Junius Paul headshot

Junius Paul

Bassist & Composer
2020 3Arts Awards

Junius Paul is an internationally recognized composer, bandleader, and acoustic and electric bassist born and raised in the Chicago area. He has shown himself to be a highly versatile bassist, with performance and/or recording credits that include The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Famoudou Don Moye Sun Percussion Summit, ensembles led by Roscoe Mitchell, Kahil El’Zabar, Makaya McCraven, The Fred Anderson Trio, Georgia Anne Muldrow, Vincent Davis & Percussion Plus, Dee Alexander, The Curtis Fuller Quintet, Oliver Lake, Willie Pickens, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marquis Hill, KRS-One, and Donald Byrd, among others.

Junius began playing electric bass at 15 years old, beginning his journey at Covenant United Church of Christ in South Holland, Illinois (where he still plays weekly). Upon graduating from Mount Carmel High School in 2000, Junius enrolled in St. Xavier University (Chicago), studying music performance with a concentration in bass studies under the tutelage of Rich Armandi. After graduating in 2005, Junius began performing internationally as a sideman, initially in the United Kingdom and Ghana, West Africa. These stints would be followed by many more opportunities to perform in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. He tours internationally as a sideman and with his own ensembles.

In 2013 and 2014, Junius served as music department faculty for Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL). In February 2017, Junius began performing and touring internationally with The Art Ensemble of Chicago (led by Roscoe Mitchell and Famoudou Don Moye). In October 2018, he recorded with The Art Ensemble of Chicago for their album We Are On The Edge (dedicated to the late ensemble bassist Malachi Favors) celebrating 50 years of the Ensemble’s existence. In 2017, Junius was the featured artist and honoree for his alma mater, St. Xavier University’s Jazz Weekend.

Junius' debut album, Ism, was released in November 2019 by International Anthem Recording Company, receiving four stars in Downbeat Magazine in addition to widespread critical acclaim from numerous platforms. Junius plans to continue touring as a bandleader and sideman in 2021.

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