Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Castaldi started playing jazz drums in his youth. After high school, he honed his skills at Boston's Berklee School of Music, where he attended alongside fellow Cleveland native, saxophonist Joe Lovano. There he studied with noted performer/instructors Joe Hunt, Alan Dawson, and Ed Bobick. Graduating in 1974, he moved to Las Vegas and spent much of the next decade working with artists like Keely Smith, Don Rickles, and Sonny Stitt. Relocating to Los Angeles, he continued to find performance opportunities, working with a bevy of West Coast luminaries including Teddy Edwards, Bill Perkins, Frank Strazzeri, and Herb Jeffries. During this period, he was also a member of the Bob Gail Orchestra.
Over the years, he also stayed in touch with Lovano, working with the acclaimed saxophonist on gigs at Los Angeles' the Jazz Bakery (with trumpeter Tim Hagans), the San Diego Jazz Festival, and New York's the Knitting Factory (with pianist Kenny Werner). In the mid-'90s, Castaldi returned to Cleveland, where he led his own groups and continued his association with Lovano, appearing on 2002's Joe Lovano: Viva Caruso. In 2019, he joined the saxophonist and pianist Marilyn Crispell for the ECM date Trio Tapestry. ~ Matt Collar