Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Meyers, Paul (Clarke)

Meyers, Paul (Clarke), guitarist (electric and acoustic), composer, educator; b. New York City, 28 June 1956. His father, Robert Meyers (born in NYC - 12/22/28) played trombone professionally, graduated from Manhattan School of Music. His mother Lynn Clarke, (born in Oak Park, IL 11/21/33) is a singer and pianist who graduated from Julliard School of Music. A brother, John, was born in NYC on 4/28/58 (he later graduated from the University of Illinois and now plays drums & percussion professionally). I

n 1963 Paul's family moved from New York City to Wethersfield, CT (where his father played in the Hartford Symphony and taught at Hartt School of Music) and he and his brother began studying piano. He also studied violin for two years and played in the school orchestra. In 1968, after his parents' divorce, he moved to Potsdam, NY with his mother & brother, where she taught voice at the Crane School of Music until 1999. Paul began classical guitar lessons and played in local bands. At age 16 he became interested in jazz and after high school entered the State University of New York at Potsdam as a guitar major, studying with Richard Stephan. He played in local jazz bands and the college Jazz Ensemble, directed by Ray Shiner (formerly with the Sauter-Finegan band). With this ensemble he was featured in duets with guest artists Bucky Pizzarelli and Marion McPartland. After two years he took a year off from college and moved to Rochester, NY, where he played in various ensembles and studied part time at Eastman School of Music with Bill Dobbins and Gene Bertoncini. The following fall (1977) he entered New England Conservatory, and while there studied w/Jackie Byard, Barry Galbraith, George Russell, Chuck Wayne, Ernie Wilkins, and Gene Bertoncini again. After graduating with honors in 1979, Paul worked in Boston for one year and joined Gunther Schuller's New England Ragtime Ensemble. In 1980 he moved to New York City where he began freelancing and playing/recording with his own groups. In 1985/86 he earned a Master's degree at Manhattan School of Music, studying with Jack Wilkins and performing with Red Rodney. In 1988 Paul moved to Jersey City and began teaching in the jazz department at William Paterson University. In 1989 Gary Burton and Pat Metheny recorded one of Paul's compositions, "Panama", after which he did several tours and clinics with Mr. Burton. He received a 1990/91 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for jazz composition. In 1993 Paul joined the jazz faculty at New Jersey City University. He taught the first year of the Jazz for Teens program at NJPAC in Newark, has given numerous clinics, master classes and workshops (traveling as far as Argentina, Hawaii and Ala ska) and he continues to teach at both Universities. Since moving to NY he has performed and recorded with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Ray Drummond, Clare Fischer, Sonny Fortune, Eddie Gomez, Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross, Marc Johnson, Wynton Marsalis, Rufus Reid, Kenny Werner, Frank Wess and the Woody Herman Orchestra. International performances include tours to Japan and Hong Kong with the Salute to Duke Ellington Orchestra (featuring Paul along with Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis and Joe Wilder); to Spain with the Brazilian percussionist Cafe; to France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy with Jon Hendricks; to England and the Netherlands with Andy Bey; and to Argentina with Gary Burton. Paul has been a permanent member of Jon Hendricks' band since 1993 and Andy Bey's group since 1997. In the mid 1980's Paul became active in the vibrant Brazilian jazz scene in New York City. He was a member of Terra Brasil, which featured pianist/composer Cidinho Teixeira and vocalist Vera Mara, both veterans of the great Gilberto Gil's band. From 1994 to the present he and Ms. Mara have co-led Brasil & Company, performing extensively around NY and as far away as Istanbul. He also played in New York and Tokyo with the Tango-jazz pianist/composer Pablo Zeigler, who worked with the great Astor Piazzola for fifteen years. Other groups include - Euforia, a Latin Jazz trio with Panamanian bassist/composer Santi Debriano and Brazilian drummer Vanderlei Pereira, and - Trio Concertant , a guitar, cello and bass ensemble which performs its own arrangements of jazz, classical and Brazilian music.

Isotope: Blues for Henry Miller (1983); Trio Concertant (1991); Blues for the Millenium (1997); Brasil and Company (1999); Paul Meyers/Santi Debriano Duo (2003)
As sideperson:
New York Jazz Guitar Ensemble: 4 on 6 x 5 (1985); Santi Debriano: Obeah (1987); Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: Portraits by Ellington (1992); Don Byron: Bug Music (1996); Kimson Plaut: Utatuba (1996); Mark Gould: Cafe 1930 (1998); Andy Bey: Shades of Bey (1998); Richard Stoltzman: Worldbeat Bach (2000); Susannah McCorkle: Hearts and Minds (2000); Hans Teuber: Lucky (2000); Andy Bey: Tuesdays in Chinatown (2002); Andy Bey "American Song" ( Savoy ) 2004

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