PAUL MEYERS

Biography

 

"one of the most eloquent jazz guitarists since Kenny Burrell"

 - James Gavin, NY Times


"Paul Meyers is a guitarist's guitarist. He displays a creative, fresh approach to harmonic and linear playing. He's a brilliant soloist and accompanist and excels in contemporary jazz. His arranging and performances are as good as it gets."

- Gene Bertoncini, solo jazz guitar master


"A virtuoso guitarist and improviser [who brings] his own voice to each and every melody and solo he performs.... his lines are delivered with a hard driving sense of groove that only helps to accentuate his melodic and harmonic vocabulary." - Matthew Warnock, Just Jazz Guitar

Professional History -

Paul Meyers has been a busy freelancer, sideman and bandleader in and around New York City since 1980. He has performed and/or recorded with a list of jazz greats such as Geri Allen, Harry Allen, Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Ray Drummond, Eliane Elias, Clare Fischer, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Gomez, Annie Ross, Wynton Marsalis, Bill Mays, Rufus Reid and Steve Wilson.


For several years Paul performed and recorded with his quartet featuring Frank Wess, until Mr. Wess’ passing, He also plays and records with his own critically acclaimed Brazilian Jazz group World on a String since 2004. Paul toured for years with two of the greatest jazz singers - Jon Hendricks from 1993 to 2016, and Andy Bey from 1997 to 2008, and he is featured on three of Mr Bey’s CDs.

International performances include Japan and Hong Kong with the Salute to Duke Ellington Orchestra (along with Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis and Joe Wilder) - Spain with the great percussionist Cafe - Brazil, France, Germany, Switzerland, England, and Italy with Jon Hendricks - Brazil, England, Spain. Portugal, Macedonia, Greece and the Netherlands with Andy Bey - Japan with Karrin Allison, and Argentina with Gary Burton. Mr. Burton also recorded Paul's tune Panama on his "Reunion" CD with Pat Metheny.

A very active player in New York's vibrant Brazilian jazz scene, Paul leads his own Brazilian Jazz group World on a String, which features saxophonist Donny McCaslin, Brazilian pianist Helio Alves, Leo Travesa on bass, and Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira. He also is a member of Mr. Pereira’s fantastic group Blindfold Test. Requite Trio, a group featuring vocalists Nanny Assis and Janis Siegel and pianist John DiMartino whose debut CD Honey & Air was nominated for three Grammy awards in 2015. 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 has performed in New York and Tokyo with the great Tango-jazz pianist and composer Pablo Zeigler (Astor Piazzola's pianist) and is featured along with Stephon Harris on the live CD Tango meets Jazz. He returned to Tokyo to play at the Blue Note with vocalist Karrin Allison, performing music from her Brazilian CD Imagina. Paul is featured on the soundtrack to the film Bossa Nova (2000) w/Amy Irving, and music by Deodato. He has also worked with the great Paul Winter at his Winter Solstice concerts, featuring Paul with several great Brazilian singers, Luciana Souza, Renato Braz and Fabiana Cozza.

Critically acclaimed CDs -

Paul Meyers Quartet with Frank Wess (Miles High) is a relaxed straight ahead date all on the nylon string fingerstyle guitar with the tenor/flute legend.

World on a String (Miles High) a quintet with rising stars Donny McCaslin and Helio Alves, featuring Paul's original compositions and arrangements with wide ranging influences.

King/Meyers/Fabian (Cap) A wonderful piano/guitar/bass trio with all original music

Euforia (Mapleshade) is an envelope pushing Latin Jazz trio with Panamanian bassist/composer Santi Debriano and Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira

Spirit and Samba (Mapleshade).Paul and Santi Debriano reunited for a duo CD a couple years later on the same label

Brasil and Company (Cathexis) an all Brazilian CD with Brazilian singer Vera Mara, both in duo and with their quartet along with special guests

4 Solo Guitar CDs -

I Let a Song Go, on CAP records (2015), features standards, one original tune and Paul's arrangement of Seven Steps to Heaven.

Welcome Home, recorded and released in 2011, a highly acclaimed CD of Paul's original music. This CD has garnered rave reviews from guitarists and musicians such as Ralph Towner, Steve Khan, Vic Juris and Andy Bey.

Dusk to Dawn (2004) is a collection of original arrangements of Ellington, Gershwin, Lennon/McCartney, Scott Joplin and more.

Blues for the Millennium (1997) features his arrangements of jazz and Brazilian tunes, four original pieces and transcriptions of 7 of Bela Bartok's "Mikrokosmos".

Earlier Recordings -

Trio Concertant (Gunmar Records), with cellist Annabelle Hoffman and bassist Dennis James, with group arrangements of classical, jazz and Brazilian music, was first runner-up for best chamber music CD of 1992

Blues for Henry Miller (Adirondack), Paul’s first (1984) a jazz trio record with bassist Dick Sarpola and drummer Mark Plank, was recently rereleased as a digital download on Hindsight Records.

As a Sideman -

Paul has appeared on many CDs, including three with the great singer/pianist Andy Bey, the Grammy nominated American Song, Tuesdays in Chinatown and Shades of Bey - Vision for Rhythm with Vanderlei Pereira’s Blindfold Test - Requinte Trio with Janis Siegel, Nanny Assis and John DiMartino - also Nightsongs with Janis Siegel - The Heart Already Knows with Kate Reid- Hearts and Minds with Susannah McCorkle - 4 on 6 x 5 with the New York Jazz Guitar Ensemble (where he also contributed a 5 guitar arrangement on Herbie Hancock's Speak Like a Child) - and three Latin/Brazilian jazz recordings featuring all original music - Obeah with Santi Debriano,  Utatuba with Kimson Plaut and Lucky with Hans Teuber.



Education and Awards -

Masters of Music in jazz guitar from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelors of Music with honors from New England Conservatory. He studied with Gene Bertoncini, Jackie Byard, Barry Galbraith, George Russell, Chuck Wayne and Jack Wilkins. Paul received a 1990/91 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for jazz composition


Teaching History -

Paul is on the faculty at William Paterson University (since 1988), New Jersey City University (since 1993), and at SUNY Purchase (since 2019). He also taught at City University of New York (2012-14) at Peabody Conservatory (2017-18). Paul taught at the first year of the Jazz for Teens program at NJPAC in Newark, and was on the faculty at the Skidmore Jazz Institute in the summer of 2019. Paul has also given numerous clinics, master classes and workshops, traveling as far away as Italy, Argentina, Hawaii and Alaska.