Bassist, Paul E. West was born January 28, 1934 in Harlem, New York. He began his studies in violin at the age of six, studying with Albert Polnarioff until the age of nineteen. He was a graduate of the High School of Music and Art in New York City, and of Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, where he received his B.A. in music. In 1954 he changed his instrument from Violin to Bass Violin.
During his career in music, Paul has been internationally known for his accomplishments as a classical and jazz musician, conductor, arranger, arts administrator and educator.
As a Jazz Musician he has performed with prominent jazz artist, including: Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Carmen McRae, Johnny Mathis, Billy Eckstine, Billy Taylor, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Milt Jackson Quartet, Chris Conner, Peggy Lee, Petula Clark, Charles Aznavour, Kenny Barron Duo/Trio, Randy Weston, Joe Williams, Tommy Flanagan Trio, Sir Roland Hanna Duo/Trio, Barry Harris Quintet, Carol Sloan, Abby Lincoln, Heath Brothers Quartet, Junior Mance Trio.
He has an extensive career in Arts Administration, serving as Director of Jazz Mobile, Inc. from 1969 to 1973. At Jazz Mobile he implemented Outdoor Summer Concerts, School Jazz Lecture Concerts and Jazz Mobile Workshops. From 1973 until his retirement as Arts Administrator, April 27, 2000, he served as the Director of the Music School of the Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of New York City. At Henry Street Settlement he was instrumental in expanding the size and scope of the Music School, developing Jazz, Symphony Orchestra, Brass, Strings and Woodwind Ensembles, Latin, Opera and Choral workshops.
At Henry Street Settlement, he also acted as Conductor of the Henry Street Settlement Symphony Orchestra, and produced an annual concerts series for the Symphony Orchestra, which featured jazz ensembles and soloists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Carmen McRae, Odetta and the Ron Carter Nonette.
In his role as conductor he also conducted for Dizzy Gillespie and the Arrow Jazz Band in Japan, for Carmen McRae with the Henry Street Settlement Symphony Orchestra at Avery Fisher Hall and for a string orchestra at the Montreal Jazz Festival with soloist, Randy Weston.