Paul Merrill

Herbert Gussman Associate Professor of the Practice, Director of Jazz



Trumpeter, composer, and band leader, Paul Merrill, is a proud member of the Upstate New York music tradition. He toured internationally with Phil Woods and Half Pint and nationally with John Brown’s Body. Merrill currently performs with his own quartet, the fusion trio Electrolyte, and the CNY Jazz Orchestra. He has backed up vocalists such as Natalie Cole, Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, and Frank Sinatra Jr., and performed with such luminaries as Delfeayo Marsalis, Javon Jackson, Johnny Griffin, Tonny Bennett, and Walter White on the festival stage. He has performed in Italy, Norway, France, Germany, Portugal, Jamaica, Spain, and all over the US. Merrill is an associate professor of the practice at Cornell University and faculty at SummerJazz and director at Opus Ithaca Jazz Camp. He is deeply committed to passing music-making traditions of all sorts to the next generation. 

Recently returning to his love of microtonal music, Merril performs exclusively on quarter-tone brass instruments, seeking to fuse and expand the harmonic and melodic possibilities of improvised music.



Research Focus

  • Performance: jazz

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