Lecturer (Jazz Piano, Jazz Combos)

Edmund Paolantonio webEdmund Paolantonio (Lecturer), pianist, is from New York City but lives now in Durham, NC. In addition to earning a BS in Music Education from SUNY and an MM in performance from UNC-Chapel Hill, he studied 3 1/2 years with world famous jazz pianist, teacher and composer Lennie Tristano. He has been composing, arranging and performing jazz professionally since 1971 and has accompanied many jazz giants including Dizzie Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, and Emily Remler.

Mr. Paolantonio has been described as an “all consuming musician..(whose) solo struck sparks around the room.”–Owen Cardle (News and Observer, Raleigh, NC) “He’s outstanding,… talented and prolific”, said R.C. Smith (Durham Morning Herald). Joe Vanderford (Spectator, Raleigh, NC) wrote of “Paolantonionio’s sound…(as) full of arpeggios, utilizing every one of the eighty-eights”.

Paolantonio has toured with North Carolina drummer Max Roach. As an artist in the NC Touring Program, he performed with his much acclaimed vocal group, String of Pearls. He toured the Middle East for USIA with vibraphonist, Jon Metzger, and has receivd North Carolina Jazz Fellowship Awards as well as the Durham Emerging Artist Grant.

An excellent clinician, Paolantonio has served in schools and colleges in and out of state. He was NC Artist in Residence for three years and has taught jazz improvisation and history at U.N.C.-Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University and Elon College.

As an accompanist, Paolantonio’s recording credits include 2 cd’s with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. One consisted of Benny Goodman’s arrangements and one of Duke Ellington’s compositions. His credits also include Scott Sawyer’s CD “In the Stream”; Group Sax’s three recordings, “A New Level”, “All’s Well” and “Prime Time”; Karen Love’s CD “I Believe in Little Things”; and Dan Axelrod’s LP “New Axe” distributed on the Phoenix record label.

“Dedications”, Paolantonio’s first CD, showcases his superb talent as a composer and arranger, and demonstrates his outstanding ability as a jazz improviser. “Dad’s Blues” is Mr. Paolantonio second CD as a leader. Like “Dedications”, his CD is the result of a fellowship award from the N.C. Arts Council. It explores extensive improvisations on both original material and jazz standards and captures the essence of what jazz is all about.