CBJF Story: Paul Gregory Whitt

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Paul Whitt has been passionate about music for more than 30 years. He will be playing on the Toyota Direct Acoustic Alley Stage at the 2019 Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival® (CBJF) on Saturday, June 15 from 2:30-4:00 pm. Paul recently shared his story with us–including what inspires him.

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How do you describe the kind of music you play?
I play instrumental/ solo acoustic guitar.

How long have you been a musician?
I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 13, so about 32 years now.

What instrument(s) do you play?
For the last 15-20 years, I have played the nylon string guitar and classical guitar.

Who inspired you initially?
I remember listening to my friend Fred and his dad play their Stratocaster electric guitars and liking that sound. I listened to early Aerosmith and George Thorogood for quite some time. My brothers would show me how to fret a simple barre chord so I could start playing songs. I would watch in awe as my Uncle Frank played AC/DC leads and rhythms as if he wrote them. Then I started listening to Randy Rhoads and Yngwie Malmsteen. Everyday since I was 13, I would practice different genres of music at least 1-2 hours a day, all leading up to what I do and perform now.

What’s your (current) favorite song to perform? Why?
Tico Tico or Tango en Skai are both still challenging for me, but fun to perform. Some of my own songs are fun too, because they have a beat and I get to open up on my soloing.

What’s your favorite kind of music to listen to? Who are your favorite bands/ artists now?
I still enjoy 70s and 80s hits. I like a little from all different kinds of music. I get tired of saturating myself with guitar music as well, so it changes up from time to time. I still like Hall and Oates and any music that has catchy melodies – those are fun to turn into guitar instrumentals. Most of the music I listen to are song selections for gigs that I get hired to do. I spend a lot of time customizing songs for people that hire me to play for their private events or wedding ceremonies.

If you could meet up and play with any legendary musician (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
Charo. I think she’d be a lot of fun, and she’s an incredibly talented guitarist. Her songs are variations of Flamenco and Spanish classics that she does with a dance mix to kind of update the music. Other than her, I would want to play with someone that I’m going to compliment their instrument or voice and not compete with them.

What will you be performing/bringing to the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival?
I will be doing a mix of styles of rhythm such as Samba, Tangos, Bossa Nova, as well as Flamenco, Jazz and Classical guitar. Some will be Spanish Classical like Spanish Dance No.5 and Missionera, some Jazz Standards like Fly Me to the Moon, Brazil, and my own material as well. Some songs will just be completely solo guitar and some songs I use a loop effect to play a few measures and then harmonize notes and or solo over that.  All played on nylon string acoustic electric guitars. I will use my Alvarez Cadiz Flamenco and my Godin Multiac nylon string guitar, both dependable and powerful guitars for live guitar performances.  

What do you hope fans take away from your performance?
I want them to see that the guitar can be a lifetime journey that never stops, and there is always room to learn more and enjoy playing or listening to the guitar. At times it seems like the possibilities are endless with the guitar, and I want to show some of that at Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival.

Where can fans learn more about you and your music (online)?
They can google ‘PaulGregoryWhitt solo guitar’. There are several sites that have info on me or go to http://www.gigmasters.com/sologuitar  or https://www.reverbnation.com/paulgregorywhittsologuitar  for more info.

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For a complete schedule of entertainment, plus shuttle, parking  and additional information, go to CreeksideBluesandJazz.com. Interested in scoring a complimentary weekend pass and Tshirt?  Use the #2019CBJF hashtag on social media to share or create posts about the Festival. We’ll pick 40 Jambassadors at random (before 6.14.19) to score some swag! Questions? Call 614/418-9114.

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