Paul Winter: A Jazz Pioneer Influenced By 'The Greater Symphony Of The Earth'

Winter reflects on his career and his latest release, "Count Me In."

Paul Winter
"The first time I heard humpback whales was similar to the first time I heard Charlie Parker," explained Paul Winter, during an interview with Colin McEnroe on Nov. 19, exactly 50 years after his sextet played for Jacqueline Kennedy at the White House. Photo:Chion Wolf
Paul Winter: A Jazz Pioneer Influenced By 'The Greater Symphony Of The Earth'
Download Audio
Audio Playlist
Paul Winter: A Jazz Pioneer Influenced By 'The Greater Symphony Of The Earth'

If you know Paul Winter, you're most likely to know him as the musician who -- more than anyone else -- fused jazz and environmentalism, with a long series of recordings celebrating nature and lamenting extinction. He has come to be known most of all for his Solstice concerts at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. 

But before all that happened, Paul was a straight-ahead jazz musician in the 1960s. He formed a sextet that included some of the hottest young talents in Chicago. They toured South America and then, 50 years ago today, at the behest of Jackie Kennedy, gave the first ever jazz concert in the White House.
Today, the man whose recordings have incorporated the sounds of birds, whales, wolves, and mountain lions and who is rightly considered one of the early spark plugs of the world music movement, turns his gaze back to the 1960s.
Join the conversation on Twitter (@wnprcolin) or e-mail us



E-mail from Lydia

My family has had the privilege of living up the road from Paul for many decades now. A relationship which started when my eldest brother mowed (harvested?) his lawn has lasted as a precious touch stone in all of our lives. Many recording sessions and concerts, gatherings and fun.

Two things of Paul’s I treasure most – a photo taken of my father and me in the recording barn while singing for “Common Ground” and the memory of Paul’s offering of “Sun Singer” at my father’s funeral.

Lighter memories include his recording of crickets in the Litchfield night and the absolute blast we had at his wedding (until the elephant got spooked…)

Keep playing Paul – you will always be loved.

E-mail from Craig

Congratulations, Paul on A wonderful 50 far! Go Icarus!!!