Grounded in spirituals and trained in classical, Paul Bailey’s passion has always been the pursuit of excellence in jazz performance and the preservation of the jazz music form.
A native of Washington, DC, Paul began playing the trumpet at age 9. As a youth, he performed with the Blues Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra, DC Youth Orchestra and DeMatha Catholic High School's Wind and Jazz Ensembles. Paul received numerous music awards including selection to the 2012 Maryland All State Jazz Band. He has also performed in the 2012 Jazz Studio at the White House with Wynton Marsalis, hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama, and was a featured young artist for the 2013 DC Jazz Festival Family Day.
Paul honed his performance skills at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music matriculating in the Jazz Studies Department and performing with the world-renowned Oberlin Jazz Ensemble (OJE) under the direction of Dennis Reynolds. In 2015, Paul was the OJE trumpet soloist at the Ohio State Jazz Competition with and the 2015 Tri-C Jazz Festival Big Band Competition where the band received superior ratings. Paul has also performed regularly at Oberlin's Jazz Forum, which highlights student and guest performers in an intimate jazz setting allowing for immediate feedback from the audience. In the spring of 2016 as a visiting student, Paul was a featured trumpet soloist with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Fred Irby, III. Paul graduated from Oberlin in 2017 with a B.F.A. in Jazz Trumpet Performance. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Jazz Studies at Howard University.
Paul not only has a passion for playing, he is dedicated to the preservation of our great American art form. He served as a jazz trumpet teaching assistant at Oberlin as well as the trumpet instructor at the Washington Jazz Arts Institute. He has served as a clinician for the DeMatha Catholic High School Jazz Band and mentors several private students. Composing and arranging new music is another element of Paul’s musical contribution. He documents his life experiences through musical composition.