One of the most versatile and cosmopolitan saxophonists in pop, soul and contemporary jazz for nearly 35 years, Michael Paulo has added his distinct saxpertise to a virtual who’s who of artists, including Al Jarreau (Paulo’s longest term touring association), James Ingram, No. 1 Smooth Jazz Trumpeter and guitarist Rick Braun and Peter White, Oleta Adams, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, Jeffrey Osborne, Jeff Lorber, David Benoit, Carl Anderson, Bobby Caldwell, Johnny Mathis and more. Another Milestone in Michael’s Career is his recent appearance on a previously unreleased Miles Davis record that was recorded in 1986 . The unheard tracks were recorded prior to his release TUTU. The record was released Sept 6th 2020 and reached the number 1 status on the billboard jazz charts in its first week.
Paulo grew up in a musical family (his father a pianist, his mother a singer, his siblings all playing instruments) and though he came upon the sax relatively late at age 15, he quickly became first horn player in his high school band and was playing professional gigs around the islands within a few years. Rather than accept a scholarship to North Texas State, he chose a more adventurous road by joining Hawaiian pop/rock band Kalapana, which had some success on the mainland but was most popular in Japan. After playing regularly and recording on all four of Kalapana’s albums from 1975 through 1979, Paulo recorded a solo album for Japanese release on Trio records. In addition to exposing him to the Japanese jazz audience, Tats in the Rainbow gave him the opportunity to work with legendary pianist Herbie Hancock.
Paulo moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and quickly established himself by playing with percussionist Ray Armondo and a local R&B outfit featuring members of Rufus. Two years later, he caught his big break when Al Jarreau hired him for his touring band. The young saxman became an integral part of the Jarreau experience while touring the world for the next decade. Paulo also gained international recognition as a result of his work on Jarreau’s famed “Live in London” release.
In 1988 paulo recorded his first Major solo release One Passion on MCA records
which was critically accliamed as one of the most influential recordings in contemporary Jazz. He has since released nine solo projects with the latest entitled “Songs” a compilation of his compositions over the years and featuring two new tracks.
Michael Paulo’s reputation as the no. 1 Asian American Jazz artist continues with each new year. He has also toured extensively in the Far East performing for the Sultan of Brunei and the Royal Family of Thailand. Michael is also popular in Japan where he has performed with numerous well known Japanese artists over the years such as: Namie Amuro, Eikichi Yazawa, Anrie, Mari Ijima, Globe,Atsushi from Exile and more! A dynamic live performer Michael has constantly left his audiences wanting more. His emotive playing and endearing style has never failed to capture the hearts of his fans all over the world..Michael Paulo is has continued to build his status as one of the most dynamic saxophonist in the world..
Michael spent eight years as an artist in residence at one of the largest Music Festivals in the world The Java Jazz Festival . Michael also produced two festivals, the Temecula Wine and Music Festival and Pacific Rim Jazz Festival in Hawaii. His company Apaulo Productions is also involved in producing numerous Jazz concerts events in California and Hawaii. Michael has just completed his 11th solo project titled a Beautiful Day. With the help of his music friends such as Peter White , Paul Brown , David Benoit, Paul Jackson Jr, Freddie Washington ,Ray ParkerJr. and more , Michael has assembled a mix of popular covers and original songs. It’s been ten years since his last studio release and he’s back in true form and ready to highlight another phase of his career an artist. As he says, “Music is always going to evolve, and it’s up to the artist to respond gracefully to the changes. We don’t know what the music will sound like years from now, but no matter what, it will be based on what the people in the audience feel.”