Paul Arslanian has a rich history of working with tap dancers. He got his start in the jazz world in San Francisco in the 1970s and ended up playing with a long list of prominent musicians, including Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Freddie Hubbard, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. It was there, in 1979 that Paul co-founded the renowned Jazz Tap Ensemble, and as music director, worked with Honi Coles, Foster Johnson, Cookie Cook, Eddie Brown, Harold and Fayard Nicholas, and many other tap greats.
Paul has been music director for numerous tap productions, including Dance Umbrella’s Fascinating Rhythms tour which featured Savion Glover, Jimmy Slyde, Gregory Hines and drummer Alan Dawson; Portsmouth Percussive Dance Festival; dance intensives at Jacob's Pillow Summer Dance Festival in both 2010 and 2012; and National Tapestry celebrations. His jazz compositions have been recorded by George Coleman, John Hicks, Roy Hargrove, René Roznes and Bertha Hope, and his compositions for dance and theater include Clara's Dream: A Jazz Nutcracker and Off the Beaten Path: a Jazz and Tap Odyssey.
Paul continues to work as a freelance jazz pianist, is a Senior Lecturer in dance and accompanist for the dance department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and has been pianist and coordinator for the weekly Northampton Jazz Workshop series since 2010.