Born: April 29, 1956 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
PAUL WAINWRIGHT BIO
Smooth jazz and pop favourites never sounded so good.
This funky, sax-driven groove music has the whole scene buzzing. Wainwright's choice of material is always fresh, his horn always hot and great vocals complement his humorous, laid back rapport with the crowd.
Praise for Plank Spankin': Saxophonist Paul Wainwright's new CD, Plank Spankin' features the veteran musician's juicy soprano and tenor sax stylings backed by his elegantly funky quartet SaxSafari and studio stars John Ferraro and Gabriel Mark Hasselbach. Wainwright and company's bluesy jazz fusion is a silky, eclectic collection of clever originals and a smart, seductive remake of War's Low Rider. A triumph! Joseph Blake, Victoria Times Colonist
Wainwright, born and raised in Victoria BC joined “Brass Tower”, his first professional band, at age 19 and toured fifty weeks a year for five years.
A great deal of his career was as bandleader of The Big Band Trio. Formed in 1981, the group developed a truly unique sound with upright bass, guitar and sax and boasted the smoothest three part harmonies anywhere. They recorded and produced four cds that received critical acclaim and worldwide airplay. In addition to a steady house gig at Pagliacci’s in Victoria (where a drink was named in their honour), the Big Band Trio played for Prince Charles and Princess Diana and with the Victoria Symphony. They landed a role as part of the original cast of the Spectacular Days of Radio, a Radio City Music Hall production, which played to capacity crowds at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, NJ for five months.
An original member of the Timebenders, Paul co-wrote the script that launched this group’s career as the ultimate corporate party band. They performed throughout North America and were encouraged to record their first cd (which was co-produced by Wainwright) by Dick Clark who introduced them at a Seattle concert.
Paul Wainwright, bassist Steve Duben and drummer Eric Emde co-founded The Midnights - a 12 piece RnB Motown show group that enables veterans to mentor Victoria High School music students and provides them invaluable performing experience. The Midnights performed with Martha Reeves in June 2005.
Wainwright has played with hundreds of renowned musicians and singers such as Kenny Loggins, Stevie Nicks, Michael Buble, Martha Reeves, Jim Byrnes, Donny Walsh (Mr Downchild), Vic Damone, Gene Hardy, Hugh Fraser and many more. He and his bands have opened for Herbie Hancock, Manhattan Transfer, Etta James, k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge, The Great Guitars (Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Charlie Byrd), The Rippingtons to name just a few. Paul Wainwright has performed at the Las Vegas Jazz Festival and the Sacramento Jazz Festival to standing room only crowds and regularly plays festivals, clubs, casinos, private functions and conventions throughout Canada and the USA.
His current band, Paul Wainwright and SaxSafari features top performers - Steve Duben, Eric Emde, Tom Lang and Morry Stearns, all of whom display an amazing grasp of group dynamics and talent - that serves up a mix of sax driven pop favourites and jazzy originals that just won’t let up. The common element is a wide body groove that captures space and time that propels the show to a higher level and the audience out of their seats. The emphasis leans towards group interplay moreso than solo spotlights and the result is a highly interactive form of musical magic that captivates the audience.
STEVE DUBEN Bass Born in Georgetown, British Guyana, Duben couples his Caribbean roots with a solid jazz sense to become the master of the wide body groove. He has played with Dale Jacobs, Al Wilson, Brian Hughes, Ray Griff, Martha Reeves, PJ Perry, Gary Guthman, Tommy Banks, Big Miller, John Ferraro, Geoff Edmunds, Vince Mai, and Gabriel Mark Hasselbach. He performed for three seasons at the Banff School of Fine Arts with Oscar Peterson, Phil Nimmons and Clarke Terry. He has played studio sessions on Attic Records, RCA, Duke Street Records and is heard on hundreds of studio recordings.
MORRY STEARNS Keyboards/vocals has released cds in North America and Japan, and written for and appeared with artists as diverse as Kenny Loggins, Peabo Bryson, Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton, Julio Iglasias and Michael McDonald. He performed with Celine Dion, David Foster and the N.A.C. Symphony Orchestra in a Royal Command Performance in 1991.
TOM LANG Guitar/vocals has done stadium tours in Australia and is currently a product specialist for TC Helicon - a developer of cutting edge voice technology where he works with such names as Stevie Wonder and Alan Parsons. His latest CD Waiting for the Big One won the Vancouver Island Music Award for best male songwriter in 2005.
REVIEWS “We rocked the house and you are sensational!” Martha Reeves (Martha and the Vandellas)
You guys blew me away! Terry MacArthur, Director, Universal Music western Canada
Great sax player - I haven't heard playing like that in a long time. Donnie Walsh, leader Downchild Blues Band
The funkily inventive album is worth several spins. Malcolm Parry, Vanouver Sun
The Yale was happening Wednesday night when Victoria boy Paul Wainwright and his band SaxSafari raised the roof during their CD release party. Juicy soprano and tenor sax stylings. Michael Schratter, 24 Hours, Vancouver
“I have to say this is one of the funkiest bands I have had the pleasure of listening to for a long time. Paul Wainwright and his band are a group you don’t want to miss.” Guy Langlois, Cosmic Debris
“Paul Wainwright’s ability to entertain an audience - be they sun baked jazz festival patrons, the crowned heads of Europe or an intimate nightclub crowd - has earned him a reputation by fans & his fellow musicians as one of Canada’s foremost musical ambassadors and a top ranked entertainer.” Raymond Mitchell, The Jazz Review
“Paul is a pleasure to work with! He is easy to contact for information and quotes, is very receptive to our / and our clients feedback, and is willing to adapt to fit specific client needs.” Shannon MacGillivray, MacGillivray Event Management Consultants
“You are a great player and add immensely to the show.” Dale Manton, Integra Management (Timebenders)
“Your playing was world class - great showmanship too, dyn-o-mite stuff!!” Byron Tosoff Radio Promotion
“Paul’s been an inspiration and mentor to me for as long as I have played music professionally. There’s not a solo I’ve played in my 25 year career that hasn’t got a little bit of Paul in it”. Gene Hardy, tenor saxophonist (Ronnie Hawkins, Downchild Blues Band, Barenaked Ladies)
“If you’re lucky enough to hear Paul Wainwright perform, you’ve been taken on a musical journey that encompasses the artistry of Ellington’s right hand altoist Johnny Hodges, jump master Louis Jordan’s rockin’ rhythms and the contemporary flair of David Sandborn.” Raymond Mitchell, Jazz Review
“Whether Paul Wainwright’s adding his special brand of fire to The Midnights, dancing on your table at nightclub during one of his famous “bar walks” or conjuring up smoke & mist on a signature ballad, you’re guaranteed a memorable performance from one of Canada’s great saxophonists and band leaders”. Ira Dodson, Select Press
“It’s funky, it’s jazzy, it’s irresistably danceable and these guys have the time of their lives doing it. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun!” Show Review