Paul has been playing and writing music in the San Francisco music scene since 1987. He has arranged music for and played with many of the top area salsa bands including Louis Romero and Mazacote, Azabache, Candela, Benny Velarde, Julio Bravo, Sensual, Tito Garcia and others.

Playing harmonica with the Beauty Operators at Slims Nightclub

Paul has played the San Francisco Jazz Festival, San Francisco and Monterey Blues Festivals, North Coast Jazz Festival and recently the San Francisco Flower Piano. For over thirty years Paul has freelanced extensively in a many styles and genres – big band, rhythm and blues, bluegrass, Americana, classical, salsa and Latin-jazz.

Paul received a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin where he studied with Les Thimmig, Richard Davis and Randy Tomasello.

In 1998 he published the controversial Arranging for Salsa Bands – The Doctor Big Ears Essays where he gives away the secrets to cuing a salsa band. The book is available in digital format at Lulu Press and other outlets.

Inspiration – The ocean is a huge inspiration for my music. I also love to submerge myself in the sounds of nature – particularity songbirds in wetlands and marshes.
Self-portrait – 2006 – For an essay in The San Francisco Journal.
Emilio and Parker Grant at Chile Lindo during the Pandemic. The trio gig at Chile Lindo parklet. Thanks Paula for keeping it real.

In 2006, while living in the Western Highlands in Guatemala, Paul began playing chromatic harmonica eventually studying the music of Toots Thielemans. In 2014 he published Ten for Toots – 10 Toots Thielemans Chromatic Harmonica Solos – Transcribed and Analyzed available in both book form and digital ebook.

On the streets

Beginning in 2020, Paul has been playing often with Eduardo Corzo in smaller intimate settings and also The Mission Vario Project. He can be found playing at Ivory and Vine, Big Boabab and The Liberties.

Partial credits as an arranger

All of the albums listed below are available on the major streaming services/publishers (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Deezer, Facebook, etc.)

Manny Martinez – EVOLUTION
Tu y Yo
Aunque el Mundo se Impone


Manny Martinez
Tu y Yo
2022Identidad Profunda
by Manny Martínez y la Rebeldía
Afro Caribeño
Cuentame De Ti
La Verdad

Louie Romero y Su Grupo Mazacote – Timbalero
Sky Blue
Como se llama

10 Años de Salsa: Celebrating 10th Anniversary with Orquesta

Julio Bravo
Sin Rencor
Una Mujer Como Tu
Destino Sin Amor
2004Julio Bravo: Cerca De Ti
Cinco A Diez
This Moment
Simplemente Complicada
Besitos De Coco