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Junius Paul

A forward-thinking jazz bassist and composer, Junius Paul has been a vital member of the Chicago creative music scene since his emergence in the mid-2000s. A regular collaborator with drummer Makaya McCraven, he has also served as a member of the trailblazing avant-garde group Art Ensemble of Chicago. In 2019, he issued his debut album, ISM. A native of Chicago, Paul initially started taking piano lessons from his mother, a concert pianist. By the time he was in high school, he had switched to bass, influenced by his love of Jimi Hendrix, as well as artists like Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest, and others. He began playing in church and eventually discovered jazz. After high school, he honed his skills while studying music at Chicago's St. Xavier University. It was while at college that he also began playing regularly at the Sunday night jam sessions at the famed South Loop nightclub the Velvet Lounge. There, he met his mentor, drummer Vincent Davis, and sundry other Chicago jazz luminaries. Since launching his career, he has recorded with Corey Wilkes, Ernest Dawkins, Marquis Hill, and others. He is a member of drummer Makaya McCraven's band and has worked with Roscoe Mitchell and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. In 2019, he released his debut album as leader, ISM, which featured live recordings made at various Chicago venues between 2016 and 2019.
© Matt Collar /TiVo
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