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Paul Winter

Paul Winter’s musical realm has long embraced the traditions of the world’s cultures, as well as the extraordinary voices of what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” His concert tours and recording expeditions have taken him to 52 countries and to wilderness areas on six continents, into which he has traveled on rafts, mules, dog sleds, horses, kayaks, sailboats, steamers, tug-boats and Land Rovers.

Paul’s journey started in Altoona, Pennsylvania, where he began playing drums, piano and clarinet after the age of five, and then fell in love with saxophone in the fourth grade. Playing in small bands with his schoolmates, first in ‘The Little German Band’, PWbyBeverlyHallthen a Dixieland band, and finally a nine-piece dance band known as ‘The Silver Liners’, he became enthralled first with big band music, and by the small be-bop groups of the 1950s, and embarked on his first professional tour at the age of seventeen.

At Northwestern University in Chicago Winter formed a jazz sextet, which won the 1961 Intercollegiate Jazz Festival and was signed to Columbia Records by the legendary producer John Hammond. In 1962 the Paul Winter Sextet was sent by the U.S. State Department on a six-month goodwill tour of twenty-three countries of Latin America.

The success of this tour led to an invitation by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to play at the White House. The Sextet’s performance in the East Room on November 19, 1962, happened to be the first ever jazz concert in the White House.

The Sextet had spent a month in Brazil during the tour, at the time that a new genre of music was blossoming there, called “Bossa Nova,” and following its return to the US, the group recorded an album of Bossa Nova. In the mid-1960s, Paul went to live for a year in Brazil and it became a second home for him. He recorded several albums. Brazilian guitar, Afro-Brazilian percussion, and the symphonic music of Villa-Lobos inspired the aural-vision of the new ensemble he would call the Paul Winter Consort. Launched in 1967, the Consort became the forum for the whole world of diverse music that Paul loved. Paul Winter remembers, “I borrowed the name ‘consort’ from the ensembles of Shakespeare’s time, the housebands of the Elizabethan Theater, which adventurously blended woodwinds, strings and percussion, the same families of instruments I wanted to combine in our ‘contemporary’ consort.” With this group, Winter became one of the earliest exponent’s of world music.

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Paul Winter Sextet: Count Me In

Read "Paul Winter Sextet: Count Me In" reviewed by Duncan Heining


The Paul Winter Sextet might just be one of the best early sixties groups you never heard. Their story, and that of their leader and altoist Paul Winter's, is certainly one of the most remarkable in jazz. Had some director made a film of the Sextet's short life, jazz buffs would have scoffed at the conceit. But it happened, man. It happened. A few years ago, Winter released Count Me In on his own Living Music label. It's ...

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Album Review

Paul Winter Sextet: Count Me In

Read "Count Me In" reviewed by Edward Blanco


The Paul Winter Sextet was a short-lived group from the 1960s, leaving little in terms of an imprint or legacy in jazz but for one distinguishing fact: it was the very first jazz group to perform in concert at The White House. After a grueling six-month State Department-sponsored tour of 23 Latin American countries, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy invited the group to perform in the East Room of The White House in November, 1962. Count Me In celebrates the 50th ...

126
Album Review

Paul Winter Consort: Miho - Journey to the Mountain

Read "Miho - Journey to the Mountain" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose


Paul Winter's music pulsates with the earth's polyrhythmic heartbeat. Various incarnations of his Consort have been so in tune with the ground beneath their feet that this ensemble, in all its forms, has come to be the harbinger of the wellspring of all life. From time to time, Winter's soul has roamed the realms where mysticism rubbed cricket-legs with the limbs of Gaia, as in Missa Gaia/Earth Mass (Living Music, 1982). At other times, he has aligned his heart with ...

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"Winter is one of those rare pioneers whose inner vision and work have helped bring into being a whole new genre of expression" –Whole Life Monthly Magazine

“One of the music community’s most unpredictable and consistently creative forces… . From the beginning of his career, Winter has been a deliberate non-conformist, an artist always looking and listening for new sounds, new forms of expression. –Cash Box: The International /Home Entertainment Weekly

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