Erika Paul

singer · pianist · songwriter

indie recording artist · arranger ·

certified instructor · bandleader

Biography – Resumé

BACKGROUND: San Francisco born, raised and trained in the California Bay Area and lives in Sparks, Nevada. Unique, consummate and versatile, Erika has found balance between performing, teaching, songwriting, recording, arranging and bandleading to achieve her own dream career in music.

CREDENTIALS: College of San Mateo A.A. and San Jose State University B.A. degrees in general music, classical and jazz theory and jazz performance. Credential coursework and student teaching at San Francisco State University. Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) member first in California (1990) then in Nevada, state and local branches, (NMTA & NNMTA) since 1992. MTNA permanent national certification in private music teaching since 2007. Member of American Federation of Musicians (AFM) since 1988, Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) artist-publisher and Harry Fox Agency (HFA) publisher since 1994, resident music artist for the Nevada Arts Council and Sierra Arts since 1998, Recording Academy Grammy Foundation member since 2002.

AWARDS: Nevada Arts Council Jackpot Grant to help fund the “SWAY – A Tribute to American Latin Jazz” cd release concert tour (2017), Sierra Arts “No Strings” artist grant award (2016), Nevada Arts Council Honorary Fellowship award for music composition (2014). MTNA national and NNMTA local 20-year service awards as recital chairperson and for standardizing 11 levels of written and recorded Reno Youth Festival syllabus theory tests (2010). Grammy nomination (2005), Parents’ Choice award (2006), Children’s Web Award for Best Recording for older children 8 to 12 years (2006) and the prestigious Parenting Magazine NAPPA award (2007) for Erika’s “Scat’s My Bag” educational children’s jazz cd project. Billboard Song Contest Certificates of Creative Achievement for originals “You Have to Bend for Love” in 1995 and “Farewell till Summer” in 1998. Received Sierra Arts artist grants (1998, 2002, 2005), Nevada Arts Council Better Education Through the Arts (BETA), Professional Development Grant (PDG) and Jackpot grants (1998, 2002, 2003, 2011, 2012). Philanthropic Ventures grants for a mall concert and a tour of Erika’s elementary, middle and high schools in the Bay Area (1997, 1999). Lifetime membership in the Golden Key National Honor Society (1986). Donna Kocmich Neal Music Scholarships (1982, 1983).

PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCE: Seasoned, lifetime career performer for special events, weddings, parties, funerals, jazz festivals, museum and art gallery events, clubs, wine cellars, restaurants and lounges. Regular featured artist (solo-trio-quartet) at the Wild River Grille/River Room in downtown Reno where she originated the “School of Song” monthly event for her students to experience performing with professional musicians since 2008. Nevada Arts Council clinic/concert grant events include “Jazz Moods and Art”, “A Creative Take on the Jazz Vocal Standard” and “Elegant, Exotic & Earthy” at Steinway Gallery in Reno since 2009. Nevada Museum of Art “A Taste For Art” event with trio (2012, 2013). Trio concerts for the Smithsonian Institute’s traveling Duke Ellington Exhibition at the Carson City Library (1997) and the Miles Davis/John Lennon/Gerry Garcia traveling art exhibition at the El Dorado Resort in Reno (1997). Four Nevada Museum of Art/KUNR Sunday Jazz Brunch trio concerts (2005-08). Annual Concours d’Elegance Antique Wooden Boat Show in Carnelian Bay, CA with 6-piece Swingin’ JazzKats group since 1998. Bartley Ranch educational and “Come in From the Cold” jazz trio concerts (1999, 2000, 2011, 2012). “Breath of Hope” Artown event with Sierra Arts, the Arbors and Moments of Memory artist Lynette Schwiegert for Alzheimer’s residents (2008-2012). Artown event “A Night of Gershwin Film & Music” in Wingfield Park Amphitheater with jazz trio for over 3000 spectators (1998). Singer with Glenn Little’s Municipal Band every summer in Wingfield Park (1995-2006). Sierra Arts “Concerts in the Atrium” and “Concerts in the Gallery” (solo, trio, quartet) since 1996. Started regular solo casino work in 1991 at the MGM Bally’s CubBar and continued casual work until the Rendez-vous Lounge and Summit Restaurant at Harrah’s (1999-2003), “Paris Night” at Tahoe Ridge (2007), the El Dorado Bistro Roxy in Reno (1999), the Atlantis Montevigna Restaurant (2000), John Ascuaga’s Nugget Orozkos Lounge (2000-02), the Peppermill Poolside Terrace (2007-08), the Siena Enoteca Wine Cellar (2009) and Boomtown (2010). For The Love Of Jazz FTLOJ/KUNR Sands Poolside Concert on piano and vocals with Reno Big Band (2006). Hosted only professional open jazz jam session in the northern Nevada area for over a year at the McCarran House Fireside Lounge in Sparks with trio (1993). Hundreds of concerts through the Sierra Arts Elder Care Concert Series (ECCS) and independently for over 10 local facilities since 2003. Great Basin Brewing Co. in Sparks with trio (1995-2010), Jeremiah’s Steakhouse (1998), Ryan’s Saloon (2007-08), 3rd St. Blues Club in Reno (2008-09), Red Hawk in Sparks (2002-06), GG’s Mahogany & Grill (2006), High SocieTEA house (2003-06), Ciao wine bar (2006-07), Fleur de Lis (2006). A cappella solo vocalist for the Victorian Square 9/11 memorial in 2002 and the “Support Our Troops” events in Sparks in 2003.

