Paul Wolf Christensen
Cleveland, Ohio-based multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Paul Wolf Christensen's versatility and wide range of musical tastes have taken him on a far-flung journey over the past four decades. His musical odyssey began in Queens, New York where he was born. He dove into music in elementary school with piano and clarinet, later adding flute, saxophones, and various keyboards to his arsenal of music-making tools.
In addition to the classical music influence provided by his grandfather, a gifted violinist, young Paul was getting an early education in rock 'n' roll listening to his sisters' records by the Champs, Jerry Lee Lewis, Gene Chandler, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Elvis and, of course, The Beatles.
Paul threw himself into the musically adventurous spirit of the ’60s, playing in several groups and mixing originals in with cover tunes. The '70s brought influences such as Procol Harum, King Crimson, and Yes along with jazz masters Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, David Sanborn, and Michael Brecker. He stretched creative muscle in the Cleveland-based bands Raprascal, Tyrant, and Jubal during this decade. "It was very exciting times in the Cleveland music scene," Christensen says. "Because of the creativity and expression that was widely accepted at the time, bands could get away with the avant-garde and people would pay to see you. It was all about the music."
In 1979, Christensen hooked up with Youngstown's Link to sing and play sax and keyboards, a project that was to occupy him for most of the ’80s. Touring heavily and mixing popular hits with original tunes, the band released Temptation in 1979 and Maximum Air in 1982. It was in Link where he met Kevin Mazey and Burt Scheel, the collaboration which eventually led to the current Hear and Now project.
The '90s brought his connection to Cleveland music legend, Michael Stanley, with whom he recorded and performed shows for over two decades. Stanley's band, The Resonators, was a regional musical fixture into the new millennium and Paul's contributions of sax, EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument), and keyboards helped pave the way for the band's continued success.
2012 saw the release of Christensen’s first solo record “Away With Words”, an instrumental powerhouse for which he wrote most of the material, engineered and produced in his Tone Poem Recording studio. His ability to play multiple instruments and sing has enabled him to slip into many different situations and build lasting professional relationships. His love for communicating with others through music has not diminished over the years but only grown stronger through his experimentation and experiences with a diversity of styles.
"We are all very complex beings, a culmination of our experiences and influences," Christensen says. "I love the energy and excitement of rock, the majesty of classical, and the freedom of jazz. It's not that classical or jazz don't have energy and excitement or that rock can't be majestic, it's that each genre contributes its lineage when applied to contemporary music to create something new."