Paul Gonzales was born in Albuquerque, NM, in 1963.
His fascination with wind instruments began when Arlen
Asher brought his saxophones to Paul's first grade class
in 1968. He later graduated from Del Norte High School
after holding the 1st trumpet chairs in the New Mexico
All-State Symphonic Band and the Albuquerque Youth
Symphony. Paul won a trumpet scholarship to the
University of New Mexico in 1981. After 1 year at
U.N.M., he joined the Army, where he studied music at
the Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA. His
permanent duty station was Fort Devens, MA, where he
studied with musicians in Boston & New York--while
taking in the east coast jazz scene.
Paul was trumpet soloist with the Army Band of New
England, which performed at the 1985 Newport Jazz
Festival. During that time he studied jazz with James
Williams & Bill Mobley, and trumpet with Rich Ryerson.
After leaving the Army at the end of 1985, he studied
trumpet with Bobby Shew, and jazz improvisation with
Bob Barnes (a student of Lennie Tristano & Kenny
Dorham). Paul has also studied with former New York
City Opera trumpeter, John Trujillo.
During the 1990's, Paul co-led the jazz group, Tetragon,
was a member of Salsa Suite, and appeared at the 1992
Telluride Jazz Celebration with Caribe. After an 8 year
hiatus, Paul and Steve Figueroa reformed Tetragon, and
performed at the 1st Annual New Mexico Jazz Festival in
2006 and at Telluride in 2007. He has played with the
Platters, the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, Bobby Vinton,
Andy Kim, Lou Christy, Doug Lawrence--of the Count
Basie Orchestra, Dan Trudell, and Donald Walden. He
has also shared the stage with Bobby Shew, Greg
Abate, Alan Pasqua, Richie Cole, Howard Alden, and Ali
Paul has been a member of Cesar Bauvallet's
Cuban-styled salsa band, Son Como Son, for 14 years.
They performed with conga legend, Carlos "Patato"
Valdes in concert, and jammed with members of the
great Cuban group, NG La Banda, and Eddie Palmieri's
band. Son Como Son has been the opening act for the
Afro-Cuban All Stars, Los Van Van, Eddie Palmieri,
Poncho Sanchez, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.
They played at the 1996 Durango-Hot Springs Jazz
Festival, the 2006 & 2008 Telluride Jazz Celebration,
and headlined at the 2006 El Paso Salsa Festival. The
Telluride Society for Jazz presented Son Como Son in
concert in 2007, along with a performance at the "Artist
in the Schools" Program. They have recorded two CD's,
"Aqui no falta mas nadie" & "Corazon". Their second
CD, "Corazon", was selected as one of the top 10 CDs of
2004 by Latin Beat Magazine's Luis Tamargo.
Paul has been a member of John Trentacosta's Santa
Fe-based jazz group, Straight Up, for 14 years. During
the Summer of 2000, Paul was a member of Ottmar
Liebert's group and performed at the St. Lucia, Chateau
Ste Michelle, and Park City Jazz Festivals. He appears
on Ottmar's platinum-selling CD, "Little Wing". Paul also
plays with Tradiciones (who performed at the 2007
Telluride Jazz Celebration), Calle 66, and Sparx. In
2003, Paul Gonzales recorded "Warm Valley", his first
CD as a leader. In 2005, Paul served as curator for the
Outpost Performance Space's "Summer Thursday Jazz
Paul is the adjunct trumpet teacher at Northern New
Mexico College and teaches jazz improvisation. He is
on the jazz education staff at the Outpost Performance
Space and has taught at Hummingbird Music Camp. He
is also a clinician with various middle & high school
bands. Paul is a retired Albuquerque Firefighter and
has a jazz radio show on KUNM-FM (kunm.org).
Bob Barnes & Paul
Paul, James Williams &