Paul Samuels was raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Both his father, a violinist (Cleveland Orchestra), and mother who designs and creates visual art, were supportive of Paul's interest in playing music. As a young teenager, Paul's father took him to performances by McCoy Tyner, Tony Williams, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughn. These jazz innovators inspired Paul to become a performing artist and drummer.
Starting his professional music career at age 14, Samuels studied with percussionist, Robert Matson (The Cleveland Orchestra) and drummer, Bob McKee. Honing his skills, Paul played drums in and around the Cleveland music scene and was influenced by local musicians Lawrence "Jacktown" Jackson, Greg Bandy, Lamar Gaines, Bill DeArango, Jamey Haddad, Val Kent, Skip Hadden, Ace Carter, and Neal Creque.
When it comes to the music Samuels feels, "it is important to keep one foot in the past and one foot in the future." In 1975 he set his sights on moving forward, and checking out the New York music scene. While he learned from the up and coming musicians of his generation, it was drummer Billy Hart who influenced Paul's musical direction. Developing his skills, Samuels earned his respect as a fine accompanist.
In the mid 80's Samuels recorded three albums with Greg Osby and his compositions, "Excuse Not" and "Eyewitness" appear on Osby's Mind Games and Season of Renewal recordings (JMT). Samuels said Osby encouraged him to, "move forward with the music, think out of the box." and that while there is structure in the music, "you must keep an open mind.
Samuels has since recorded, performed or toured internationally with a variety of musicians. To name a few, James Moody, David "Fathead" Newman, Lonnie Plaxico, Hank Crawford, Pat "The Kid" Martino, Jack McDuff, and popular rhythm and blues artist Gerald Levert. Young and emerging artist, Neal Smith says, "Samuels served as my mentor and was instrumental in my introduction and further education of jazz music." Respected by his peers, and performing for more than three decades, Paul says he is "still a work in progress." The man's journey continues through music. Expressive in his touch, with sensitivity to sound, Samuels's sophisticated drum style is a testament to his love for the art of music.
Samuels' debut CD, called Speak, features Greg Osby on saxophone, Dan Wall on organ and Jamie Haddad on percussion.