Alumni Spotlight – Paul Navidad (’89)

With numerous film and television credits and dozens of other recording projects under his belt, award-winning saxophonist, composer, and arranger PAUL NAVIDAD maintains a busy schedule. The California native has performed with a diverse list of musicians from Al Jarreau to Tennessee Ernie Ford, has opened for comedians such as Jay Leno, Rich Little, and Jamie Foxx, and has been heard on numerous soundtracks of films and television shows, including most notably NBC’s Emmy-nominated sitcom, Friends. In 2004, Paul recorded with Lou Rawls, Deborah Harry, Lisa Loeb, and Isaac Hayes, as well as with actors George Wendt and Gary Oldman, on the critically-acclaimed Buena Vista Records children’s album A World of Happiness. He is also heavily featured on Lou Rawls’ final album Lou Rawls Christmas, on the Time-Life label.

Currently in heavy demand as a performer and writer, Paul works world-wide. He can be seen performing at a number of Southern California jazz clubs with the likes of such artists as Wilton Felder, Jeff Kashiwa, Eric Marienthal, and Rob Mullins. His skills as an improviser have earned him the praises of such jazz greats as Alan Broadbent, Buddy Collette, Dewey Erney, Kim Richmond, Bud Shank, and Bill Watrous, and have earned him the recognition of the International Association of Jazz Educators as an Outstanding Soloist. In 2000, Paul joined the faculty of Orange Coast College, where he oversees both the Music Theory and Jazz & Commercial Music Studies Programs. He released his first single as a vocalist in the summer of 2010 entitled I Won’t Let You Down, which is available on both iTunes and Amazon.com. Paul is working on his first solo saxophone project and is preparing to release his second single as a vocalist in the spring of 2014. Paul reflects upon his experience in the All-American Boys Chorus:

The Chorus was by and large the best musical training I have ever had. I had great relative pitch going into my audition, but the constant use of solfege drilled function into my head and ears. I am able to do what I do today because of that training. As an improviser, I have developed a reputation for being a lyrical player, and I attribute that to my vocal training in the Chorus (my saxophone teacher in graduate school, Leo Potts used to ask me in my lessons, “How would you sing the line?”). Also, my love of working in the studio comes from my recording experience with the Chorus. I was on the sessions for the Cities Medley for the 1984 Rose Parade as well as the sessions for A Little Christmas Magic (I’m the first soloist on “O Holy Night”). But probably the most valuable lesson I learned in the Chorus was that of professionalism, and I am currently highly respected in my field because of professionalism.

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