August 27, 1951 (age 72) Kokomo, Indiana, United States (
Musician, composer, producer, music therapist, writer, luthier
Guitar, Native American flute, keyboards, percussion, banjo
Sleep the Dreaming Flute, Heavens
New-age music, World music, Fingerstyle guitar
Dave Ingram, Barney Greenway, Benediction, Pravin Godkhindi, Dan Chadburn
Paul Adams (born August 1951) is an American musician, writer and musical instrument builder.
Adams began his foray into the arts by making stringed musical instruments such as guitars, banjos, basses, and dulcimers after he was introduced to the craft as an ethnomusicology student under Dr. Joel Maring at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Adams has been commissioned to build instruments by Daryl Hall, members of Stevie Wonder's band as well as other well known musicians. He has eleven albums out in multiple genres. In May 2016 his is most recent album, Imaginings, won best contemporary instrumental of the year at the Zone Music Reporter Awards in New Orleans
In the 1980s, Adams decided to start composing music and got a label deal with Nature Recordings/World Disc (now defunct). His first album, Various Waves, was placed in the Top Five of the Year by the syndicated Radio Show Musical Starstreams in the 1990s. The Metro Silicon Valley stated that "Adams is perhaps the most important New Age musician since George Winston."
Adams left the label after his first release in order to produce music in genres other than New Age. He spent some time working with John Golden of Centerfield Productions, whose main focus was the band jazz band Steps Ahead. Centerfield (now defunct) re-released Adams' second album, Wonder Dancing on Global Bop. After Centerfield folded, Adams took back control of his music.
In Tower Records' Pulse!, John Diliberto, the host of the Echoes radio program, called Adams' guitar playing on Wonder Dancing on Global Bop "Willfully eclectic with scintillating fretwork immersed in Latin African rhythms."
Adams' eight other album titles would fit in genres such as jazz, world fusion, acoustic, ambient, and eclectic. He has said that staying confined to one music style does hurt the connection to an audience. But he feels making variations of one style would be like a painter painting sea shores for an entire career. The Property of Water. A View From The Plain is an aural painting of the land utilizing finger style guitar and all acoustic instruments such as Guitar, Dulcimer, Fiddle, Banjo and Dobro. In The Land Where I come From was a venting of lyric compositions bathed in pop, jazz, and poetic recitations. This Christmas, also focused on traditional holiday tunes supported with similar instrumentation found on A View From The Plain. He followed with three albums utilizing exotic world instrumentation and Native American and Indian flutes that are aimed for those wanting to slow down the pace of our world (Flute Meditations For Dreaming Clouds, Heavens, Sleep). The album Sleep won Native American album of the year at the Zone Music Reporter awards in New Orleans in 2013. His most recent album is Imaginings (Winning ZMR Contemporary album of the year in 2016). A foray in to world music with Pravin Godkhindi, Elizabeth Geyer, and David Hoffman.
Adams also works as a producer and was part of the production team that released independent music titles by David Hoffman, the trumpet soloist and occasional arranger for The Ray Charles Orchestra until Charles' death. Adams started a sideline band called THE NEURONS with Hoffman that focused on more aggressive and exotic improvised ethnic music designed to work with multimedia. They worked extensively with The Illinois Ballet and live dance.
Adams is also a poet and has utilized poetic readings in some of his music. He has also worked as a writer on various subjects such as mental health issues, as well as philosophical and spiritual topics. He has interviewed such artists as Tony Levin and Kazu Matsui for various independent publications.
Adams cites his experience working in the mental health profession along with his music as being his deepest artistic influence.