The Dana Paul Quartet
It might be a stretch to say South Florida has its very own Sinatra, but the truth is that Dana Paul is as close as it comes. Widely regarded as our area's leading jazz singer and interpreter of sentimental standards, this cat knows how to scat, as the old school hipsters might say. Born into a musical family in Massachusetts, he moved at age 13 to Miami, where he took up trumpet and began playing in his junior high school jazz band. Singing came secondhand and literally almost by accident. Driving cross-country, Paul found that practicing trumpet and holding on to the steering wheel didn't work. So fortunately for other drivers, he chose to hum along with the radio instead. Returning to Miami, he formed the nine-piece Nantucket Sound Band, rotating its performances with those of his jazz trio and quartet. He also fronts the Peter Graves Atlantean Driftwood Orchestra and occasionally performs with the Jaco Pastorious Big Band.
All of this activity hasn't been lost on local pundits. Paul was named Best Jazz Artist at the Florida Music Awards and was given Best Male Vocalist honors by the readers of New Times. Still, to quote the great Duke Ellington, "It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." Fortunately, Paul has proven he's got that covered.
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