If Allen Paul's life were a movie, the opening scene would open to the sight of a toddler straining to reach the keys of an upright piano in a little apartment in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He started to play the piano at the tender age of 3, at first preferring his own twelve-tone compositions to the works of the masters. His mother, a elementary music teacher, started his piano training very early in his life. His high school years were filled with discoveries of jazz, blues, funk, gospel – all kinds of musical puzzle pieces that would begin to weave its way into his playing. He capped off this running start by winning the Florida State Concerto Competition and playing George Gerswhin's Concerto in F with the Tampa Bay Symphony at age 18.
Allen continued his studies as an undergraduate at the University of Miami School of Music, at first in classical piano program, but soon his desire to fulfill his creative side won out and he switched to jazz piano. Never one to be limited to one style, he then collaborated with vocalist Neville Peter to start the R&B band “Soul Station”. Made up of 6 jazz students that loved pop and soul, they quickly built a campus following. Allen also began writing songs for the band, and one of his compositions “Come My Way” was the song the band selected to play during the 1996 Mastercard National Talent Search. The band won the Southeastern region and came in second place nationally with a performance in Anaheim CA. However, Allen and his bandmates all had wide interests and they moved on to solo careers. Choosing to focus on the gospel field, Allen became a minister of music in a large Baptist church and built a reputation as a top notch gospel musician.
Allen never lost his love for jazz while he worked at his church, and after a while he began playing at local open mics again. Once he was re-introduced to the South Florida jazz scene, he quickly became a sought after sideman - playing for events at Miami's jazz radio station, WDNA 88.9; performing on recording sessions with steel pan jazz master Leon “Foster” Thomas; and twice performing with bands at the Jazz in the Gardens Festival in Miami Gardens. He continues his Christian music career as well, having recorded with worship leader Mary Alessi's album “Pressing On” in 2010. His latest project, the jazz fusion trio “Unclazzified”, released a five song EP of original music in May 2014. Currently he is the pianist-in-residence for “Flow Fridays”, a weekly music and poetry event at Piano Hollywood, located in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Having such a variety of musical styles under his belt has made Allen a musical chameleon, able to shift colors and styles seemingly at will. He always looks to take the listener on a personal journey through this musical life, like a movie presentation, but through sound rather than vision. The varied soundtrack of his life is evident in the passion he brings to each and every performance, in whatever style he chooses to express it. His only goal is that when the credits roll at the end of each musical experience, that every person in the audience has felt the same joy that he felt as he explored that first piano as a child in the suburbs of Philadelphia.