has appeared on some of the most renowned stages in the world, such as Paul Hall New York City; Auditorium Pereira Sao Paolo Brazil: Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC: San Carlo Theatre Naples Italy.
Luca Santaniello’s strong skills on drums and percussion and his eclectic capacity in composing and arranging has allowed him to become quite in demand in other musical styles as well, having performed or recorded in the studio with, multiple grammy nominated singer song writer and producer Larry Dvoskin, Australian Idol finalist Garth Ploog, singer-songwriter Anna Dagmar Johnson, jazz and pop singer Greta Panettieri (leader of Decca’s recording band Greta’s Bakery), singer songwriter Stefanie Seskin and R&B band Blue Number Nine for label Check Other Records. Luca Santaniello has also recorded drums for the single “Sorry Moe” by the rock band Belt that has been featured with his video on US music channel MTV and for Sony recording artist Sistiana in the single “The Storyteller”.
Luca Santaniello’s scenic appearance has also been noticed by the international film production company Furst Films , that cast him as jazz drummer in the movie “the Girl In The Park” starring Sigourney Weaver, Kate Bonsworth and Kery Russell.
Luca Santaniello is an alumnus of several full fellowship educational institutions, including the Juilliard School (2009-2011), Gluck Fellowship Program at Lincoln Center (2010-2011) and the Siena Jazz Vocational Course sponsored by the European Community (1998). He was also a finalist for the Hoilehart International Jazz Competition in Belgium (2001). In October 2007, he was selected by The Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York City for the CNN television broadcast of the Columbus Day Parade, the annual national event celebrating Italian American cultural heritage, showcasing a trio of Italian American jazz musician including pianist Antonio Ciacca.