(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
PAUL E. WEST & THE BETHUNE BIG BAND! Come ready for a night of swing that will have you dancing “in the
PAUL E. WEST & THE BETHUNE BIG BAND!
Come ready for a night of swing that will have you dancing “in the aisles” or in your seat – as the legendary bassist Paul West takes the baton of the BETHUNE BIG BAND for a great night of music!
Bassist, Paul E. West is a native of Harlem, New York. He began his studies in violin at the age of six, studying with Albert Polnarioff until the age of nineteen. Paul graduated from the prestigious High School of Music and Art in New York City, and received his B.A. in music from Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, where he changed his instrument from Violin to Bass Violin.
Paul is an international performing artist, an accomplished musician, conductor, arranger, who is known for his achievements as a (European) classical and American classical, jazz performer and educator.
During his career as a bassist, he has performed with prominent jazz artists including: Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Johnny Mathis, Billy Eckstine, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Milt Jackson Quartet, Kenny Barron Duo/Trio, Randy Weston, Barry Harris Quintet, Abby Lincoln, Heath Brothers Quartet, and the Billy Taylor Trio – Dr. Billy Taylor, later appointed him the third Executive Director of Jazzmobile, Inc. Upon leaving Jazzmobile he continued his career as an arts administrator as Executive Director of the Henry Street Settlement for over 30 years.
In his role as a conductor he conducted for Dizzy Gillespie and the Arrow Jazz Band in Japan, the Henry Street Settlement Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall and for a string orchestra at the Montreal Jazz Festival with soloist, Randy Weston; and in 2003 he took the baton from his brother Charles Lonny West and Paul has been leading the Bethune Big Band ever since!
The Bethune Big Band
Charles Lonny West was the founder of the Bethune Big Band. He recruited legendary jazz artists who had retired from playing with jazz and swing bands; and others who were still performing. Together they organized and developed the Bethune Big Band. Over time, the band performed at community locations across the New York City area. Lonny appointed his brother, Paul, a well-known jazz musician, to conduct the Bethune Big Band from 2003 to the present. Lonny passed away on June 3, 2018. His brother continues to keep the band playing as a tribute to its founder, Charles Lonny West.
Today the band is comprised of well-known musicians who have garnered acclaim for their great musicianship!