Under the moniker ‘’DJ St. Peter’’, Canellis was an ever-present and influential club force on the New York and Miami club scene in the 90’s and early 2000′s. He spun at the leading bars and clubs such as Liquid, Warsaw, Twist, Shadow Lounge, Tunnel, LimeLight, Palladium, Glam Slam, Salvation, Crobar, Score, Bed, Amnesia, Winter Party Pool Party 1st annual, New Orleans Halloween Moondance 1999, Champs Tea Dance, Tom of Finland Parties, Tantra Lounge, Snowball…..
In 2002 Canellis resigned from the music scene due to personal reasons. Nine years later, after years of soul searching, Canellis has returned to the decks, capturing the essence of his music, engulfing his listeners and delivering multi-layered aural, euphoric, energetic, sexy, magical, hypnotic, trippy, and introspective sojourns.
Canellis, also referred to as The Storyteller or Transporter, magically creates mystical musical soundscapes, thus creating the illusion of “traveling without moving”. From a New York City dark and sexy lounge, to a Las Vegas after-hours crazy fest, to a Los Angeles mega club, to a summer afternoon dance on the Aegean Cliffs, all the way to a small hip coffee shop, you will be transported wherever you imagination and the music takes you.
The belief there is a time and place for each song, thus creating the perfect journey has always been a Canellis trademark. Canellis gives you the option of following his story or letting you visualize your own, providing his audience with a soundtrack which moves you along his path. “A musical journey is like creating a Rembrandt. It takes thought, inspiration, passion, desire, experiences, and an understanding of LIFE as it is and where you would like it to be. I don’t do this because it is a job, I do this because I want the audience to feel my heart and soul through music”
Canellis’ utilizes a wide range of genres, ranging from progressive trance, balearic tribal, progressive house, electro, chill, ambient, and trip hop while always searching, and sometimes creating, unique and profound sounds and grooves as he is considered a leader in the frontier. Canellis delivers a depth of electronica that is sophisticated, intelligent and elegant, while manifesting a widespread appeal to a broad spectrum of devotees.
Canellis’ current sound is fancying a global audience, thanks in large part to his 3 world wide renowned internet podcasts, Heaven’s Lounge, Heaven’s Trance and Running To The Beat, all of which are ranked in the top 10 world wide on Itunes.
I hope that you enjoy the Canellis journey as much as I relish in taking you on the escapade.
• dj peter canellis
• Heavens Trance
• Running To The Beat
The man who is DJ Peter Canellis has had a long and storied association with the global electronic dance music scene that currently has him dazzling legions of fans worldwide with a sound that’s sophisticated and intelligent. Drawing on training as a classical musician, his years in the DJ booth, and his experiences on the dance floor as well as behind the scenes, Canellis melds a wide range of dance music sub-genres – including house, trance, and progressive – into a unique and exhilarating electronica style. Using music obtained from record labels, artists, and producers from all over the world, he expertly creates live DJ sets (and recorded continuous mixes) that delight and excite clubbers and listeners around the globe, delivering multi-layered musical journeys with peaks and valleys that are both aural and emotional in nature.
Canellis’ storied 15-year career as a DJ is highlighted by a list of remarkable achievements that includes bookings at some of the biggest and most glamorous nightclubs in the world; DJing in front of crowds as large as 10,000 people at dance music events and festivals; and producing the highest ranked dance music podcast of its type in Europe. Not only has he shared the stage, DJ booth, and billing with many of the biggest DJ names in history – Knuckles, Morales, Moran, and Vasquez just to name a few – he’s also worked with these giants behind the scenes as a mover and shaker within the dance music industry. As the current phase of his illustrious career – with its transformative electronic sound that is intelligent, sophisticated, and mystical – brings with it worldwide fame and acclaim, the story of how DJ Peter Canellis got to this current point of his life is made up of numerous and interesting chapters.
The DJ who would quickly attain his early fame and success on the East Coast, actually grew up in Oak Lawn, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). Surrounded by a musical family – his mother, aunt and uncle were classically trained professional musicians – Canellis during his youth became a classically trained pianist as well as a jazz trained saxophonist. Given the family background it seemed pre-ordained that he and his siblings would ultimately end up with professional careers in music and entertainment. In fact, in addition to Canellis’ success in the dance music industry, his brother Lou is a popular Chicago TV and radio personality who reports on sports and the Windy City’s robust nightlife scene.
Like many Chicagoans, Canellis first became a fan of the then growing phenomenon called “house music” in the mid-1980s. This new musical genre, combined with New Wave 1980s dance music as well as R&B, helped inform and develop Canellis’ early dance music sensibilities. Once old enough to start clubbing in the late 1980s during his collegiate years – he attended DePaul University and studied economics and finance – Canellis spent most of his weekends as well as several nights during the week immersing himself in the local house music scene at some of the most influential venues of the time, including Medusa’s, Berlin Nightclub, and Smart Bar. He was also a constant at the downtown loft parties presided over by Chicago jack house masters and future superstar DJs Derrick Carter and Mark Farina.
After graduating from college Canellis began his professional career in the world of high finance and worked on the Mid-American Stock Exchange in Chicago. A trader by day, his nighttime and weekend pursuits further enmeshed him in the growing electronic dance music scene, for which Chicago was of course a major global outpost. However, wanting to further his finance career, Canellis closed out the initial Chicago chapters of his life and moved to New York City.
