Performance Info

Paul Asbell

Saturday, January 27, 2018 — 11:00 am to 11:30 am PST

ACC, Lower Level, Lobby, NAMM Museum of Making Music Booth

Artist Info

Paul Asbell

Paul Asbell

From his early years, playing blues on Chicago’s South Side, to his present multi-faceted career based out of northern Vermont, Paul has earned an underground reputation as a true “musician’s musician”. He has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Slim, Paul Butterfield, Sam Lay, Pops Staples, Donny Hathaway, and numerous others while in his hometown of Chicago, Ill.

Paul moved to Vermont in the heady “back-to-the-land” days of 1971, where he still lives. He soon started playing and recording with a head-spinningly diverse array of artists, including Big Mama Thornton, singer-songwriters Paul Siebel, Jim Ringer, Mary McCaslin, and Rosalie Sorrells, jazz greats Jon Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sonny Stitt, and Nick Brignola, and many others. (Visit the Discography page for info on the many recordings from these early days…)

In 1978, seeking an outlet for more personal musical visions, he formed Kilimanjaro , and recorded 2 award-winning albums for Philo Records.  Soon after, the band performed at the Kool Jazz Festival at SPAC, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and numerous national tours and concert dates. Kilimanjaro served as backup band on lengthy national tours with Esther Satterfield, and Paul Butterfield, with whom they played the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen.

In 1981, Paul and other members of Kilimanjaro joined forces with a legendary saxophonist and blues singer to form Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band. Together, they performed at many festivals, including the Kool Jazz Festival, toured Russia, Holland, and Canada, and served as backup band for Marva Wright, Kenny Neal, W.C. Clark, and others. The UBB remained a Northeast regional favorite for over 20 years, until Big Joe’s passing in 2005.

Personal performance credits in recent years include David Bromberg, Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, James Carter, Kermit Ruffins, Michael Ray, the Sun Ra Arkestra, The Wild Magnolias, John Stowell, guitar wunderkind Julian Lage, Dave Grippo and former students Trey Anastasio and Nick Cassarino.

Two sold-out Kilimanjaro shows at the Discover Jazz Festival in June, ’06 fueled a resurgence of interest in the group, the writing of 9 new compositions, and the beginning of a two-year recording project at Kilimanjaro keyboardist Chas Eller’s studio. The result, “Homecoming“, was picked by Jazziz magazine for their “Best of 2009” CD, along with tracks by Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Branford Marsalis, and other heavyweights. “Homecoming” is available for audition or purchase at .