Born: November 14 Primary Instrument: Drums
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: Brenda Russell, Tom Scott, Phil Perry, The B- 52's, Moby, Stephen Bishop, Guy Davis ...
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.
Highlights of 2005: Paul's band traveled from NY to Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, California, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia and stops in between, appearing at major venues, including headlining the Heinekin Jazz Festival, appearing at Lincoln Center, opening for Wyclef Jean, and return engagements at BET Jazz St. Lucia Festival, the St. Kitts Music Festival, and Kaslo Jazz Etc Festival...
Highlights of 2006: Paul produced a concert series at the NY Historical Society, paralleling their exhibit, “Slavery in New York”. Peress' concerts - featuring Arturo O'Farrill, Candido, and Guy Davis - demonstrated the great influence that enslaved people had on music in and about the US. His group also performed at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival and 3 other NYC festivals, was the featured band at Puerto Rico's Festival Internacional de Jazz Latino, worked with MOBY, played for Jimmy Heath's 80 birthday and Candido's 85th birthday celebrations...
Highlights of 2007: Paul toured the West Coast from Orange County to Los Angeles to Studio City to Berkeley to Sausalito, appearing with Kai Eckhardt and Frank Martin at the Berkeley Jazz Festival, and Russell Ferrante, Ric Fierabracci, and Gary Meek at the famed LaVeLee Jazz Club. His final stop on that tour had him headlining at the Sausalito Women's Club's annual gala. Paul also toured with Guy Davis & the High Flying Rockets - appearances included the Pittsburgh Blues Festival, NYC's Summer on the Hudson, and Harmony on the Hudson where he also played with Tom Chapin's band.
In 2008, Paul returned to the St Kitts Music Festival with his all star band and 3 very special guests: BRENDA RUSSELL, PHIL PERRY, AND TOM SCOTT! The video footage of this concert with the “Paul Peress Project feat Tom Scott” is available for viewing at YouTube!
Lately, Paul has been appearing monthly at Ashford & Simpson's Sugar Bar in NY with his now formalized band of Paul Peress - drums, Clifford Carter - keys, Glenn Alexandr - guitar, and Frank Gravis - bass, he has also been traveling often for work on the West Coast, and writing voraciously ... and, his new CD “Can't Let Go” was released November 14, 2009!
Awards:2003 Grammy Nominee
“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. Peress' expert drumming skills did not go unnoticed and received resounding applause from the crowd.” THE STAR NEWSPAPER, ST. LUCIA (St. Lucia Jazz Festival performance)
CAN'T LET GO
Paul Peress Music
Tracks: 1. Then Again 2. Butterfly's Landing 3. Nothing Personal 4. Maiden's Voyage 5. Cravo E Canela 6. Me Deixa 7. Dolphin Dance 8. All Bllues 9. Afro Blue 10. Tagain +
Personnel: John Tropea: guitar, Helio Alves: piano, Lincoln Goines: bass, Brandon Fields: sax, Paul Peress - drums/compositions
Next Step Music
Tracks: 1. Sugar City 2. I Just Can't Let Go 3. Then Again 4. Tell Me What U Wanna Know 5. Show Me 6. Hold On To The Memories 7. It's My World 8. Seventh Sojourn 9. Hang Ten 10. Take That 11. Earthwood
Personnel: Jeff Golub: guitar, Glenn Alexander: guitar, Clifford Carter: piano, Mitch Forman: piano, Gerald Veasley: bass, Tom Kennedy: bass, Tommy Mc Donnell: vocals, Bill Cantos: vocals, Dave Mann: sax, Barry Danielian: trumpet, Paul Peress - drums/compositions
Next Step Music
Tracks: 1. Norwegian Wood 2. Cinderella 3. New Morning Mambo 4. Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar 5. Visions of Brazil 6. Till the Cops Come Knocking 7. Mambo Mio 8. Butterfly 9. Little Sunflower 10. Enchantment
Personnel: Jeff Golub, Mark Whitfield: guitar, Gabriela Anders: vocals, Mark Soskin, Dario Eskenazi, Hector Martignon, Vana Gierig: piano, james Genus: bass, Aaron Heick, Denny Morouse: sax, Café, Rolando Morales Matos, Chembo Corniel: Percussion, Paul Peress: drums
NEXT STEP LIVE @ CHAZZ & WILSON'S
Next Step Music
Next Step Music
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New York, NY
Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
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