Howard R. Paul (born November 15, 1960 in Petersburg, Virginia) is President/CEO of Benedetto Guitars, Inc., a company he co-founded with American luthier Robert Benedetto in June 2006 following Benedetto's departure from a seven-year licensing agreement with Fender Musical Instruments Company. Benedetto Guitars was begun in 1968 and is an boutique American archtop guitar manufacturer internationally renowned for building hand-carved instruments popular with jazz guitarists and collectors. The company is currently based in Savannah, Georgia and produces 150 to 300 instruments per year.
Paul, a professional guitarist and business man partnered with Benedetto following a ten-year career as a US Army logistics officer (TC 1987–1996) and ten years as an executive with www.chathamsteel.com (1996–2006). He holds a BA in Political Science from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1984) and was commissioned as a lieutenant following completion Infantry Officer Candidate School in January 1987 and the US Army Transportation School. He served tours of Desert Storm assigned to 3rd Army HQ and Somalia attached to the 10th Mountain Division.
Paul's musical background began at age four in Northfield New Jersey with his first guitar. He began playing jazz at age ten and worked professionally beginning at age thirteen in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His recent work includes performances with pianist/composer Bob James, George Mesterhazy, Hammond organist Tony Monaco, guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Jack Wilkins, Joe Beck, Andreas Oberg, Jimmy Bruno, Joe Negri, Gene Bertoncini and Frank Vignola. He's performed in venues include The Savannah Jazz Festival (with Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Printup, Tony Monaco, Joey Defrancesco, Tom Scott, Oliver Nelson Jr., Doug Carn, Andreas Varady, Warren Chaisson, Allan Harris) and Savannah Music Festival (with Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden and Ken Peplowski), Smithsonian Jazz Cafe, Napa Valley Opera House, The Jazz Standard (NYC), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head, South Carolina), The Jazz Kitchen (Indianapolis, Indiana), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (Santa Cruz, California), Yoshi's (Oakland, California), and The Blue Wisp (Cincinnati, Ohio), Silo Jazz (Napa, California), Shanghai Jazz (Madison NJ). His recent recordings include "Tony Monaco & Howard Paul: New Adventures"' (2014), Bob James & Howard Paul, Just Friends: The Hamilton Hall Sessions (2011), and Ali Ryerson Trio, Jamin' At The Jazz Corner (2008). He has additional recordings with singer Claire Frazier, bassist Ben Tucker, Bob Mastellar's Jazz Corner Allstars, singer Bobby Ryder, and guitarist Jerry Sims. He was inducted into the Savannah Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame in 2011.