Pianist and composer who has performed around the world with everyone from Paul Winter to Leonard Bernstein. Fluent in styles from jazz to orchestral, and has written music for theater, dance, choirs, and corporate advertising. He has 15 CDs on the River Music label. Performs solo or with band.
Grammy Award winner Paul Sullivan has enjoyed a richly varied and distinguished career as a composer and a pianist.
As a soloist, with his trio, and as a member of the Paul Winter Consort, he has played concert tours in most of the United States and Europe, as well as Croatia, Israel, Costa Rica, and Japan. He has performed among the dunes of the Negev Desert, in Leonard Bernstein’s living room, and on the stages of many of the world’s finest concert halls. He has also performed with some legendary orchestras, such as the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, the Boston Pops under both Arthur Fiedler and Keith Lockhardt, and several regional orchestras around the US.
As a jazz player he has worked in some of New York’s most prestigious clubs, including Sweet Basil, The Village Vanguard, and Bradley's. He has played with a wide variety of jazz masters from Benny Goodman to Tommy Flanagan, as well as Red Mitchell, Lou Donaldson, George Mraz, Gerry Hemingway, Marc Helias, Gene Bertoncini, Luciana Sousa, Cafe, Jane Ira Bloom, Pheeroan AkLaff, Eddie Daniels, Richard Stoltzman, Nana Vasconcelos, Glen Velez and many other luminaries. His 15 CDs have sold over 300 thousand copies and have won 3 Indie Awards. He His music has been broadcast internationally, as well as on all the major American networks, including National Public Radio. He received a Grammy Award for his work on the Paul Winter Consort CD, Silver Solstice.
Most recently, he completed his first choral work. This was commissioned by the Bagaduce Chorale of Blue Hill Maine.
In the theater Sullivan has worked as a musical director, pianist, and conductor for many Off-Broadway and Broadway shows. He played keyboards and shared the conducting duties for the original production of the musical Nine, which won a Tony Award for Best Musical.
Sullivan has also worked extensively in the dance world, playing piano for Merce Cunningham’s classes, and writing music for the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. He has also enjoyed a long friendship with the Pilobolus Dance Theater, for whom he has written over 15 scores.
In his solo performances, he creates a relaxed and intimate feeling with his audience through his pleasant and quirky observations about music and life. His warm and inviting personality, coupled with his world-class musicianship, wins over new listeners immediately and usually makes them life-long fans.
Sullivan grew up in Boston and got his first professional training at the St. Paul Choir School in Cambridge with Theodore Marier and John Dunn. He went on to Phillips Exeter Academy and from there to Yale, where he received his BA in music in 1977. He also created and taught a course at Yale in Electronic Music.
He and his family live on the coast of Maine.
Written By: Paul Sullivan
The moon whispers to the ocean
"Oh please, won't you come to me?"
"And who", moans the lonely owl
"who will come and join me in this empty tree?"
The loon haunts the river with his desperate crazy cry
'cause he knows if no one answers he'll be crying 'til the day he dies.
All alone in the moon light here where the river finds the sea,
I wonder when I will hear my love song sung in my own key,
and when will I hear someone whispering for me?
Written By: Paul Sullivan
Time to laugh, time to cry
Time for building igloos in the snow
We've had time for all of that
And now it's time for you to go
Time for you to sail away
Sail away and begin to let your own song begin
Time to leave the mooring, spread your own sail to the wind
And its time for us to take our place in the quiet crowd of aching people everywhere
People whose time has finally come to say goodbye
Yesterday begins to fade away
And tomorrow is suddenly today
There's no negotiation, no more reason now to stay
Here we are, here you go, there's nothing in your way
So close the door, start up the car
And roll down the window, show me that smile
Here take a sandwich you haven't eaten for a while
Call me when you get there
There's a long, long road ahead of you
And thanks for showing me
Thanks so much for showing me
thanks for showing me, what life is all about
Christmas Pure and Simple
Written By: Paul Sullivan
Everywhere it’s looking like Christmas
Everything is red and green
Everywhere I look I see Santa and Nativity Scenes
All the kids are singing for Rudolph
Everyone is buying a tree
One party after the next
And It’s A Wonderful Life-
Everyone is grabbing for presents
microwaves and video games
So many things to remember, so many names
Lines at the supermarket, lines at the post-office too
Miles of lines going nowhere
Just waiting for you
No matter what you do.
Where did the magic go
Where is the holiness and splendor?
Where is the joy I felt as a child
When my heart was young and tender?
Where are the voices of angels
where is the star in the sky
How can I hear the angels with these trucks going by?
I don’t want more sales and promotions
I don’t want electronic toys
I want Christmas pure and simple
Filled with peace
I just want peace and joy.
PS Jazz Breakaway
My Irish Soul
Sketches of Maine
A Visit to the Rockies
Nights in the Gardens of Maine
Christmas in Maine
Paul Sullivan Collection
Circle Round The Seasons
50's Slow Dance
More 50's Slow Dances
60's Sweet and Bittersweet
Slow Sweet Swing
Set list changes regularly, but always includes several original pieces from the CDs listed above, a couple of Jazz Standards, original arrangements of traditional Irish tunes, and often some Bach, Chopin, or Ravel. Concerts sometimes end with a wild and funny improvisation on a famliar tune, such as Happy Birthday