Grammy nominated composer, producer, and drummer, Paul Peress has captivated audiences from Joy oOf Jazz Johannesburg, to BET Jazz St Lucia, to Lincoln Center Out of Doors, to Kaslo Jazz Etc in B.C. Canada, and many stops in between. Since its big break as a featured artist at the St. Kitts Music Festival in 1996, The Paul Peress Project has performed in over 20 countries!
Peress' drumming skills, musical diversity, and solid reputation have landed him the Music Director/Drummer chair for artists as diverse as Chaka Khan, Moby, Brenda Russell, Regina Belle, Deniece Williams and a sideman role with The B-52s and Mary Wilson.
"It's not only about bringing my music to diverse audiences in distant places, it's more about the exchange, the interaction, learning about other cultures meeting new folk, and then embracing that energy and growth to be a better person and to make new honest music with a greater world view."
The son of a prolific poet and classical music conductor, Peress grew up in Texas but forged his musical identity as a teenager playing drums in New York City clubs while studying Latin and Brazilian styles with renowned drummers Kenwood Dennard and Kim Plainfield.
In the studio, Peress has recorded with jazz and rock stalwarts like Chicago front man Bill Champlin, TOTO lead singer Bobby Kimball, Will Lee, Bloodstone, Gabriela Anders, Mark Whitfield, Michael Landau, and Jeff Golub. In November of this year, The Paul Peress Project will release's latest album, "Falling Awake", featuring Michael Landau, Will Lee, Ernest Tibbs, Oz Noy and Mitch Forman.
It explores themes of freedom, loss, newfound love, and rebirth: “This album was inspired by anguish and joy,” Peress recounts. “My father – who had an extraordinary life and career – and my best friend died within the same year and then I received the greatest gift of all – a baby girl. This deep pain and unparalleled happiness inspired me to write about these experiences and then speak through my music in a way that will hopefully touch audiences who can relate to this rollercoaster of human experiences we all share.”
“Personally and professionally, this record embodies the influences that have inspired me to make and perform music,” said Peress. “It’s Jazzy, Bluesy, and Soulful, with some hard hitting guitar-driven tunes on one end and slow ethereal thought provoking songs on the other. I can’t wait to share that energy with listeners and am amped to see the unfolding of this next musical adventure.”
In 2020, The Paul Peress Project will be hitting the road--back to the Caribbean and expanding its footprint into the US with festival and club dates starting next spring.