Meet Paul Kendall: Paul Kendall is a multi-woodwind player currently residing in Eastern Pennsylvania. He is a member of The Skip Wilkins Quintet, The Tony Gairo/Gary Rissmiller Big Band, and The Great Swamp Blues Band. Paul released four CDs as a leader while living in New York, which have received excellent reviews and heavy radio play nationally. While in New York, he was a member of The Charlie Persip Superband and Ken McIntyre's Big Band.
Teachers and/or influences? Billy Kerr, Brad Garner, Susan Deaver, Barbara Maksymkow.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I started to improvise on the baritone sax.
Your sound and approach to music: My priority is to try to be expressive on the instruments.
Your teaching approach: I try to be flexible and cater to the needs of the particular student.
Your dream band: The Skip Wilkins Quintet is comprised of some of the best musicians that I've ever played with.
Favorite venue: I enjoy performing at the Williams Center at Lafayette College. Skip Wilkins is a professor there.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why? We, (The Skip Wilkins Quintet) just recorded nine new originals by Skip that I feel is the best stuff that I have been on. It is unreleased for now.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? I try to get into my sound on a deep level, and communicate with the musicians.
Did you know... I majored in classical flute in college and have never studied jazz with a private teacher.
How do you use the internet to help your career? It is becoming one of the best ways to communicate.
CDs you are listening to now: I'm still checking out the stuff I'm on. It is the best way for me to fine tune my approach, as it's in constant flux.
How would you describe the state of jazz today? We need more jazz radio stations. There are too few in big city areas.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? We need listeners. The state of jazz has to do with the state of artistic appreciation in the community. Ours is clearly an art music; one that cultivates the incredible expressive powers and individuality of improvisation as no other genre does.
What is in the near future? Who can say what culture will dictate for jazz? I know that the jazz musician will continue to try to express him or herself, however.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.