Paul Ubana Jones’ artistry and a lifetime of innovation inspired by incessant touring have added a global embrace to the art form. By elegantly fusing elements of flamenco, pop, jazz, raga, folk and Western African roots, the true birthplace of the blues. Paul has been rewarded for his efforts by achieving a continuance that’s valuable to the blues genre in that it keeps it contemporary. Playing it on a different track few artists have achieved.
His home base is in New Zealand where his family lives. He was born in London to a Yorkshire mother and a Nigerian father and he grew up at that historic time when that town was the cultural adrenalin pump of the world. At 11, he was inspired by Dylan to learn the guitar and it was only natural it seems that the great man invited him to join his tour of Vietnam some time later. Other artists for whom he properly set the stage included Patti Smith, Taj Mahal, Crowded House, B.B. King and Nora Jones and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Instrumentally, he’s a stupendous guitar player and vocally he’s blessed with a voice that sounds like it’s gliding over sandpaper before it reaches and caresses you. Creating a rhythmic sensuality on such a level that at one time when he opened for Natalie Cole, she requested that he not sing for fear of her being upstaged, basically asking him to keep his trap shut. Pissed, Paul let his fingers do the singing that night.
He’s released 9 CD’s and won numerous music awards but when he asked about his passion, he simply states: “The passion to tour, to play and write, still remains as strong as ever.” Being on the road as much as he has given him the kind of freedom he loves above everything. It’s the kind of freedom he created for himself.
Paul Ubana Jones, live at El Lokal. Where the spirit is kept alive.