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Senior Lecturer, Gussman Director of Jazz Ensembles
Trumpeter, composer, and educator Paul Merrill has been performing since the age of 10. As a teenager he performed the Goombay Jazz Festival (Bahamas) with his quintet Interplay. In 1995 Merrill won a Downbeat award for his performance with the New Jazz Ensemble directed by Rufus Reid. He has toured with Hank Roberts, Half Pint, John Brown's Body, and the Grammy nominated Phil Woods Big Band. As a trumpeter and/or big band director he has performed and collaborated with Vincent Herring, Terell Stafford, Maria Schneider, Brian Lynch, Rufus Reid, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Alexander, Carl Allen, Kevin Mahogany, Darmon Meader, Claudio Roditi, and Steve Gilmore, among others, while recording and arranging for Schanachie and I-town Records. Merrill's trumpet can also be heard on such films as Suckerfish, (Jury Award winner at the Santa Barbara Film Festival) and The Substitute II (HBO). He has recently been awarded a third commission with the Commission Project (TCP) for Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and his compositions continue to be performed by many college and high school ensembles. Currently pursuing a DMA in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music, Merrill remains active as a clinician, Area All-State director, improvisation teacher, freelance trumpeter, and member of the Central New York Jazz Orchestra. He holds a B.M. in Jazz performance from William Paterson University, M.M. in performance from Ithaca College, is currently the Gussman Director of Jazz Ensembles at Cornell University, and former faculty at Ithaca College School of Music.
- Performance: jazz