From jazz guitarist to Army officer to corporate executive, Howard Paul is a man of many talents. A gifted musician and business leader, he has for years maintained dual careers in music and business. As a soldier in the US Army (1986-1995) and executive for Chatham Steel (1996-2006), he has shown a tremendous capacity in operations, logistics, and strategic planning. Musically, he has led his own trio and quartet, working regularly with legends like Ben Tucker, Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Beck, and Bob James. A recurring performer in Savannah’s annual jazz and music festivals, he hosted the house band at well-respected The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head for five years. His association with Bob Benedetto began in 1996 when he ordered his first custom guitar. In 1999, be began co-producing, with Cindy Benedetto, the Benedetto Players in Concert Series.
In April, 2006, Howard was named President/CEO of Benedetto Guitars in Savannah, GA. With continued production of acclaimed models including the Manhattan, he helped Bob expand the line to include more affordable professional instruments. He contributes to both the business and cultural communities as a member of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, as a Leadership Savannah graduate, and through contributions to Coastal Jazz Association (Savannah Jazz Festival), Savannah Children’s Theatre, Telfair Museum, and the Savannah Music Festival. “I have spent my entire adult life burning the candle at both ends while pursuing simultaneous careers in jazz guitar and business. Joining forces with Bob Benedetto combines everything I love.”
Born in Petersburg, Virginia, in 1960, he cut his teeth in the music-rich Atlantic City, New Jersey area (where the family moved in 1963). At age four, he received his first guitar, began lessons at age six with jazz guitarist Johnny Martezia and by 13 was performing professionally. A 1984 graduate of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (with a degree in Political Science), he enlisted in the Army in 1986, rising to the rank of Captain while on active duty and receiving numerous military career awards. During his tenure, which included assignments to Desert Storm and Restore Hope (Somalia), he continued performing around the world.
His music credits include performances at Caesar’s Atlantic City Casino, The Juilliard School, the U.S. Army Band-Europe, the Savannah Symphony Pops Orchestra and the Coastal Jazz All Stars. As a 7-string Benedetto guitarist since 1998, he has frequently appeared at venues including The Smithsonian Institution’s Jazz Café, The Jazz Corner, The Blue Wisp, Miner Family Winery, and The Jazz Kitchen and accompanied Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Jimmy Bruno, Howard Alden, Jack Wilkins, Bob James, Ali Ryerson, Chuck Redd, Tom Scott, Tony Monaco and many others.