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Paul Marinaro

Vocalist Paul Marinaro, dubbed as having “one of the most beautiful vocal instruments in the business today” by Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, is a modern classic. With Chicago as his home base, Paul has become one of the most in-demand and respected male vocalists and has “taken his place among the top five male jazz singers active today.” (Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene)

Paul demonstrates a mastery of and an infectious passion for the material he chooses, allowing him to successfully command audiences with his fresh interpretations. At home, he is currently enjoying sold-out engagements in Chicago’s world-famous venues, including Joe and Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase, The Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, and at Winter’s Jazz Club where he is currently in residence. He has been a featured performer at The Chicago Jazz Festival in 2014 and again in 2017 for an audience of 10,000 on the stage at the massive Pritzger Pavilion, where his performance with jazz legend Sheila Jordan earned rave reviews and was named “Best of 2017” (Chicago Tribune). He has earned “Best Performance of the Year” in the Chicago Tribune in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018; and “Best of Chicago 2015” in NewCity Magazine.

In 2013, Paul celebrated his widely acclaimed debut album Without a Song, a carefully crafted concept album stemming from and inspired by his father’s unfulfilled dream to have been a professional singer. For this album, Paul incorporated the beginnings of his love affair with music, when at the age of five, he found his father’s homemade 78rpm acetate discs in the attic, heard him singing “That Old Black Magic”, and was mesmerized. This scratchy recording of his father’s voice was Paul’s first musical inspiration…and it was restored and used to open his debut album 66 years later. Without a Song has gone on to receive widespread acclaim and national airplay, was named among the “Best of 2013” in the Chicago Tribune and has been prominently featured on NYC DJ Jonathan Schwartz’s “The Jonathan Channel”. Now in its third pressing, the album was re-issued in late 2015 as a deluxe, limited-edition, audiophile 2 LP Vinyl set. The album and its story went on to inspire acclaimed choreographer, Ron De Jesus, who premiered his original dance suite “Without a Song: Mic Check 1, 2” in April 2014, with Paul and his quartet performing the music live. Released in October, 2015, his first live album, One Night in Chicago, has also been critically acclaimed, being called “…a shining example of male jazz vocal at the top of its game.” (Midwest Record).

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Album Review

Metropolitan Jazz Octet: The Bowie Project

Read "The Bowie Project" reviewed by Paul Reynolds

A tribute to a pop artist by jazz musicians--as with the new David Bowie album by Chicago's Metropolitan Jazz Octet--has to tread a careful line. It obviously won't--can't--be a rote reproduction of the originals, a flaw that sinks many pop-to-pop tributes. Yet it needs to translate the songs into jazz--its harmonic sophistication, especially--in a way that retains the essence of the artist being celebrated. The MJO effort deftly rises to that challenge. This 11-song project should intrigue Bowieists ...

Liner Notes

Metropolitan Jazz Octet featuring Paul Marinaro: The Bowie Project

Read "Metropolitan Jazz Octet featuring Paul Marinaro: The Bowie Project
" reviewed by Neil Tesser

In the words of David Bowie: “Changes." The Metropolitan Jazz Octet's two previous albums teem with unadulterated jazz. Paul Marinaro is a hard-swinging, expressive baritone steeped in the Great American Songbook and the jazz tradition. So what in the galaxy are they doing with the music of pop legend--and onetime glam rocker, dancehall king, visual visionary, music man of multiple personae, and cultural icon--David Bowie? Historians might note that Bowie started playing jazz saxophone in his ...

Album Review

Paul Marinaro: Not Quite Yet

Read "Not Quite Yet" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Singer Paul Marinaro issued his acclaimed debut album Without A Song (122 Myrtle Records) in 2013. Seven years after the release of his follow-up, “One Night In Chicago" (122 Myrtle Records), and with almost a decade of performing from coast to coast at top-end clubs, including New York's Birdland, he has released Not Quite Yet, which is devoted to exploring timeless themes, such as life, love and the search for lasting connections. Accompanying Marinaro are longtime band members guitarist Mike ...

Album Review

Paul Marinaro: Not Quite Yet

Read "Not Quite Yet" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

The cover of the album is vaguely noir, with the urban greenish cast of tungsten film. A sole figure leans slightly against a building, downcast, staring into his soul, and waiting out a lit cigarette when it was still hip to smoke. The guy is Frank Sinatra and the album was In The Wee Small Hours. The year is 1955. It is difficult to believe that jny: Chicago-based vocalist Paul Marinaro has even been born, but clearly, Sinatra will make ...

Album Review

Paul Marinaro: Without A Song

Read "Without A Song" reviewed by Edward Blanco

There are tribute albums and then, there are musical homages that have far more personal meaning for an artist then dedications to other musicians. Such is the case for Chicago-based singer Paul Marinaro whose debut album Without A Song is a heartfelt tip of the hat to his 85-year old father Joseph, whose unfulfilled dreams of becoming a professional singer, inspired the making of this recording. Growing up in Buffalo, NY, the young Marinaro was surrounded by music at home ...

Album Review

Paul Marinaro: Without A Song

Read "Without A Song" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

At first blush, Chicago singer Paul Marinaro's debut recording, Without A Song, is a well-meaning vanity recording that turns out to be...well, well-meaning. That impression is forgivable only for those not living in the Chicago area. Further reading reveals that this recording had its genesis in some 78 rpm acetates Marinaro found of his father singing the Frank Sinatra hits of the day, that “day" being 1947. What Without A Song is, is an exquisitely programmed 21st century love letter ...

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For Your Grammy Consideration: The Metropolitan Jazz Octet and vocalist Paul Marinaro presents: 'The Bowie Project'

For Your Grammy Consideration: The Metropolitan Jazz Octet and vocalist Paul Marinaro presents: 'The Bowie Project'

Source: Michael Ricci

In the vast landscape of musical reinventions, few dare to juxtapose the realm of rock royalty with the intricate artistry of jazz. But the Metropolitan Jazz Octet (MJO), known for its innovative 'chamber jazz' brilliance, has undertaken such an endeavor with their album, The Bowie Project, released on January 16, 2023, on the Origin Records imprint. The MJO's legacy, rooted in the golden age of the 1950s, is no stranger to ambitious projects. Their exquisite blend of big band resonance ...




Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Bowie Project

Origin Records


Not Quite Yet

122 Myrtle Records


Without A Song

Self Produced


Slow Burn

From: The Bowie Project
By Paul Marinaro

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