This past weekend, crafty folks from all over came to our humble corner of the U.S. They traveled to the Miami Convention Center to show off their goods to the America's Got Talent producers at the season 9 tryouts. But it was one of our own musicians that stole the spotlight in a big way. Palm Beach County live music staple Jason Cardinal had been preparing for his tryout for some time, and it looks like having his eyes on the prize might be paying off.
It's important to inform you that Jason is not your typical tiki bar acoustic cover act. He's a walking one-man band. The guy plays four instruments at once: guitar, an electronic drum kit with two pedals (one for bass, one for snare), harmonica, and a crash symbol he hits with drumstick that's attached to a motorcycle glove on his strumming hand. Say what? Oh yeah, and all that while he's belting his little heart out. What Jason produces is a true performance, not just a sing-a-long. Cardinal hopes this will catch the eyes of the AGT judges and help push him into the spotlight.
But it wasn't always this way. The musician made his way down here from Ashaway, Rhode Island, less than five years ago as a guy that picked up a guitar every once in a while. His story is what legendary musician biopics are made of, and Jason tells it best. "I was working a day job and bartending downtown on Clematis. One night, the band didn't show up at the restaurant I was working at, and the owner asked me to play because I talked about playing guitar. I played that night for the first time ever in front of a live crowd, and I was let go as a bartender and hired as a musician."
Fast forward to this past weekend when Cardinal made his journey to Miami in hopes of getting to share his abilities with the America's Got Talent audience, something he's been working towards. "I chose America's Got Talent because it's based on live performance, not recording contracts or endorsement deals," he says. So he rolled in confident, but wanted to warm up his on-point Lil Wayne and Ray Charles impersonations before his 90 second audition.
But then something pretty magical happened. The AGT team keeps all the future-maybe-famous in a holding room before they get their official audition. The performers try to pass the time by outdoing each other, and our local boy Jason stepped up and stole the show. His jams had the entire room busting out their smart phones and snapping videos. That's right, with all that talent in the room, they were just happy being spectators. "I play best in front of a crowd," said Jason, and the proof is right here:
So did make the cut? No one knows yet. But with almost 1,500 views after just one day online, Jason is hoping this YouTube gem will help ensure he gets his time on the AGT stage. Lucky for us, we have the chance to see him perform live during his 5 to 8 gigs a week in Palm Beach County. Also, stay on the lookout for the studio album currently being recorded.
The surreal experience from the tryouts definitely left Jason with a good taste in his mouth, but he seems happy making music either way. "It was really flattering. Even if I'm not on the show, I have 50 new fans!"