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Paul Combs

Saxophonist/flutist, educator and author, began playing professionally in 1963.

About Me

Paul Combs holds a B.Mus. in composition from the Philadelphia Musical Academy and a M.M. in performance at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His eclectic career has included performing, composing for theater, film radio and television, and producing and announcing at radio stations in Philadelphia and Boston. From 1986 to 1999 he worked full-time in music education. As a music education activist he was a founding member and two-term Chair of the Society for General Music in Massachusetts (SGMM), and later sat on the Board of the Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education (MAJE). Most recently Mr. Combs taught wind instruments privately and was on the faculty of the Lowell Jazz Day Camp. He also directed the Jazz Ensemble of the Chelmsford Community Band. While he has retired from teaching, he continues to support music education, and arts education in general, as Vice-President of the SoCal Jazz Society, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Arts Education Resource Organization (AERO). A voting member of NARAS (the Grammies), his latest CD “Live At Chit Chat” wasreleased on Sea Breeze Jazz Records, and will be available again soon. A new CD of little-known, and preveiously unrecorded music by Tadd Dameron is scheduled for release in 2019. Dameronia – the Life and Music of Tadd Dameron, his biography of jazz musician Tadd Dameron, has been published by University of Michigan Press. Now living in the San Diego, CA area, he continues to perform locally, with occasional brief tours.

My Jazz Story

Jazz has been apart of my life from infancy. My earliest jazz memories are listening to musicians like Nat Cole and Ella Fitzgerald coming over the radio while still in the crib. My mother would sing along, which helped to get this music in my ears. I remember the newspaper headlines when Bird died - I was in third grade. At 13 I switched from trombone to saxophone after hearing James Moody on the radio. I started playing professionally at 16, and although it has often been hard to keep going I ma still here all these many years later. In my darkest days jazz saved my life, and it continues to inspire me to reach ever higher.