Seven-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Paul Winter created his band, the Consort, out of roots in classical music and jazz.
After his jazz sextet’s tour of twenty-three countries of Latin America, a close affinity with the musical community of Brazil, in particular, drew Paul towards a broader realm of music.
In 1968 Paul heard for the first time the bluesy choruses of wild wolves and the melodic songs of the humpback whales, as haunting as any of the great jazz singers, opening him up to the great symphony of nature. These inspirations, along with the rich textures of Brazilian guitar, Afro-Brazilian percussion, and the symphonic music of Villa-Lobos, inspired his new ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort. Incorporating a very different instrumentation from the Sextet, nevertheless it continued in the same lineage: a spirit of celebration, in the democracy of ensemble, aspiring toward a balance between the improvised and the composed.
Paul’s interest in the natural world, and a commitment to preserve it, continued to grow. Exploring ways to con-sort with voices of the wilderness later led the way to his unique genre of “Earth Music”.
Since 1980. Paul and the Consort have been artists-in-residence at the world’s largest cathedral, New York’s St. John the Divine, where they have presented over 100 special events, including annual Winter and Summer Solstice Celebrations, Carnival for the Rainforest, and their ecological mass, Missa Gaia/Earth Mass, which is performed annually each October as part of the Feast of St. Francis. The band has toured the world, performing over 3,000 concerts in 52 countries.
Paul has recorded more than 40 albums, 7 of which have won Grammy® Awards.