Rising Pop Star From Little Egg Harbor to Premiere Video at Sing & Believe Under the Stars Benefit

Calista Quinn to Perform for David's Dream & Believe Fundraiser at Union Market
By Jon Coen | Aug 12, 2019
Photo by: Destinee Goddins Calista Quinn will premiere her new music video and play live at Dream & Sing Under the Stars, a benefit for David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation at the Union Market, August 16.

Tuckerton — She was the little girl who won the legendary Apollo Theatre’s Amateur Night. She’s played in front of huge crowds at the San Clemente Music Festival in California. She has over 5,500 followers on YouTube. And she’s from Little Egg Harbor.

Seventeen-year-old pop and R&B artist Calista Quinn is making some name for herself. The songwriter, musician and vocalist is bi-coastal these days, and on Aug. 16, she will release a video for her new song “7 am” at Sing & Believe Under the Stars, a fundraiser for the ever-growing nonprofit David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation at The Union Market in Tuckerton. Also performing are Finn Matthews from Los Angeles, Zinnia Moon of Little Egg Harbor, Carly Sica of Manahawkin and Dario Delpriore  of Freehold.

The organization was founded by David Caldarella, a Stage IV cancer survivor from Manahawkin, 10 years ago. It started as a project so his nieces and nephew might remember him should he lose his battle. But Caldarella won the battle triumphantly, and it became a turning point in his life. Now, with Executive Director Danielle Corso, he has helped 1,386 families with $1,191,843.88 in donations.

Quinn spent most of her childhood in Little Egg Harbor. She attended her local elementary school and then Pinelands Regional until eighth grade, when she started attending the Performing Arts Academy in Lakehurst, part of the Ocean County Vocational Technical School system, for half of her freshman year. It was then her family moved to the West Coast where she lives in the Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles. She’s now a senior at a charter school in L.A.

“Since I travel back and forth now, I’m enrolled in the virtual program,” Quinn said. “I have amazing teachers that I meet with regularly via Skype. I take school very seriously and currently have a 3.9 GPA. I graduate in early spring 2020 and plan on going to college to become an entertainment lawyer.”

Quinn has always been theatrical. When she was young, her father built her a stage to perform on.

Being in Los Angeles has opened up a world of show business opportunity. Radio Disney named her song “Slumber Party” in its picks of fresh new music, and last year she was a contestant on NBC’s “The Voice.” Her music video for “Slumber Party” was picked up by Justice, the chain of girls apparel stores.

“That song and music video played in every Justice store I went into!” she remembered fondly.

But among her favorite experiences so far is the San Clemente Music Festival, held in August each year.

“I’ve sang at that festival a few times. The energy of the audience is amazing,” she said.

But this upcoming performance is a special one.

“I chose to do this for David’s Dream & Believe because for the past few years I was hearing so many positive things about them – how they were helping so many local families that really needed support in so many different ways. I love the fact that David takes a request from a person in need and he makes it happen.”

Although locally based, the organization now works throughout New Jersey. Patients submit applications for aid. David’s Dream & Believe has patient advocates and a service arm providing everything from acupuncture and massage to therapy, nutrition and family activities.

“The money DDBCF raises goes directly to people that really need it. When families are going through something as devastating as cancer, they are there to help them with things that they may need, from counseling service to medical equipment and so many things in between. They try to ease the financial burden that is brought on by dealing with this horrible disease.” Quinn added, “I especially like that the foundation tries to immediately help anyone that requests help from them. I really hope my event is going to fund an opportunity to make an impact on someone in need.”

David’s Dream & Believe was recently involved in the Jetty Coquina Jam, an all-female surf event that raised over $35,000 that went directly to females dealing with cancer. Last Friday was the organization’s annual LBI Summer Soirée at the Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club, one of its biggest fundraisers of the year.

But as awareness for David’s and fundraising grows, so does the number of applications it gets from families, and events like Sing & Believe help the organization stay in the black.

In addition to the video premiere, Quinn will be performing at the event with several other local musicians. There will also be a Sweet Treat Station.

The event runs from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 adult/$15 child for purchase through DavidsDreamandbelieve.org or at the door. Or the Superfan ticket, for $50, includes the special “Red Carpet” Experience.


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