Born in Manhattan in 1956, Paul grew up surrounded by music. His mother was a classical singer; his father was a studio and orchestrial trombonist with eclectic interests that included jazz. Paul started piano at 5, violin at 9 and then fell in love with guitar at 12. He studied classical guitar–but his strongest interests evolved from rock to blues to Django—then, at 17, he committed himself completely to jazz.  

Immersing himself deeply in Wes Montgomery, he listened to everything Wes recorded, transcribing every solo that excited him.

After high school he attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam from 1974 to 1976. In addition to the first rate conservatory, Potsdam had an active jazz scene. Paul was much in demand and gigged steadily. From 1977 to 1979, Paul attended New England Conservatory of Music where he first met Santi. They've been playing together ever since.

Paul moved to New York in 1980, studying with Gene Bartoncini and Jackie Byard, getting serious about writing and, of course, playing in great sessions. Hearing a Barden-Powell record was the start of his deep involvement with Brazilian music.

Through the ’80s Paul became more and more of a presence in the New York scene, eventually playing and/or recording with icons like Ron Carter, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Gomez, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Wess, Kenny Barron, Ray Drummond, Kenny Werner and the Woody Herman Orchestra.

Because of his remarkably tasteful accompanying, Paul is in heavy demand amoung singers. He has toured extensively with stars like Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Andy Bey, Susannah McCorkle and Brazilian Vera Mara.

Paul is on several dozen records, including three with Andy Bey, four with the N.Y. Guitar Ensemble, three with Santi Debriano. He has two solo CDs that incorporate a number of his compositions and, most notably, seven stunning transcriptions from Bartok's "Mikrokosmos".


Spirit and Samba (#09832) Euforia (#05732)


(click to enlarge)