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Three Things About Me,

Three Things About My Band

Caitlin Warbelow

Three things about me:


1.   I have played music professionally and semi-professionally since I was in my teens, but my academic degrees are in anthropology and urban planning (in addition to violin performance). 

2.   I like taking my violin to places it shouldn't really be going, and playing tunes in those places. I took a violin to the top of Mt. Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, on research sailing ships in the Aleutian Islands and the South Pacific, while ice fishing on a fly-in-only lake in Western Canada, and while playing for a few seconds at -50 degrees while wearing a swimsuit and standing in front of a temperature sign in my hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska. This is a crazy tradition Alaskans have when it gets very cold!) I always wonder whether my violin loves the adventures it goes on, or hates them!

Caitlin Warbelow

3.   My favorite foods are (in this order): great bread, toasted, with great salted butter; Alaskan red salmon (I'm a bit of a fish snob, having grown up where I did!), and organic sour cream. 

Three things about my band:


1.   The Come From Away band is very unusual in that includes players, and instruments, that are authentically traditional - fiddle, Irish flute, whistles, Uilleann pipes, and bodhran. This is one of the things I love most about my show - the Music Director was very insistent on having authentic music and musicians to represent the traditional music in the show. 


2.   Ben Power, the flute player, and I share a mutual very close friend (from Ireland) whom we both met well before meeting each other in NYC. That friend was a primary reason I started playing Irish music - he was a bodhran player, singer, and engineer who worked on the North Slope in Alaska. Ben and I met in NYC when I first moved here, then Ben moved away and we reunited in Seattle for Come From Away many years later, having lost touch. This is something I love about traditional music - it has made its way everywhere in the world, and it's like a language - once you can play it, you can go anywhere and be part of a network of people who "speak the same language" as you, regardless of whether they actually speak your language. In other words, it allows you to "Come From Away" and be met with a welcoming community, just like in Gander. 


3.   Well....we are a very silly group of musicians. We sometimes place little jokes or notes on each others stands, and the nerds among us who sit on the left side of the stage (what we call "The Treehouse") like to observe and track slight differences in the show each night. When you play a show a thousand or more times, you notice the slightest little things - even one wrong note or one missed beat - we love to call each other out and also congratulate each other on music well-played. We're definitely a family.



Three things about me:


1.   I write, record, and perform my own original music - and I’ve released 3 records! Please follow me on social media for info


2.   Before CFA, I was in the onstage band for the Broadway show American Idiot, which gave me lots of opportunity to hone my spastically-jumping-around-while-playing-guitar skills.


3.   What with all the acoustic playing I do in CFA, I find myself constantly referring back to the original 1969 recording of Tommy, particularly Pete Townshend’s impeccable rhythm guitar playing.


Three things about my band:


1.   Flutist/Whistler and CFA bandmate Ben Power and I attended the same tiny liberal arts college (called St. John’s College) in Annapolis, MD back in the 80s. After I left, I didn’t see Ben again until the first day of band rehearsal for CFA in La Jolla - in 2015!

2.   The band-wide preference seems to be for dark chocolate with 70% or greater cocoa content.

3.   I have personally witnessed each and every band member kissing a fish.



Three things about me:


1.    I have been playing on Broadway for over 23 years, but before that, played with major pop and country artists on tour, which helped inform what I choose to play on this particular show. 


2.    I’m proud of the message of Come From Away... it’s a true story about the kindness and goodness inherent in all people. 


3.   After two years, we are still a sold-out hit, and owe our success to our producers and management, but most importantly to the good people of the world, for spreading the word about this beautiful true story of sisterhood and brotherhood. We are all in this planet together... we should always take care of one another; and that’s my personal motto. 


Three things about my band:


1.   This is the first time a “trad band” has been combined with a “Broadway orchestra”, on a Broadway stage, for true stylistic integrity. 


2.   Our band is comprised of members from specific worldwide locations, such as Newfoundland, where the show is set. 


3.   The Come From Away orchestra is positioned onstage and carries an important creative component to the show itself, as they commingle with the cast onstage during several scenes, as well as being featured at the end of the show. 



Three things about me:


1.   I am one of two Canadians in the band. Represent.


2.   I’ve been known to moonwalk for a second or two during my onstage choreography.


3.   I’ve made my way in the city as a multi-instrumentalist, playing whatever instrument the gig needs. The weirder the better.


Three things about my band


1.   On stage we’re split into 2 groups, stage left and stage right. We call stage left ’The Treehouse.’


2.   We always point out the Newfoundland flags in the audience. Sometimes we even carry some ourselves when we go out for the bows.


3.   There has not been an absence of at least one bar of fancy chocolate in our band dressing room virtually since we opened.




Three things about my band:


1.  My band is filled with incredibly talented individuals!


2.  This band puts so much heart & soul into playing ’COME FROM AWAY’ every night!  I feel such joy being a part of this special group!


3.  We laugh constantly, which is a beautiful thing!

Three things about me:


1.   I love the Japanese dish Okynomiyaki!


2.  Funkadelic is one of my favorite groups.


3.  I’m very fortunate to be a part of this show, telling this amazing story!


Di Nillo

Three Things About Me:


1.   Besides a percussionist and drummer, I’m a typical Canadian complete with love of hockey and ice skating.

2.  Before Come From Away, I played 2600 shows of Wicked (drums)

3.  I’m a native Newfoundlander who loves tunes from home and traveling back whenever I can. 



Three Things About My Band:


1.   It’s more like a family than a band

2.   I am in awe of them every single show

3.   We have become chocolate snobs complete with chocolate ’tastings'




Three things about me:

1.  I have an electrical engineering degree from the University of Michigan, but I decided I’d rather be playing music than sitting in an office!


2.  I love finding new and unique dishes to cook at home - a challenge in a tiny NYC kitchen.  


3.  I like to travel to interesting places and seek out the local music.  Some of my recent favorites include Fado (a melancholic type of Portuguese folk music) and the music of Shetland (blending elements of traditional Irish, Scottish, and Scandinavian music)

Three things about my band:

1.  All our conductors had to learn the Irish button accordion for the show. It’s quite different from a normal piano accordion, and is actually more similar to a harmonica.  This type of accordion is commonly played in Irish and Newfoundland traditional music, so it was a great choice for our show.  


2.  We love to find silly ways to keep ourselves sane onstage.  We have tons of fun hidden interactions with the actors and among ourselves that the audience never sees.  

3.  We love our band playoff at the end of the show!  It’s a great opportunity to interact directly with the audience in a way that many Broadway musicians don’t get to do.  We have some freedom to move around on stage and that helps to keep it fresh every night.  We especially love when there are kids in the front row clapping along with the music.  



Three things about me:


1.  COME FROM AWAY moved me and my family from a full-time Music Supervisor position at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle to working as a freelance Music Supervisor, Conductor and Arranger in NY. 

2.  I learned to play the Irish button accordion for COME FROM AWAY.

3.  I never realized how deeply I love folk and Celtic music until immersing myself in the music of Newfoundland.

Three things about my band:

1.   I couldn’t imagine a kinder, more generous or dedicated group of musicians to work with on a daily basis. 

2.   The COME FROM AWAY band very much echoes the melting pot kind of immersion that took place in Gander, NFLD on 9/11: we have musicians from NY, Canada, Newfoundland, with all ranges and styles of experience from trad to commercial to classical music.

3.   The COME FROM AWAY band is constantly active throughout the show - on stage, off stage, underscoring 98% of the dialogue, playing for almost 102 minutes straight!

Stage photos by Matthew Murphy