Paul Messina Bio
Multi Instrumentalist (Flutes, Saxophones, Keyboards, Synth Sequencing), Composer, Arranger and Producer
Paul Messina is an accomplished musician who has experienced the full spectrum of the musical realm, from playing with a variety of bands and working with a wide range of musicians, in both the recording and producing capacity, to composing and arranging music, as well as playing an assortment of instruments. Paul’s quest for musical knowledge has lead him to study under the tutelage of some jazz greats in addition to his worldly experience. He is presently the lead arranger for producer Gary M. Vandy, and the bandleader for the Contemporary Jazz group “Flashpoint”.
After nearly 40 years as a Flautist, Paul began playing the saxophone as his main instrument in 2005. His has released two albums as a solo artist (Musical Bridges 2014 and Gratitude 2018). Gary M. Vandy co-produced and mixed/mastered the albums.
Early Years & Education
Paul was born on the U.S. Marine airbase in Cherrypoint, North Carolina on January 25, 1952. When he was 2 years old, his family moved to Miami, Florida, which is still his home to this day. His start in music began when he was 12 years old. His sister was playing the flute in Junior High school, and when he showed an interest in learning, she taught him the basics. He also ended up playing in the Junior High band, and in Senior High School, he played in both the Marching Band and Concert Band. He later formed a rock band while serving in the Navy.
To build upon these early experiences, Paul majored in Music at Miami-Dade College from 1974-1979 and again from 1991- 1994, where he studied flute with Althea Kaplan. He also studied Jazz Theory and Arranging, Improvisation, and Electronic Music with Dr. Mike Di Liddo. He attended the Jaime Aebersold Jazz Camp at the University of Louisville, where he studied Theory with David Baker, Jazz Flute with Lida Baker, and Jazz Combo with Hal Galper. To quench his never-ending thirst for learning, Paul has been known to attend seminars with some stellar musicians, such as Ed Calle and Roberto Perera.
Musical Accomplishments and Influences
Not only has Paul played with a variety of bands, he has also appeared on a slew of albums. Some of the bands he has played with are Wormwood, Tiger-Tiger, August Campbell, Relative Viewpoint, Fully Involved, Franklin’s Wheel, The Baboons, and Hi Tide, just to name a few. He has also appeared on a long list of albums, some of which include Ed Hale, Jan Leslie, Tiger-Tiger’s “Eye of the Tiger” (which was part of South Florida Rock and Roll Legends featured at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida), Relative Viewpoint, Rick Lamas, Valerie C. Wisecracker, Hi Tide, Mark R. Harris, Clyde Butcher, Peter Olach, Nils Rurack, Nigel Barrett, Franklin’s Wheel, Ryan Dreyer, Flashpoint (Cool Heat & Backstreet), Kento Masuda and many more.
Of course, you can’t play and record with this many artists without garnering a long list of venues, festivals and recording studios. Some of Paul’s favorite locations to play and record include:
Venues & Festivals
Harbor Festival (NYC)
Miami Metro Zoo
Hollywood's Hispanic Fest
River Cities Festival
Taste of the Springs
Springs River Regatta
SunTrust Hollywood Street Beat
SunTrust Hollywood ArtWalk
Miramar/Pembroke Pines Fall Fest
Hollywood's Tropical Nights Festival
Fiesta Tropical Mardi Gras in South Florida
Shops at Sunset Place
Garlic Festival (Delray Beach)
Hollywood's Love Fest
Homestead's Friday Fest
SunFest in West Palm Beach
Cayman Jazz Festival
The Cutting Edge
Studio Center Miami
Paul’s compositions were in the top ten jazz rack at WUSR (99.5 FM – Royal Radio) at the University of Scranton, and many of his compositions are in numerous top ten Jazz charts (many times reaching #1) on Broadjam.com. Paul has also co-produced and recorded with Richard Lee (Grover Washington Jr.’s guitarist).
Paul’s instruments include: W.S. Haynes Flute, Armstrong Bass Flute, Armstrong Alto Flute, Gemeinhardt Piccolo, Selmer Mark VI Soprano Sax, Selmer Paris Reference 54 Alto Sax and the Selmer Paris Reference 54 Tenor Sax. Paul also uses Vigilante mouthpieces for Tenor Sax.
Paul uses Peluso Microphones in all his recordings.
Some of Paul’s early musical influences are Jethro Tull, Herbie Mann, Dave Valentine, Hubert Laws, Jean Pierre Rampal, J.S. Bach, Grover Washington Jr., Davis Sanborn, Gerald Albright, Kenny Garrett, Michael Brecker, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and James Moody.
Whether he is playing at a local club, recording in the studio or continuing to expand his musical knowledge, Paul is never far from his sax and a good jazz tune.