S.F. BAY AREA, TAHOE AND NEVADA SPECIAL EVENTS: Sang National Anthem in Galen Marshall’s 200-member Masterworks Chorale at the U.S. Soccer Olympics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA for a crowd of 85,000 sports fans (1984). Performed original “Farewell till Summer” with legendary saxist Stan Getz at his home while planning his Nova Scotia tour with pianist, arranger and educator Jim McNeely. Getz’s encouraging comments were the inspiration to continue writing and playing jazz. Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz with SJSU Jazz Choir for the Berkeley Jazz Festival (1984). Rolands Jazz Club with saxist Jules Broussard (1986). 6 months at the Union Square Temple Bar in San Francisco with a local vibe player (1988). Pianist for Fred Berry and Mike Galisatus’ College of San Mateo Night Band Spring Concert featuring guest artists Pete Escovedo and sons in 1988. Fort Mason AIDS benefit concert in San Francisco (1989). Two sextet performances on piano at the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel Venetian Room (1996). Oakland Jack London Square Sunset Rotary Club Jazz Festival with trio (1996 and 1997). College of San Mateo 75th anniversary 6th and 8th annual Jazz on the Hill jazz festivals with trio (1997 and 1999). Opened for Bay Area trombonist Si Perkoff at the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society Douglas Beach House in El Granada with original trio members Paul Binnings on bass and Pete Spomer on drums (1998). Toured Borders Books and Music stores in Davis, the Roseville Galleria and in Reno with trio (1998-99). Fred Padden 17-piece Orchestra ballroom dances at the Strawberry Lodge on piano and vocals (1993-98). Dinner cruises on the Tahoe Queen in Zephyr Cove with trio and 6-piece groups (1998). Sparks Farmers Market and the Nugget Rib Cook Off with sextet (1998). Carson Farmers Market with trio (1999). Played lead female singer role in the 6-night “Tribute to Bing Crosby” show at Cactus Pete’s in Jackpot Nevada in 1999 with trio. San Francisco Yacht Club VIP members party with trio (2006). Soloist on piano and vocals for the Newcomers Club Luncheon (2006). Reno Concerts clinic and performance at Steinway Gallery with bassist Joe Dolister, drummer Andy Heglund and guest Ian Ethan on kalimba and double neck guitar (2010). Founded “The Satin Dolls” a cappella vocal group that performed at Somersett (2006-2007), for the Sparks Nugget Hometown Christmas event (1999-2002, 2007) and for the CalAve Christmas event in Reno (2006-07). Arts & Culture Commission of National Association of Counties (NACO) 10th Annual Arts & Culture Awards Dinner hosted by the Nevada Arts Council, Sierra Arts and Cathexes with trio (2010). Soloist on piano for the Go Red Women’s Cancer Society annual fundraiser cocktail party at the Atlantis (2009-2011).

SONGWRITING/ARRANGING: Wrote, arranged and recorded 45 original songs since 1996. Arranged originals “Clean Your Room (To The Trumpet Tune)” and “Clarinet Claire” off the “Scat’s My Bag” cd for the Neil A. Kjos Music Co. Center Stage Solos early level piano series in 2008. In 2010, co-wrote, arranged and recorded “March Forth-The Grammar Song” with Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty for annual March 4th National Grammar Day and “Santa’s Gonna Be Happy Today” with fitness coach Chance Geving in 2012. Arranges and records piano accompaniments for her students’ “gigs” and auditions on a regular basis.

RESIDENCIES/ASSEMBLIES/CLINICS/WORKSHOPS/CAMPS: Mentor teacher/performer for world-reknowned trumpet player and educator Wynton Marsalis and saxist Ted Nash at a Jazz@Lincoln Center big band clinic/community concert that took place in the Truckee/Tahoe City area for music students from Bear Creek, Truckee and Tahoe City high schools in 2001. Completed eighteen 1 to 16 week “at risk” school residencies for the Nevada Arts Council and Sierra Arts including Agnes Risely and Fernley Elementary Schools, Eureka Nevada k-6th schools with trio/quartet concerts at the Eureka Opera House (1999-2007) and at Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center in 2006. Taught summer keyboard lab classes at Western Nevada Community College (WNCC) in Carson City (2004-05) and vocal workshops for Alf Sorensen Community Center in Sparks (2005). Presenter for AIE Summer Arts Institute held at the University Inn at UNR (2001) and at Alexander Dawson School in Las Vegas (2003). Artown “Discover Swing” event in Wingfield Park Amphitheater with trio (2002). Taught numerous vocal workshops for the City of Sparks and Truckee Meadows Community College at Reed High School in Sparks (2006-2008). Great Basin Jazz Camp instructor on piano, theory and voice in Elko and Nampa Idaho (2007, 2008). Career music presenter for Career Day at Shaw, Deidrichsen, DePoali and Sparks Middle Schools (1999, 2007-10). Performed over 30 library, senior center and elementary school jazz concerts for the Pioneer Center Youth Program (PCYP) under the direction of Dennyse Sewell and Willis Allen (2009-11). Through AFM MPTF union Recording Industries, arts councils, PCYP funding and as an independent artist, Erika and her trio, quartet and 6-piece groups have performed over 100 interactive assembly jazz concerts for over 90,000 K-12th schoolchildren, teachers and parents, libraries and senior centers since 1996. Music improvisation clinician for Washoe County School District classroom band teachers in 2007.

