Cactus, mesquite, and hot summers. Redfish and flounder in the flats of the nearby coastal bays. Football and marching bands. Cowboys and wildcatters. The only music on the air waves: country two-steps, Mexican rancheros, rock ‘n roll.
A small Gulf Coast Texas town was not a likely place for a future jazz musician and composer to grow up, but Paul English’s father was an accomplished jazz trombonist and a respected music educator and band director. Early on he introduced his son to Dave Brubeck, J. J. Johnson, and Count Basie (in that order) as well as Bach, Beethoven, and Stravinsky. This magical world fascinated Paul, and almost before he could speak, he was banging out sounds on the piano that must have been painful to others but glorious in his own mind.
Formal studies on trumpet began at age 8 as the sounds of Al Hirt, Rafael Mendez, and Dizzy Gillespie excited his ears and his imagination. Years later he would perform and record with Gillespie. Never a doubt that his destiny was in the world of music, English continued his music studies at the University of Miami, the University of Houston, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he earned both a B.M. and an M.M. in music composition as a student of the late Dr. Paul Cooper.
He has enjoyed a successful career as a composer, jazz pianist, recording artist, session player, producer, and educator, having served on the faculties of Texas Tech University, Sam Houston State University, San Jacinto College, and the Houston Community College.
He is a registered Steinway concert artist and makes his home in Houston, Texas.