- Pianist Paul Keeling originally hails from San Diego, California, the youngest of five children in a musically gifted family. He grew up hearing live classical chamber music played by his siblings and rehearsals of the UCSD Madrigal Singers (directed by his father) in the living room. He began classical lessons in Los Angeles with Robert Turner at an early age and was a chorister in the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choir of San Diego from the age of 7 to 18. After hearing the Pat Metheny Group live in 1982, Paul became interested in jazz music and eventually became active on the jazz circuit in San Diego throughout the 1990’s. During this time he was a member of acclaimed west coast trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos’ Quartet. While living in Edinburgh, Scotland in the early 2000’s he performed regularly with Scottish singer-songwriter Kim Edgar and also obtained a Masters degree in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. Since 2006 he has been living and performing in Vancouver, B.C. and has headlined in top jazz clubs across Canada. He has recorded and produced three albums, The Farthest Reach (2009), Ancient Lights (2015), which garnered a nomination for Best Jazz Recording in the Western Canada Music Awards, and Focal Practice (2019). Paul is also a member of the Vancouver Bach Chorus.
Paul’s composing and playing is firmly grounded in the jazz tradition, including be-bop, 1960’s era “hard-bop,” and the ECM record label. His strongest pianistic influences include Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Lyle Mays, Fred Hersch, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Sonny Clark, Kenny Barron, Red Garland, and Barry Harris. Keeling’s music is also deeply inspired by three main childhood influences: 1970’s rock n’ roll (especially bands like Yes, Genesis, and Steely Dan) classical composers (such as Bach, Hadyn, Handel, and Mozart) and choral music from the Anglican tradition (such as Elgar, Parry, and Stanford).