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Peter Paulsen

About Me

Peter Paulsen was a student of Dr. Irving Cohen at West Chester University as a recipient of the Rob Simon Memorial Award. He went on to study with Homer Mensch of the Julliard School and graduate studies at Temple University with Michael Shahan of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jazz studies included time with the late Al Stauffer and Rufus Reid. Mr. Paulsen has been on the faculty at Moravian College, Lehigh University, Temple University and is currently Instructor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies at West Chester University. He is director and founding member of the WCU Contemporary Music Ensemble, commissioning and premiering new works by today’s leading composers. Mr. Paulsen is an active member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, principal bass of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra and has been principal bass with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy, the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra and Pennsylvania Symphonia. He is also busy as a free-lance jazz bassist in the tri-state area and performs regularly with his own quintet and trio as well as many of Philadelphia’s top jazz performers. Mr. Paulsen is very committed to the education of young, up-coming musicians and has participated in masterclasses with Francois Rabbath, Hal Robinson, Mark Morton, Donald Palma and as a clinician with Jimmy Knepper, George Young, Clark Terry, Dennis DiBlasio, Valery Ponamerov, Ed Soph and Gunnar Mossblad. He is a member of the International Society of Bassists and an active composer of works for his instrument, receiving three prestigious Pennsylvania Council on the Arts composition grants, a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada and a recipient of the PEW Fellowship in music composition for 2007. Mr. Paulsen and his wife, mezzo-soprano Charlotte Paulsen, continue to commission, premier and record many new works for the unusual combination of double bass and voice. His first CD as a leader, “Three-Stranded Cord” for jazz quintet, was released on R&Lrecords, receiving national airplay and high reports on Jazzweek and CJM(college radio) charts. As a member of the MPH Trio, with Gunnar Mossblad on saxophones and Chris Hanning on percussion, he has released “Curves” on GPCrecordings which is also getting national airplay and reviews. Mr. Paulsen can also be heard on Jeff Baumeister’s new quartet release, “Useful Music” on Wahbo Records, the Peter Paulsen Trio CD release, “Tri-cycle” and the most recent CD release, Peter Paulsen “Change of Scenery” Sextet, also on Wahbo Records.

My Jazz Story

The historical lineage of the music is vast, deep and challenging to absorb, let alone understand in one sitting...or one lifetime. Just as history needs to be visited and re-visited for perspective, it also continues to grow and inform the present and future. Just as categories and labels are needed for some sense of organization and definition, they also hybridize and evolve to better define the present and future, at times wondering about their own identity, demanding time and patience to work out the results. The component characteristics of creative pursuits usually have their beginnings and roots in everyday life, whether emotional or intellectual, and are not as complex as they might seem...soulful, heartfelt, spritual and fragile pictures of a particular spot along the present continuum.

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