Paula Harris delivers jazz, blues, soul and cocktail music like you have never heard it before.
Paula’s award-winning voice has been compared to Sarah Vaughan (Blues Blast Magazine) and Ruth Brown (Monterey Herald) called “The Rightful heir to Etta James”(At the Crossroads Magazine) and described as “A Force of Nature”(Cashbox Magazine) Whether you need soothing ambience, a listening room/concert experience, or hip shaking party, Paula is the perfect foil for your special event.
She has 30 years’ experience with literally thousands of weddings, corporate events, private parties, Festivals, Colleges, Casino’s and more, as well a degree in event and meeting planning which allows her to work with your event planner efficiently and seamlessly.
Currently holding the title of “Best Female Vocalist in Northern California” from the Northern California Entertainers and Music Awards, Paula was also voted Top 3 at the International level of the Largest “Battle of the Bands” Competition in the world, “The IBC”. The competition is held annually in Memphis TN. and features more than 250 acts from across the United States and 20 countries.
Paula dishes out an infectious mix of contemporary jazz, soft soul, R&B and sophisticated blues favorites as well as swing and classics from the Great American Songbook. With a concentration in the music of the 40’s to the 70’s, they also combine a smattering of her tasteful original material which blends seamlessly with the format and keeps things fresh. She can also bring out the brass and present some of the finest classic horn-driven dance music with her Grammy-Winning Horns.
For more intimate events, venues with tightly constrained space, or limited budgets, she can give you a duo of Piano and Vocals or a three-piece ensemble of Piano Bass and Vocals. Her most often used format is a four-piece format (Piano, Bass, Drums, and Vocals. Adding one of the Bay Area’s Premiere Guitar players is an option if you want more dance music or Blues. An Additional Trumpet or Sax up to full horn section is also available. Also available is the addition of Male Vocalist, Fred Ross. Fred made a name for himself in a 14-year-stint at Harry Denton’s Starlight room and has worked with Sly & The Family Stone, Chaka Kahn, Aretha Franklin, Tower of Power and more. Paula’s reputation of only utilizing the best of the bay area musicians precedes her. All the formats she offers are comprised of world-class musicians who have worked with icons in the industry such as Lou Rawls, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Little Richard, Greg Allman, Dizzy Gillespie, Sheila E, Santana, Tower of Power, and more. They are all drug-free, prompt, professional and impressive.
Paula enjoys artist residencies at both the Top of the Mark Club and Savanna Jazz and has also performed at The Blue Note, Yoshi’s, Biscuits and Blues, the Lesher Performing Arts Center, Montalvo Performing arts Center, Sweetwater Music Hall, The Great American Music Hall, The Orpheum in Memphis TN, The Fox Theater in Atlanta, The Georgia World Congress center and more. Paula is a classically trained vocalist who has performed with numerous symphony orchestras as well.
She works a lot! You might find a cheaper alternative- but you will not find a better band for the price. We advise against shopping for a cheaper alternative for two reasons. One-there is nothing like Paula’s act out there- especially with an award-winning vocalist fronting the group. And two- If you wait, chances are you won’t be able to book her at all. She usually books well in advance of dates but will be happy to accommodate you for later notice, provided the band is available. Paula can travel any distance if you can afford the travel expenses.
Shows can be tailored to your needs from the softer side and “Listening” environments to upping the energy to get people dancing or for a festival main stage. With advance warning, Paula can arrange for a limited amount of more modern dance tunes, but normally sticks to the music of the Great American Songbook, and the genres listed spanning the 40’s to 70’s. It should be noted that Country, Rap, Electronica, and with few exceptions Pop and Rock are not styles offered.( Please see the song list for more comprehensive information) While many “Party” bands rely on what could be described as “Cheesy Schick”, Paula Harris is a versatile, elegant, and impressive alternative which allows the music to speak for itself!
