Carmen Spada graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA, obtaining a dual major in Piano Performance and Jazz Composition. While at Berklee, he earned the Berklee Achievement Scholarship, was nominated for the Boston Jazz Society Scholarship, represented Berklee internationally as a Student Ambassador and was the recipient of the 2007 Herb Pomeroy Award for excellence in Jazz Composition.
Though firmly rooted in jazz and world music, Carmen has enjoyed pursuing and establishing his solo career in a unique jazz crossover to pop niche, due to his success as a songwriter. He won the 2010 Rose Theatre Singer/Songwriter competition in Brampton, ON for best original song and lyrics with "Why You Make Me Fall In Love With You", and was also awarded a creation grant from the Ontario Arts Council for his 2013 EP release, Buona Sera, featuring original songs and arrangements of Italian folk music for trio and sextet. His compositional style is currently focused on "contemporary standards": songs featuring the commercial appeal of jazz standards through form and lyrics, but with a deeper and contemporary approach to harmony and melody.
A highly respected educator, Carmen conducts various clinics and masterclasses at secondary schools in the Greater Toronto Area, as well as boasts successful in-person and live, online private teaching studios, with an emphasis on contemporary improvisation, harmony, composition, ear training and songwriting, as well as post-secondary music curriculum and audition preparation for prospective undergraduate students. He was proudly appointed Alumni Ambassador for Berklee College of Music in 2014, and assists the college with recruitment and outreach opportunities within various communities. Annually, Carmen is the featured adjudicator in the pop and jazz sections at the Davenport Festival of Music in Toronto, and previously resided as a Sessional Lecturer in jazz studies at the University of Guelph.
In 2016, Carmen co-founded B-Jazzed, a non-for-profit organization curating performances, education series, and philanthropy of jazz music and its musicians, in the city of Brampton. Serving as its Artistic Director, Carmen has managed weekly performances in Brampton such as Joe's Jazz Jam, Jazz @ J. Red & Co., and Dinner Jazz at the Brampton Golf Club. In co-production with the Rose Theatre, he curated two seasons of Sessions @ Studio 2, a monthly concert series featuring some of Canada's best jazz musicians. Most importantly, however, Carmen created and programs the annual World of Jazz Festival in Downtown Brampton, a two-day festival boasting two stages and over 90 musicians highlighting the diversity and multicultural interpretations of jazz music. In May, 2018, the City of Brampton recognized Carmen's work with B-Jazzed with an Arts Acclaim Citizens Award.