Paul Asaro

Paul Asaro is a pianist who has mastered two-handed jazz and ragtime styles. Asaro is a master of the Stride pianos of James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion Smith”, the New Orleans styles Jelly Roll Morton and Eubie Blake. He plays all of these with an excellent ear for detail and blends them into his personal style. Paul was influenced by a number of pianists, including Ralph Sutton, Dick Wellstood and Butch Thompson. These musicians worked within the traditions, while also creating their own style. Paul’s career spans two decades and has been a performer at many clubs and theaters around the world. He has also performed at the Ravinia Jazz Festival, Chicago Jazz Festival and the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. He has shared the stage with musical luminaries such as Steve Allen, Marian McPartland and Butch Thompson. He was the featured pianist for the Broadway production of Jelly Roll, which won an Obie Award. He was the “Music and the Man”, playing solo and with the star Vernel bagneris. Asaro was also a part of the national tour as well as numerous regional productions of Jelly Roll!, including one in Philadelphia that earned him a Barrymore Award nomination. Asaro was the house pianist on the iconic New Orleans steamboat “Delta Queen”, and in Chicago with Jim Beebe’s band, which included former Louis Armstrong All Star Barrett Deems as well as the legendary tenor Franz Jackson. Asaro currently tours the country as Leon Redbone’s accompanist. He plays concerts with Leon Redbone as a duo, as well as appearing on NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Mountain Stage”. Asaro also records Leon’s latest album. Loudon Wainwright III, a singer and guitarist, has recently released two albums featuring Paul’s piano. The first is the Grammy Award-winning “Charlie Poole Project” (2010). Recent appearances include solo and 2-piano duets for Butch Thompson and Jon Weber at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival’s ‘Stride Piano Night’, an extended solo tour for Allied Concert Services and onscreen with Vince Giordano and his band in “Boardwalk Empire” on HBO. Paul is the pianist in “The Fat Babies”, a seven-piece jazz band that performs weekly at Chicago’s long-established jazz club The Green Mill. They play a variety of jazz from 1920s to 1940s. The group has released two albums to critical acclaim, with “Chicago Hot”, a Delmark Records album, being named by the Chicago Tribune as one of the top jazz albums of 2012. from

Leave a Comment