Known for his hard-charging and soulful post-bop style, saxophonist Paul Carr upholds the important tradition of the Texas tenor. Growing up, he studied and played with local heroes including saxophonist Don Wilkerson, the fabled educator Conrad Johnson, and the legendary Arnett Cobb. He studied two years on a full scholarship at Texas Southern University and completed his degree in music performance at Howard University in Washington, DC.
Since then, Carr has been based in the DC area performing on the local scene at venues including Blues Alley, Twins Jazz, Takoma Station, and the now-defunct (but once vibrant) One Step Down. Carr has been a repeat performer at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Jazz Café, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s jazz series.
Carr’s 1993 recorded debut as a leader, “PC10” was received with critical praise from the Washington Post, Houston Post, and USA Today, as well as magazines including including DownBeat, Cadence, and JazzTimes. Since “PC10,” Carr has recorded on over 25 other recordings as a sideman.
Carr’s strong commitment to jazz is most evident in his role as an educator. After over twenty years of teaching privately, Carr launched the Jazz Academy of Music, Inc., (www.jazzacademy.org) a 501c-3 non-profit corporation dedicated to “advancing and preserving jazz through jazz education” via year-round workshops and a summer camp where Carr and a staff of local musicians teach high school students the principles of improvisation, through small group and big band playing. His students have been selected for local, state, and national jazz groups; including the Maryland All-State Jazz Ensemble, the IAJE Clifford Brown Fellows, and Grammy National High School Honors Jazz Ensemble. Three of Carr’s students have been accepted to the prestigious Julliard jazz program in that program’s short history and several others have been admitted to The New England Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and the New School.
Carr has performed numerous times at the White House, for Presidents Clinton, and Bush as well as the late King Hussein of Jordan. He has toured South America, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. In addition, as a performer Carr has shared the stage with artists such as flautist Kent Jordan, saxophonists Branford Marsalis, Kirk Whalum, and Steve Wilson, and trumpeters Terrell Stafford, and Wynton Marsalis.