Guitarist and Educator in Washington DC.
Versatile guitarist Paul Pieper brings technical and improvisational prowess to every song he plays. Paul's debut solo record, Stories of Before, beautifully showcases his ability with a unique blend of jazz and pop compositions all filtered through the rich timbre of steel and nylon string guitars.
Paul first caught the attention of the music community in 1995 when he captured second place from over 200 competitors at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Guitar Competition, a global event whose judges included Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Pat Martino. A sought after musician in the Washington D.C. area, he has numerous appearances at D.C.'s famed Blues Alley and a 2000 stint with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra to his name. As a jazz musician he's traveled to over 20 countries, including Japan, Russia, Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, Turkey, and many others. A respected composer, arranger, and session player, his compositions Something Blue, Spider Monkey, Pensées, Kineticism and The Red and the Black have been performed and recorded locally, and Paul has appeared on upwards of twenty CDs.
A D.C. area native, Paul first picked up the guitar at the age of 13. From the start Paul was a determined student of music. I didn't just want to play--I wanted to become fully competent on the instrument. When it came to continuing his education, Paul ultimately chose to master his craft through performing rather than school--he was earning a living playing music at the age of 19. I learned an enormous amount through private studies with D.C. area guitar teacher Mike Bevan--he provided me with a strong foundation--but it was through performing that I really gained the skills I needed to earn a living as a musician. I've been lucky to work with a lot of great musicians who were very open about what they know.
Though he is best known for his work as a jazz musician, Paul seeks to explore all genres of music. Regardless of style or genre, there are a few things that I really love about music: harmony, a great groove, and improvisation. If one or all of those things are present, then I'm happy.