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Paul Elwood

Greeley, CO      

Paul Elwood’s music has been featured at festivals in Moscow, Sofia, Mexico City, Marseille, Wollongong (Australia), Edinburgh, Darmstadt, Madrid (July 2015), Strasbourg, and all over the U.S.A. Performers that have played his music include pianist Stephen Drury, percussionist Stuart Gerber, saxophonist Jon Gudmundson, Zeitgeist, the Callithumpian Consort (Boston), the North Carolina Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Wichita Symphony, and Ensemble Signos (Mexico City). Recent recordings are on innova Recordings as composer/banjoist with percussionist Famoudou Don Moye of the Art Ensemble of Chicago (titled Nice Folks, January 2015), Misfit Toys (2013, featuring drummer Matt Wilson, percussionist Dan Moore, and reed player Robert Paredes) and his own chamber and folk music, Stanley Kubrick’s Mountain Home (2011), with bassist Bertram Turetzky (2008), and Electric Cowboy Cacophony (2008).

He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and of the Camargo Foundation (Cassis, France). In 2000 he won the Sigma Alpha-Iota Inter-American Music Awards and was awarded a 2007 commissioning grant from the Jerome Foundation to compose for Zeitgeist. Elwood’s compositions are published by C.F. Peters, Smith Publications, and his own Western Wear Music Publishing.

Elwood is an active five-string banjoist in both the realms of experimental and bluegrass music. He recently played on the premiere of Hanover by Alvin Lucier, a composition using three banjos played with ebows with chamber ensemble. This summer he is working on a new composition written for him by Christian Wolff. He has collaborated guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, cellist Hank Roberts, the Callithumpian Consort of the New England Conservatory, Zeitgeist, bluegrass legend John Hartford, and pipa player Min Xiao-Fen , among many others.

Articles by Paul Elwood:

NewMusicBox April 15 2020 | By Paul Elwood
Creativity in the Age of COVID-19

Maintain a consistency of creative work and to try not and focus on where it may or may not lead. To compose, practice, and play (albeit on the Web) is...

NewMusicBox August 28 2019 | By Paul Elwood
Is Passion a Young Person’s Game?

Paul Elwood explores a fundamental question: If it’s not passion in the 50+ age category (and, in his mind, that’s debatable) what is it that keeps us going in our...

NewMusicBox October 25 2018 | By Paul Elwood
Determining a Different Outcome

Paul Elwood confesses that he used to become jealous, mildly enraged, or depressed by the accomplishments of others until he realized how pointless it was to hold his own creative...

NewMusicBox October 18 2018 | By Paul Elwood
Show Up, Stay Awake, and Tell the Truth

This week, Paul Elwood shares his essential composition tips.

NewMusicBox October 11 2018 | By Paul Elwood
Channeling the Messengers

The fact is, if we’re really doing our jobs as artists, we don’t know what we’re doing. Yes, the work needs to be applied and the technique needs to be...

NewMusicBox October 4 2018 | By Paul Elwood
The Autobiographical Impulse in Composition

No matter what an artist does, the choices are often subconscious, based on personal experience and background. This background dictates where we take our music.