Paul Asaro

Champaign, IL
Added 5/28/2007

Paul Asaro is known as one of the finest of a select group of pianists who still perform the demanding, two-handed piano styles from the first half of the 20th century. The Stride piano of James P. Johnson, Willie "The Lion" Smith and Fats Waller, the New Orleans styles of Jelly Roll Morton, the ragtime of Scott Joplin and Eubie Blake, stomps, boogie woogie and swing, Asaro plays them all with a fine ear for detail, blending the elements into his own personal style. Indeed, most of Paul's earliest influences were more recent pianists such as Dick Wellstood, Ralph Sutton and Butch Thompson, musicians who worked within these traditions while at the same time developing their own unique approach.

Paul performs at Jazz and Ragtime festivals, clubs and theaters worldwide and has appeared onstage with musical legends and luminaries as Leon Redbone, Steve Allen, Marian McPartland, Jeff Healy, Jim Galloway, Dan Barrett, Jon Faddis, Orange Kellin, Vince Giordano, Brian Ogilvie, Jon-Erik Kellso and Duke Heitger. He was featured as "The Professor" in the award winning Broadway production and national tour of
"Jelly Roll! The Music and the Man" performing alongside the show's creator and star Vernel Bagneris. Asaro has had long runs as house pianist aboard the legendary New Orleans steamboat "Delta Queen", in Chicago with Jim Beebe's band featuring Louis Armstrong alum Barrett Deems and Fats Waller alum Franz Jackson, and in Seattle as a regular solo
pianist at "Julia's in Wallingford".

Currently Asaro is on the road touring with Leon Redbone, pausing recently to appear on Jim Cullum's "Riverwalk Jazz" program for National Public Radio, tour the country with his own trio, record a new solo album and travel to England to record a duet album with British Stride piano great, Neville Dickie. When off the road, Asaro performs solo regularly at the Blind Pig, a saloon in his home base of Champaign,