Paul has a Masters of Music in jazz guitar from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelors of Music with honors from the New England Conservatory. He teaches jazz guitar and coaches ensembles at William Paterson University and at New Jersey City University, both in New Jersey, and he gives private lessons.
He performs regularly in the New York TriState area. One of my favorite places to hear him used to be the charming and late-lamented Le Madeleine restaurant on 43rd Street in Manhattan, where he would often sub for his mentor Gene Bertoncini, another amazing guitarist.
One of Paul’s passions is Brazilian jazz. He was a member of the Terra Brasil, which featured pianist/composer Cidinho Teixeira and vocalist Vera Mara, both veterans of the great Gilberto Gil’s band. He later co-led Brasil & Company with Ms. Mara, and they released a highly regarded CD as well. He recently returned to Tokyo to play the Blue Note with vocalist Karrin Allison, performing music from her new Brazilian CD Imagina.
For a delightful sample of Paul’s playing check out this YouTube recording. I remember showing up for my lesson one day and hearing Paul talk about the jazz version of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” that he was working on. Here it is!
I asked Paul for some words of wisdom about the creative process and this is what he said:
“If you feel a connection to the guitar and music, you’re on the journey. Every step starts by picking up the guitar and exploring a little further or deeper. It never ends. Enjoy the journey and enjoy the point you’re at in it. When you play (not practice) you pull together and shape what you know into a story. When you practice you examine and shape all the elements you have for telling the stories. When you’re trying to go deeper into the guitar, pick it up. It will teach you as you play it. It becomes a dance between what you know and what’s possible on the fretboard.”
This is great advice for everyone involved in the creative process, no matter what the medium. It’s always a journey in which the next step is only revealed after the previous step has been taken.
And here’s what jazz legend Andy Bey says about Paul’s version of that journey:
“First of all, Paul Meyers is a brilliant musician, but most of all he has a broad musical concept. He has such great sensitivity where you can feel the music coming out of his guitar and not just hear the notes. I know this will continue to serve him well, always.”
Visit Paul’s website for more information, photos, and some more great music.