Latin jazz collaborations: Arturo O'Farrill, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff, Michael Mossman, Gabriela Anders, Candido, David Amram, Claudette Sierra, Edsel Gomez, Oriente Lopez, Ruben Rodriguez, Armando Gola, John Benitez...
Adult Contemporary, Jazz Fusion, and Rock-n-Soul collaborations: Chaka Khan, Brenda Russell, Tom Scott, Phil Perry, The B- 52's, Moby, Stephen Bishop, Guy Davis, Regina Belle, Mary Wilson ...
Bandmembers have included: Brenda Russell, Phil Perry, Jeff Golub, Tom Scott, Gerald Veasley, Brandon Fields, Michael Paulo, Lew Soloff, Michael Mossman, Mark Whitfield, John Tropea, Russell Ferrante, Mitch Forman, Clifford Carter, Helio Alves, Mo Pleasure, Glenn Alexander, Pat Kelley, Arturo O'Farrill, Edsel Gomez, Dan Siegel, Ruben Rodriguez, Anthony Jackson, Abraham Laboriel, Jimmy Haslip, Lincoln Goines, Will Lee, Mark Egan, Alphonso Johnson...
Paul is the son of a prolific poet, and an accomplished classical music conductor. Of Puerto Rican heritage, Paul grew up on the Gulf of Mexico in Corpus Christi, Texas. When he turned 5, his aunt sent him a “music minus one for drummers” record, with a pair of drumsticks; he was transfixed, and immediately started lobbying to play the drums. So, for his 6th birthday, a big package came in the mail - and after Paul tore it open, he found nestled inside, a shiny, delicate violin. He thus began with the violin at the age of 6, switched to trumpet at 12, playing in the Jr. High School marching band, yet always rallying to play the drums. His father got the post as music director of the Kansas City Philharmonic, and after the move, Paul befriended the principal percussionist, Vince Bilardo, who helped convince Paul's father to get him a drumset; so, at 17, Paul got a set of red-sparkle Gretsch drums!
That Fall, he loaded his drums into his MGB, and moved to New York City, living in Hell's Kitchen, and putting himself through night school at Hunter College for 2 semesters. His high grades enabled him to transfer to Columbia University, where he studied economics, art history, and poli-sci, finishing in 2 years. While at Columbia, he worked nights, and studied drums privately with Kenwood Dennard, then Kim Plainfield. Both of them heavily influenced him in the Latin jazz and Brazilian genres.
After finishing school, Paul's first project was a jazz/rock band, Double Exposure, which he co-led with his sister - singer/songwriter Anika Paris. They put out a CD in 1990 as the band was appearing at several hot spots in New York, including the now defunct Mikell's. The band had a Steely Dan edge to it, and portentously featured several future Steely Dan sidemen, including Jon Herington, Drew Zing, and Tom Barney. The band broke up in 1990, and Paul began working around town in various projects, including, in 1994, leading the house band at Chicago B.L.U.E.S. He landed a weekly Brazilian gig at the Citrus Lounge - running from 1995 to 1998 - and started working with some of NYC's greatest Latin artists; this led to his first big break as a solo artist - an appearance with his band at the first annual St. Kitts Music Festival in 1996, and he was asked back in '99, '02, and '05.Read more
“Un Gran Talento.” El Vocero de Puerto Rico
“AWAKENING combines the adventurous harmonies of Steely Dan with the smooth-jazz silkiness of Al Jarreau into a compelling groove that pushes the boundaries of adult- contemporary radio.” GUITAR WORLD - Joe Lalaina
“Paul’s performance was just perfect, exactly what was needed to introduce this diverse audience to something that they could enjoy and discover.” BET ST. LUCIA JAZZ FESTIVAL Yves Renard - Director
“Paul Peress brought the curtain down with his diverse group of musicians from South America and the US and his funky, jazzy, multi-cultural sounds
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
Teach a very select group of students in NYC (Manhattan). With an emphasis on reading, time, dynamics, listening, playing for the music. All genres: Jazz, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, R-n-B, Rock, Funk, Fusion, Blues. Serious study only. Available for instruction Mon - Fri. $100/hr