PRIVATE TEACHING: Permanent national private teaching certification through the MTNA in piano/theory since 2007. Lifetime career piano, vocal and guitar certified private instructor. Hosts 3 annual private studio recitals at Steinway Gallery in Reno since 2009 and Maytans Music Center in Reno (1991-2008). Private music teacher at Katherine Dunn and Double Diamond Elementary Schools and general music teacher at Desert Hills Montessori School for the Sierra Arts-Pacific Mist 1.2.1 Music program since 2011.

TOURING: Performs annually in the southwest of France with the Jazzing Night and Day Quartet in July, gives concerts and teaches locally, nationally and internationally during summer and winter vacations at various music venues in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City (2007, 2011), New Jersey (2011), Maui Hawaii (2000 to 2010), at the Hyatt Regency Granite Room in Denver CO for the MTNA Conference (2008). Other international appearances include concerts at the Cartoucherie in Paris and Lyon France (2011), on the private island of St. Georgio and Venice in Italy, and Zaragoza and Barcelona in Spain (2000 to 2009).

EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS: Produced, arranged, recorded and wrote 13 out of 17 songs on the Grammy nominated, three-time national award-winning interactive children’s jazz cd “Scat’s My Bag” in 2005 with a jackpot grant from the Nevada Arts Council. Created “Scat’s My Bag” songbook in concert/band instrument keys for 6th-8th grades in 2006 and coloring/drawing storybook for k-5th grades in 2007. Arranged two originals “Clean Your Room To The Trumpet Tune” and “Clarinet Claire” from the “Scat’s My Bag” cd for the Neil A. Kjos Music Co. Center Stage Solos Series for early level piano study.

DISCOGRAPHY (CDS/BOOKS): “Christmas Is A Time Of Love” (1993), “So What Is This Thing Called Jazz?” (1994), “It’s About Time” (1996), “Jumpin’ Jelly Beans” (1998), “Wishing You A Swingin’ Happy Holiday” (1999), “Expressions Of Love” (2000), “Out In Front” (2001), “Scat’s My Bag” (2005), “Scat’s My Bag” songbook (2006), “Adolescent Drama” (2006), “Scat’s My Bag” coloring/drawing storybook (2007), “El Granada Session” (2009), “March Forth-The Grammar Song” (2010), “River of Now” (2010), “SWAY – A Tribute to American Latin Jazz” (2017). CDs are available through iTunes and the iPhone iTunes app under artist Erika Paul. Also a featured songwriter on the first Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) “Hope for the Holidays” cd (2006) and pianist on the Fred Padden Orchestra “Showbiz is My Life” cd (1997).

RADIO-TV-MAGAZINE-YOUTUBE INTERVIEWS & FEATURES: “Reno News and Review” MusicBeat Story by Matt Bieker in February 2017 issue. “Senior Spectrum” front cover story for Senior Fest event in September 2015 issue. “Generation Boomer” front cover interview by Connie McMullen in November 2012 issue. Radio interviews include a Community Voices interview with Danna C. O’Connor at KUNR in 2010 and a resident artist interview with Terry Joy at KUNR in 2005. Melanie Berzon interview at Bay Area jazz radio station KCSM-FM in 1997 and 1999. KNPB CH. 5 ARTBEAT:JAZZ television show featured an interview with Betsy Dickinson and a duo performance on the John Ascuaga’s Nugget Orozkos stage with guitarist Ed Corey. Featured in 49 youtube videos. Made the front cover of Bay Area/Oakland’s “Jazz Now” magazine, April 1998 issue, that reached over 61,000 readers and sold out in under a month.

LARGE ENSEMBLE EXPERIENCE: University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) advanced big band on vocals with saxist/arranger Bill Liston from the award winning movie musical “Chicago” (2003). Advanced night jazz bands at College of San Mateo, Canada College, San Jose State University, Chabot College, Truckee Meadows Community College and San Francisco City bands on piano. Fred Padden Orchestra (1993-2003), Joe Gray Band (2003-04), Reno Big Band (2005-09) and Sierra Swing Band (2010-12), DG Kicks Band (2014 to present) on piano and vocals.


Live music, concerts, instruction, songwriting, arranging, multidisciplinary arts collaborations and to buy cds/books:


Jazz Q Music – Live Music and Education Service

P.O. Box 51701, Sparks, NV 89435-1701





Contact Ted Files, c/o Scott Dean Agency

612 Humboldt St., Reno, Nevada 89509-1606

tel. (775) 322-9426

website:, email: