Prolific pianist uses music to heal, inspire 

By American Heart Association News

As soon as Paul Cardall was born, doctors knew something was terribly wrong. He was a blue baby. Oxygenated blood wasn't pumping properly through his body. 

At only 22 hours old, Cardall underwent a difficult operation to save his life. The doctors discovered what amounted to only half a functioning heart and they warned his parents it was only a temporary fix for his complex congenital heart defect. The tragic prognosis: "Don't expect your son to survive." 

Yet, Cardall made it home from the hospital. Months turned into years as he went for periodic checkups, took piano lessons, earned his Eagle Scout badge and joked with friends about the noticeable scar on his chest. 

Some of his earliest memories were at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where the staff were like family. 

At age 13, he nearly died from an infection. He had a complicated heart surgery because of it. A year later, he returned for reconstructive heart surgery. 

Cardall had always been fighting for his own life. But it took the sudden death of his best friend, Dave Creer, in an auto-pedestrian accident for Cardall, then 16, to grasp the bigger picture. 

"The reality of life and how fragile it is, as a teenager, really hit me," he said. 

Cardall had never been keen on practicing the piano, but within a few hours he wrote "Dave's Farewell" for his friend. 

Dave's parents cried when Cardall performed it for them.



(Nashville, TN; October 16, 2019): Internationally renowned pianist, composer and producer Paul Cardall was a winner at Gospel Music Association’s 50th Annual Dove Awards held yesterday in Nashville, TN. Winning Instrumental Album of the Year for his album Christmas, it was produced by Jim Daneker and features fellow artist CeCe Winans, Audrey Assad, and Patrice Tipoki. Upon release, the album impressively debuted on 9 Billboard Charts, including #1 New Age Album, #1 Heatseekers — Mountain, # 4 Classical Album, #4 Classical Crossover Album, #8 Heatseekers, #11 Christian Album Sales, #31 Independent Album, #36 Top Christian Album Sales, and #42 Holiday Album.

“This win is a beautiful, humbling, incredible moment for my family, fans, and me. I’m amazed to see the impact piano music has on people of diverse faiths and cultures in more than 160 nations,” Cardall exclaimed before adding, “God knows who is hurting and I’m convinced He wants to heal all of us, one by one. He healed my heart. And it’s been my life’s work to heal other hearts.” 

Cardall is also celebrating the 10th Anniversary since receiving a new heart with his latest album Peaceful Piano, which was released August 23rd and was recently featured in Forbes, who noted he “draw(s) upon his own experiences to create soothing melodies that offer comfort.” As well they said, “His songs take the listener on an emotional journey.” 

The 18-track album of piano solos features album opener “A New Beginning”, along with “Dance of The Forgotten,” a poignant song written in honor of donors who have given the gift of life with their selfless act of organ donation. 

Born with congenital heart disease, Cardall went thru countless surgeries his childhood and adolescence before getting a transplant ten years ago. In and out of the hospital, he taught himself how to play piano as a teenager. 

Cardall released his first album in 1995 before founding his indie label Stone Angel Music, going on to impressively score eight No. 1’s on the Billboard Charts while releasing over 20 albums to date and earning a staggering 2.3 billion streams. 

Overall, Cardall has been responsible for 11 No. 1’s with an additional 21 in the Top 10, totaling over 40 charting releases and 300 weeks on the Billboard charts in his career. His roles as an award-winning film composer, musician and producer, which have led him to collaborating with such stellar artists as Grammy award winning gospel singer CeCe Winans, Audrey Assad, Steven Sharp Nelson from The Piano Guys among others. 

Currently based in Nashville, Cardall performed with Ty Herndon at this year’s LoveLoud Festival in Salt Lake City. In honor of his album Christmas, Cardall also performed at The White House for the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony and with Winans at the historic Ryman Auditorium for the annual Tokens show.

In his music, Paul Cardall remembers heart transplant 10 years later 

By: Todd Kunz 

Posted: Oct 15, 2019 08:04 PM MDT

AMMON, Idaho (KIDK/KXPI) - Paul Cardall has recorded 11 No. 1 albums on the Billboard charts. He has had 21 albums in the Top 10. His music has amassed 2 billion streams and counting, with 25 million unique listeners. If that's not incredible enough, he taught himself to play piano as a teenager. 

"Because everybody that had what I have died," said Cardall. 

A rare form of congenital heart disease brought him into this world with half a heart. He was born with only two chambers. The condition led to countess medical procedures as a young boy -- too many to mention, he said. To pass the time, Cardall began taking piano lessons. 

"Well, I quit after six months. I hated it," he said. 

He would go on to teach himself. Things really began getting serious in his teens, both in his music world and with his health. He was staying in a hospital days at a time.


Up Close: Utah Artist Finds Healing, Comfort Through Music 

By Dan Rascon, KSL TV 
October 9, 2019 at 8:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Paul Cardall’s amazing career started with three simple notes that came to mind as a 14-year-old boy, who was grieving over the tragic and sudden death of his best friend that died in a car crash. 

He had no formal training on the piano, just six months of lessons when he was eight years old. 

Now, after 21 top ten billboard albums and two billion streams, he’s the first Utahn to be nominated for a Dove award from the Gospel Music Association. 

“I’m overwhelmed and grateful,” Cardall said. “It’s the equivalent to the Grammy’s for the Christian Community.” 

Cardall said he sat down at a piano and the notes came to his mind. His friend was a piano player. 

“It’s almost like a question,” Cardall said after playing those three notes. From those notes, Cardall said he started composing songs and would practice three hours a day. 

However, this incredibly talented worldwide music composer isn’t about flash and flare, but inner feelings and emotion. 

“I want to get out of the way and let the music do what it does for you,” he said. “I want to enrich a life rather than entertain a life. I don’t want any attention on me I want it on the music.”


Why Utah pianist Paul Cardall’s music is resonating with Christian fans 

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a good time to be Paul Cardall. 

The Latter-day Saint pianist, composer and producer from Utah is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his heart transplant by releasing a new album, “Peaceful Piano,” and he’s also been nominated by the Gospel Music Association for the 50th Annual Dove Awards’ Instrumental Album of the Year (for his album “Christmas”). 

His last three albums have also done well on the Billboard charts. 

While Cardall is grateful for the personal success, he also sees it as a sign of progress in the musical world for the vast majority of Christian musicians, he said. 

“This is the first time a Latter-day Saint has been nominated by the Gospel Music Association for Album of the Year in its instrumental category,” Cardall said. “For years, Excel Entertainment has worked and worked and worked to get some of our music into the Christian mainstream. It’s happening, finally.” 

The 46-year-old will find out if he wins on Oct. 15 at the Dove Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, where he currently resides. The Dove Awards promote Christian and gospel music.


Composer Paul Cardall Celebrates Heart Transplant Anniversary & Release Of ‘Peaceful Piano’ Album 

Pam Windsor | FORBES Contributor 

Hollywood & Entertainment 

I’m a Nashville-based music and entertainment journalist.


Paul Cardall’s entire life has been “heart centered” in one way or another. Whether through his struggle to survive numerous surgeries and an eventual heart transplant due to a complex congenital heart defect, or his desire now to help others cope with loss and pain by giving them hope through music. 

His new album Peaceful Piano is his latest effort to draw upon his own experiences to create soothing melodies that offer comfort. 

“Music creates an atmosphere where you can unwind,” he says. “You can ponder, meditate, and think through things. It can help people access spiritual feelings and peaceful emotions.” 

His songs take the listener on an emotional journey. Cardall explains what that means.

Read More


Cardall, a Utah pianist, told the Daily Herald LOVELOUD is personal for him.  

“I grew up in Salt Lake City. I’ve had a lot of friends deal with depression, some who are openly gay and they’ve taken their lives,” Cardall said. “I had a heart transplant 10 years ago. My organ donor took his life, so I am all about in the music I’ve created for years trying to help people understand their value, how valuable they are and not to give up.”

(Brandon Stansell, Paul Cardall, Ty Herndon)


Dan Reynolds, Kesha open up to LGBTQ youth at LOVELOUD

By Sarah Harris | Daily Herald

Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds took the LOVELOUDstage for the first time without his band Saturday, pleading with LGBTQ youth to “not take your life from us.” 

“We need you. We need every one of you,” Reynolds, the event’s founder, told the crowd. “Your life is always worth living, always. There’s cool things that happen. Things get better.” 

Thousands packed USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City for the third annual LOVELOUD Festival Powered by AT&T supporting LGBTQ youth. 

A video at the event quoted a statistic that LGBTQ youth who feel accepted are seven times less likely to commit suicide. 

“The goal is to destigmatize, and in order to destigmatize something, we talk about it, we talk about it, we talk about it. We educate,” Reynolds told the Daily Herald in a red carpet interview before the festival. “I hope that it’s started to penetrate the culture a little bit.”



Former DHS Special Agent Tim Ballard In Nashville To Discuss Child-Trafficking Film 

Tim Ballard founded Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) in 2013 as the leading organization which undertakes actual extractions of children caught in the web of human trafficking. Prominent pianist and #1 Billboard artist Paul Cardall will host a "Red Carpet Evening" with Ballard and (O.U.R.) at The Franklin Theatre on May 22 and view O.U.R.'s documentary "Operation Touissant."

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Prominent pianist Paul Cardall will host a "Red Carpet Evening" with Operation Underground Railroad's (O.U.R.) Tim Ballard at The Franklin Theatre on May 22. Ballard founded O.U.R. in 2013 as the leading organization which undertakes actual extractions of children caught in the web of human trafficking. Ballard, a former Department of Homeland Security Special Agent, leads a team of former CIA, Navy Seal and Special Ops operatives, who work with law enforcement around the world in rescuing young people being trafficked for sex work, pornography and illegal organ harvesting. Cardall is on the Board of Governors for O.U.R. 

This star-studded evening will include some remarks from Ballard and Cardall, a live performance from Tyler Reese (daughter of Travis Tritt) and a screening of the powerful documentary "Operation Toussaint" which follows Ballard and his team through the planning and execution of a raid on human traffickers. 

"As a governing board member of Operation Underground Railroad and as a member of the Nashville music community, I'm eager to introduce Tim Ballard to Tennessee," comments Cardall. "I want to introduce as many people as I can to the work we're doing and to inspire a movement that will liberate the 40 million people in slavery today. My family and friends in Nashville are some of the most giving people in the country. They don't just give - they take action, and that is why I believe it's important to inspire my neighbors to become involved. Tim is a visionary, and under his leadership we can make huge strides." 

Ballard adds, "According to a TBI report, of the runaways reported each year in Tennessee, about 1,000 are trafficked into some form of slavery and it doesn't discriminate. As a former DHS agent, I founded Operation Underground Railroad, which exists to rescue children in the sex-trade and arrest and prosecute traffickers. My organization is anxious to help Tennessee stop modern day Slavery in their jurisdiction." 

There will be a number of giveaways and photo opportunities with Ballard and Cardall prior to the screening. Tickets are available at Photos and arrivals will begin at 6:30 pm. The event begins at 7:00 pm. 

Also on hand for the event will be country singer Craig Morgan as well as other prominent and influential Tenneseeans and celebrity attendees.


Pianist Paul Cardall shares songs, inspiring stories at Robinson Grand Saturday  

by Charles Young STAFF WRITER  |. Dec 8, 2018

CLARKSBURG — Pianist Paul Cardall delighted audience members at the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center Saturday evening with a concert benefiting local wellness organization Healthy Harrison. 

Cardall, who was born with a rare heart deformity and had to undergo a heart transplant, shared not only his music, but also his inspiring personal story of overcoming adversity. 

“The purpose of my music is to help enrich people’s lives,” he said. “It’s a resource to help people access emotions that aren’t always easy to access that allow us to re-evaluate our lives, where we are and think about things that really matter. There’s a God message in it, but everyone has different beliefs.”

Cardall compared his music to Step Three of Alcoholics Anonymous, which asks drinkers to “turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.” 

“You want to use music as a tool to let go, so you can let that higher power enrich you and give you whatever you’re in need of,” he said. “It’s not a New Age thing. It’s very down to earth.” 

Cardall said he was excited to be in Clarksburg, and he commented on the beauty of the recently renovated Performing Arts Center. 

“This is an absolutely gorgeous theater,” he said. “I think it’s really extraordinary that the people have come together to renovate this place. I’m excited to be a part of this.” 

Cardall also marveled at the theater’s Steinway & Sons Model D Concert Grand Piano. 

“This is one the nicest Steinways that I’ve been able to play,” he said. 

John Paul Nardelli, executive director of Healthy Harrison, said Saturday’s benefit concert was a major milestone for the organization.

Read More

Review: Get into holiday spirit with these Christmas albums 


Audrey Assad’s ethereal vocals sonically soar over Paul Cardall’s haunting “In the Bleak Midwinter.” 

The track comes from Cardall’s freshly released “Christmas,” an often moody yet elegant collection of piano- and string-laden songs. 

Cardall leads with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and later moves through a spiritual standard, “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” that’s rich and frothy. 

It’s also the perfect lead to the more plaintive “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth.” 

The pianist sticks with spirituals for this set, one of the classiest collections available this holiday season.