Paul Hemmings

Paul Hemmings views music from a wide angle. He uses the humble ukulele to combine elements of jazz, free improvisation and American roots music into his signature sound. He also has critically acclaimed recordings with Eric Alexander and John Tchicai, who are both saxophonists. All About Jazz wrote that Paul Hemmings’ proclivity to cross musical boundaries led them to say, “Hemmings’ mixture of cultures and influences, exploring the edges and rhythms, exploring the edges and harmony and rhythm is remarkably fresh, and a complete failure.” He lives in New York City and performs regularly with the dynamic ukulele bass-drum team, which he uses for his original compositions as well as modern standards. The Blues and The Abstract Uke is the group’s most recent album. It features a broad range of American blues music. The album received a glowing review from Downbeat with a rating of four stars. Gaku Takanashi plays bass, Rudy Royston plays drums, and Greg Tardy plays tenor saxophone. Curtis Fowlkes plays trombone. The Paul Hemmings Orchestra’s 2012 debut was released. It features unique renditions of current standards, including those by Thelonious Monk, Antonio-Carlos Jobim, Bob Marley, and The Beatles, as well as some of Hemmings original compositions. It received widespread critical acclaim, and continues to be played on jazz and public radio stations across the country. Paul is a familiar face in the growing ukulele festival scene since his debut album was released by The Uketet. Paul’s performances at the Cairns Ukulele Festival (Australia), the New York Ukulele Festival, Centrum Ukulele Festival Port Townsend, WA and other events have earned him a reputation for both his engaging performances and his easy-to-learn workshops. He is known for his technical knowledge and approachability, earning him the title of “mad professor” in ukulele instruction. Paul is currently working on a series books and videos for all levels of ukulele players. Paul has enjoyed the role of music educator for over a decade. He has been teaching at Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City since 2001. This is the oldest community music school in the country. In addition to his classes at Marymount Manhattan College and the National Guitar Workshop, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the California Coast Music Camp, he also teaches. Paul holds a degree in Jazz Performance from New School University, Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. Paul began his musical career as a jazz guitarist before he turned his attention to the ukulele. In 2003, Paul released his third album.

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