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Paul McKinney & the Knights of Jazz

  • Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library 3030 Poplar Ave. Memphis, TN 38111 U.S.A. (map)


When you meet Paul McKinney the first thing you will notice is what an easy-going, straightforward person he is and you'll be drawn in by his warm, welcoming smile. His smooth jazz approach hints at legends like Miles Davis, George Duke and Kirk Whalum.  “Paul’s Memphis, Tennessee roots lend a spiritual and a bluesiness that quickly draws you in. You will feel something when Brother Paul plays that trumpet. You don't have to waste time analyzing it technically, harmonically, arrangements, production, blahblahblah. It's all good, trust me. But do yourself a favor and close your eyes and... listen to Brother Paul play that horn... There's a message in it.”

Kirk Whalum; Saxophonist


Paul’s first solo project single “Cecelia” is receiving rave reviews from across the country, and upon hearing the track, Henry Nelson (Events Director/Stax Museum of American Soul Music) had this to say: “I got goose pimples when this piece started the first time and grew teary when the trumpet kicked in.  I had Miles Davis memories and felt joyful at the introduction of the sax as the snare and bass tickled. It is a perfect mix! What else could be done?…nothing!


Paul McKinney was born into a musical family and this solo project offered the perfect time to let the world hear and experience the immense talents of his father, Kurl McKinney (organ), and brother, Reverend Dr. Alvin K. McKinney (alto saxophone). “Dad” has toured with artists like Rufus Thomas and Syl Johnson to name a few, and is the quintessential soul jazz musician. Alvin McKinney (The Prime Minister of Joyful Jazz) has some of the fastest fingers in the business and is a powerhouse whose talents cannot be denied. Stephen Lee (a Donald Brown student) sends the entire project in the perfect direction with his piano stylings and is simply phenomenal on “Cecelia”. James Sexton is widely recognized as one of Memphis’ best drummers, and his versatility offers the perfect match for this eclectic mix of music. Barry Campbell’s (Al Green’s Musical Director) smooth sensibilities, flawless technique and selfless approach offered the perfect match for the first class rhythm section. Mike Keegin (tenor sax) adds the final ingredients to this Memphis Soul Stew with his beautiful, warm tone and Johnny Griffin like approach.




Paul McKinney Music



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