Paul Jost is an eclectic artist with great skill as a drummer, vocalist, arranger and composer in genres that range from jazz to country and more. Over the years, his musical talents extended to guitar and harmonica, but it’s his voice that truly makes him a standout. His vocals are so soulful that music journalist Buster Maxwell wrote … “he nearly single-handedly reclaims the male voice as a valid and critically important jazz instrument.” Peter McLaren in Jazz in Europe wrote Paul is … “is a force to be reckoned with and an artist that deserves to be seen on all great festival stages worldwide”. Michael Barbiero, producer/engineer/songwriter, who has worked on projects for such legends as John Lennon, Whitney Houston and Metallica, thinks that Paul Jost brings vocal styling to a new level. “Once in a great while an artist comes along whose talent and vision allow all that we knew to be viewed through a new facet. Paul is such an artist.”
Paul has been performing worldwide with recent tours in South Korea, Ireland and at JazzAhead, the international jazz expo and conference, in Bremen, Germany. Back home, he performs regularly on the east coast – in the Philadelphia and New Jersey shore areas as well as with a regular date at the famed New York jazz club, 55 Bar. He was honored to recently perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Concertmaster, David Kim, who said, “Performing with Paul Jost is a thrill. He is an artist of the highest order and I look forward to many more collaborations.”
A highly respected arranger as well, in 2015 Paul was commissioned by Producer Michael Kline to re-imagine Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” album and headline with that project at Exit Zero International Jazz Festival in Cape May, NJ. Paul collaborated with Barry Miles on the arrangements and assembled a band of great artists and friends that include Jim Ridl-piano, John Swana-E.V.I., Chico Huff-bass, Anwar Marshall-drums, and vibraphonist Tony Miceli. After the concert Kline said, “Paul needs to do this on stages everywhere. It was amazing!” WXPN-FM’s general manager Roger LaMay became an immediate fan. “Paul is terrific,” he said. “It’s fascinating to see these iconic songs reimagined through a jazz lens. It forces you to hear the music and lyrics in a different light.” He has taken the concert to New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia and when Charlie Calello, one of the original arrangers of “Born to Run” heard it, he was “blown away” and said that Paul’s version of Jungleland was better than his own! Paul is performing this music in a Live Recording concert at The Bitter End in New York in the fall of 2016.
In the past two years, Paul has had two recordings released by Dot Time Records. In August, 2013, The Jost Project released, Can’t Find My Way Home, presenting classic rock in a jazz format. They continue to build their fan base by connecting with younger generations who are already familiar with the original songs. Johan van Deeg wrote in Jazz in Europe … “The Jost Project is without a doubt one of the most creative bands I have heard for years and vocalist Paul Jost one of the best male jazz vocalists that I have heard since Mark Murphy.” The Jost Project has performed in Ireland, South Korea and in the United States, specifically at Iridium and 55 Bar in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, World Café Live, Chris’ Jazz Café and many other venues.
In mid-2014, his first solo CD was released by Dot Time Records and appropriately titled Breaking Through as he breaks through traditional boundaries and conventions with each song on the album. His arrangements are being applauded as much as his voice. While the majority of songs are jazz standards, there is nothing standard about them. Included is his original “Book Faded Brown,” a song he is honored to have had recorded by The Band, Rick Danko and Carl Perkins.
A frequent guest lecturer and teacher presenting classes on “Finding Your Voice”, Paul’s personality works with all ages – from elementary through adults. He has worked at such colleges as the University of the Arts, West Chester University, Stockton College and others. He also leads an interactive scatting and body percussion workshop. A high school music teacher recently said, “Paul got our students tapping, clapping, singing and scatting and, in the process, believing in themselves and their unique place in the world. He’s phenomenal, inspirational.”
Paul is involved in many other music collaborations in both recordings and performances. He is increasingly in demand and most recently he’s performed on Phyllis Chapell – Naked World (Illumination Records) and David Bennett Thomas – Deep, Deep Love (Vectordisc Records). He has three separate recordings slated for release in late 2015 and early 2016 for these artists — pianist/composer Jim Ridl, guitarist/composer Tom Giacobetti, and he sings on a bonus track of “The Applejacks”, the music of trombonist/composer Dave Appell. In the past few years, Paul has recorded three separate duo projects: one with bassist Tim Lekan – Side by Side (Independent); a second with flutist Mark Adler, Silver Whispers (Arabesque); and a third (soon to be released), Where We Meet with pianist, Frank Strauss. Paul is both singer and arranger in Antfarm Quartet featuring pianist Jim Ridl, Tim Lekan and drummer Bob Shomo. Their released CD’s include Antfarm Quartet – Dialogues Pt. 2 and Live @ The Colony Theater (Dreambox Media); Andy Lalasis – Fret Not (Independent), Carolyn Nelson – Come a Little Closer (Independent), Susan Goodman – Live Out Loud, and as drummer on Susan Goodman’s – Central Park West (Soozaroo Music). In addition, Paul sings with violinist Diane Monroe’s sextet, “What is This Thing Called Freedom”.
Paul is a prolific composer, writing over 400 songs for music libraries and his music is heard daily in over 750 markets throughout the United States. He has composed for Canon Pictures and NBC-TV’s Emmy Award-winning series “Special Treat”. He is also a four category Billboard Song Contest Winner. Throughout Paul’s career, his vocals, drumming or harmonica have been heard on national jingles for major companies such as Johnson & Johnson, American Airlines, Nissan, Anheuser Busch, Miller Beer, Subway and Dow Chemical.
Paul was selected by Rowan University as their featured artist in a televised half hour program which showcased four of Paul’s songs and interviews. This particular episode went on to win the CAPE Award, (Cable Award for Programming Excellence). In addition, Paul played drums in the Off- Broadway production of Andy Warhol’s “Man on The Moon” featuring John Phillips (Mamas and the Papas),
Born and raised in Southern New Jersey, Paul still resides in the area. He served as musical director at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City and also as music director for singer Morgana King. The list of artists he has performed or recorded with is extensive including Billy Eckstine, Mark Murphy, George Mesterhazy, Ann Hampton Calloway, Sylvia Simms, Bobby Scott, Sivuca, Dr. John, Bucky Pizzarelli, Teo Macero, Joe Farrell, Ron Carter, Bobby Tucker, Pee Wee Ellis, John Phillips, Mike Abene and many more. He is honored as well to have worked in collaboration with songwriter/producer Jim Tullio throughout his career.
When looking back at his childhood, he says, “Music spoke to my heart the instant I was exposed to it, and each experience adds to a dialogue that becomes more beautiful and more meaningful in my life.” He learned to play piano at age six and quickly turned his talent to the drums. When he was 12, he started playing professionally, earning respect in the music community. After graduating Vineland High School where he was voted “best musician”, he studied at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has performed all over the country, living for a while in New York and Chicago, but chose to make his home in New Jersey where he lives with his wife, Valerie. They are the proud parents of Daniel Jost, a highly respected musician/vocalist married to singer and dancer Gina Jost, and Juliana Jost, a high school art teacher and mother to their granddaughter, Olivia Grace.