When Canellis arrived in New York City in the early 1990s he soon found success and fortune as a trader on Wall Street. However with a continuing, almost slavish, devotion to house beats and with a love of the nightlife that was further enhanced by NYC experiences, a very interesting plot twist was added to Canellis’ life story as he decided to turn his professional attention, dreams, and aspirations toward dance music. Thus, inspired by the DJing magic displayed by the likes of Junior Vasquez at Sound Factory and Frankie Knuckles at Sound Factory Bar, Canellis began his professional club DJing career in 1993 under the name of DJ St. Peter.
A self-taught bedroom DJ up to that point, DJ St. Peter had developed a DJing style and musical sound that reflected both his early clubbing days on the Chicago house music scene and what he heard emanating from the megaclubs in NYC. Additionally, he was influenced significantly by the burgeoning trance progressive sound coming from Europe and developed by the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Sasha, and Tiësto. This highly orchestrated sound, with chord structure roots in European classical music, very much appealed to Canellis, himself a classically trained musician.
When DJ St. Peter’s style and sound made its way out of the bedroom and into the speakers of Gotham’s nightclubs, they quickly proved popular with the sophisticated NYC dance floors and led to a growing and devoted fan base. DJ St. Peter’s immense talent and certified ability to move a dance floor served to get him booked on a regular basis for gigs at the biggest nightclubs in the city. He was one of the most recognizable names on the scene and often occupied the DJ booths at Limelight, The Palladium, Roxy, Splash, and The Tunnel. Chief amongst his NYC DJing achievements was his residency for the Sunday T-Dance at Champs, arguably at the time the largest weekly event of its kind in the world!
While the name DJ St. Peter was growing in stature in NYC because of his mercurial musical exploits in the DJ booth, Canellis also became a mover and shaker behind the scenes in the dance music industry as a result of his involvement with For The Record, the legendary and pioneering record pool owned by Judy Weinstein. Canellis held several positions at For The Record, which was part of the Def Mix Group, and eventually served as Assistant Pool Director and then Pool Director from 1995 – 1997. Given that For The Record was the most prestigious record pool in the industry at the time and that Def Mix was the leading DJ booking agency, artist management company, and house music record label, Canellis dealt, worked, and eventually became friends with likes of legendary superstars DJs such as Frankie Knuckles, David Morales, Junior Vasquez, Paul Oakenfold, and Dimitri from Paris. His associations with these members of dance music’s ruling class led not only to DJ St. Peter’s growth and maturation as a DJ in the booth, but to additional professional opportunities that include mixing and editing credits on two mixed compilations: Life Is A Dance (MCA Records) and Dance Mix U.S.A. Volume 6 (Warlock Records), a certified Gold Record that sold more than 500,000 copies.
After years of DJing success in NYC, Canellis decided it was time to end the Gotham chapters of his life and seek new challenges elsewhere. Possessing a resumé littered with an impressive list of booth credits in the nightclubbing capital of the world, he headed south to Miami in 1998 and in short order found himself busy with gigs throughout South Florida. As South Beach became a global dance music and nightclubbing hotspot in the late 1990s and into the new millennium, DJ St. Peter was an ever present and influential force. He regularly spun at most of the leading bars and clubs that defined South Beach’s nightlife: Liquid, Warsaw, Twist, Shadow Lounge, Glam Slam, Salvation, Crobar, Score, Bed, Amnesia, and Tantra Lounge.
It was during his time in Miami that DJ St. Peter’s reputation and fame began to extend beyond his local home base, leading to bookings across the U.S., in Canada, and over in Europe. In addition to club dates in Alabama, Chicago, Montreal, and Dublin, Ireland, he frequently spun on the American gay circuit party scene. Highlights from this particular aspect of his DJing career include his appearances in New Orleans in front of 10,000 revelers for the Halloween 16: Moondance event and in Miami for Snow Ball, a White Party 2000 event in which he shared top-billing with Junior Vasquez.
As the end of a high-profile decade in the DJ booths of the leading clubs in NYC and Miami came about, Canellis decided it was time for a break in order to determine what new set of challenges would mark the next chapters of his life. In 2003 he retired the name “DJ St. Peter,” put the sun-drenched glamour and glitz of Miami and South Beach in his rearview mirror and returned to his native home: Chicago. Back in the Midwest amidst family, in familiar surroundings, and away from the rigors and grind of being a professional club DJ, Canellis’ re-charged his creative batteries and set forth with renewed vigor and passion for dance music on the current successful course of his career.
Departing somewhat from the heavy 4/4 beat and big room sound that DJ St. Peter played in mega nightclub and dance festival environments, DJ Peter Canellis currently presents a mature and sophisticated global sound that combines different dance music sub-genres into a unique harmonious audio experience. Borrowing from the past but always looking forward, Canellis uses his extraordinary DJing skills to create mystical electronic musical soundscapes. This current sound, which has mutated and evolved over the years, is finding favor with a global audience thanks in large part to Canellis’ popular internet podcast, which is ranked #1 in Europe, #5 in the U.S., and has more than 16,000 subscribers worldwide. Thus, just like when he took the NYC nightclubbing world by storm in the 1990s and then conquered the South Beach scene at the start of the new millennium, Canellis is now wowing folks and gaining new fans around the globe via the internet.
The story of Canellis’ professional life is a fascinating blend of remarkable experiences and impressive achievements within the dance music industry: from witnessing the initial growth of house music as an art form and being a part of its earliest days in Chicago to being one of the most sought after DJs in NYC and Miami under the moniker of DJ St. Peter. His current status as a podcasting star known as DJ Peter Canellis has brought him even greater acclaim and success, providing further proof that no matter what the stage name, Canellis is a DJ with unique, exciting, and unquestioned talent. The book is far from closed on the life of Canellis and the chapters to come will surely be as fascinating and chock-full as the ones already written.