SMOOTH JAZZ/SOUL/R&B Bill Withers: Just The Two Of Us Use Me Sitting On a Dock Of The Bay Ain’t No Sunshine
George Benson: This Masquerade Summertime You Don’t Know What Love is Sky Lark Stardust
James Ingram: How do You Keep the Music Playing 100 ways Just Once
Aretha Franklin: Chain of Fools Dr. Feelgood Respect
Michael Jackson: I Can't Help It Shake Your Body Down Rock With Me Smile
Isley Brothers: Work to Do It’s Your Thing
Herbie Hancock: Watermelon Man 8 days a week
Pointer Sisters: Fire We Are Family
Al Green: Let's Stay Together
Randi Crawford: Street Life
Donna Summer: Last Dance
Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive
Stevie Wonder: I Wish Superstition If you really Love me You are the sunshine of my life
Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On Heard it Through the Grapevine
Wilson Pickett: Mustang Sally Midnight Hour
Ray Charles: Georgia on My Mind A Song or You
Chaka Kahn: Funny Valentine Sweet Thing Tell Me Something Good
Gladys Knight: Got To Use My Imagination Midnight Train To Georgia You’re the Best Thing that Ever Happened To Me
Nora Jones: The Nearness Of You Don’t know Why I Didn't Come
Al Jarreau: Misty Since I Fell For You Teach Me Tonight Morning Roof Garden Sophisticated Lady
Michael McDonald: I Keep Forgetting Minute By Minute What a Fool Believes
Ben E King: Stand By Me
Bobby Caldwell: What You won't Do For Love
Van Morrison: Moondance Have I told You Lately
Stand Getz: Boy From Ipanema
Tower of Power: So Very Hard To Go
Oleta Adams: I hope you Dance Get Here
Smokey Robinson: Ooh Baby Crusin’
Temptations: My Girl Ain’t Too Proud To Beg Just my Imagination Get Ready Shaky Ground
Roberta Flack Feel like Making Love Killing Me Softly
Marlena Shaw: My Old Flame Our Love is Here To Stay Round Midnight
Whitney Houston: I Believe In You And Me I Will Always Love You Greatest Love of All
Drifters: Up On the Roof Under the Boardwalk
Billy Joel: New York State of Mind
Donnie Hathaway: More than You’ll Ever Know
Sam Cook: You Send Me Summertime When I Fall In Love Cupid Wonderful World
Dorothy Moore: Misty Blue
GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK/STANDARDS Nat King Cole: Blue Skies LOVE Straighten up & Fly Right When I Fall In Love Unforgettable
Count Basie: Blue Skies Caught a touch of your Love Travelin Light
Frank Sinatra: Fly Me to the Moon Embraceable You Lady is a Tramp As Time Goes By Autumn Leaves Mack The Knife
Barbra Streisand: Evergreen People The Way We were Happy Days Are Here Again Lover Come Back My Man
Tony Bennett: I left my Heart In San Francisco
Etta James: At Last Damn Your Eyes Black Drawers Sunday Kind of Love Don’t Get Around Much Anymore Stormy Weather
Dinah Washington: What a Difference A Day Makes Long John Blues Million Dollar Secret Is you is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby Am I Blue I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Ella Fitzgerald: The Nearness Of You Blues In the Night The Very Thought of You Cry Me a River I’ve got a Crush On You What’s New
Sarah Vaughan: All Of Me Come Rain or Come Shine Ghost of a Chance Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out Lover Man Where Can You Be
Billie Holiday: Good Morning Heartache Round Midnight Comes Love Crazy He Call Me Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me God Bless The Child
George/ Ira Gershwin: Our Love Is Here To Stay Summertime Embraceable You Can’t take that Away from me Someone to Watch Over Me
BLUES AND ORIGINALS Originals: Cast the First Stone Nothing Good Happens After Midnight Trouble Maker I wanna Hate Myself tomorrow( For raising hell tonight) Do me Good You don’t look a day over fabulous Soul- Sucking Man Something Wicked A touch of the Blues Forever and a Day Nick of Too Damn Late Turning on the Naughty Love is Gonna Do Me In Mind of Her Own Haunted My Aunt Jean( Cancer/encouragement song) (Benefits from song sales go to cancer research) Don’t Take my Daddy( Veteran Song) (Proceeds go to help Veteran Support associations)
Blues: I will Survive( Funky Blues version) Long John Blues Million Dollar Secret Some of my Best Friends Are the Blues Right Key Wrong Keyhole Thrill is gone Stormy Monday Every day I have The Blues Dust My Broom ***Select Stevie Ray Vaughan, Little Milton, Albert Collins etc with Guitar player only.
INSTRUMENTALS That’s The Way Of The World Soulful Strut Mr. Magic Mercy Mercy Mercy Mo Betta Blues The Chicken The In Crowd All Blues Don’t mean a thing( if it ain't got that swing) Poinciana Dolphin Dance Take 5 Killer Joe Blues For Alice Bye Bye Blackbird Cantaloupe Island
Holiday: The Christmas Song White Christmas Please Come home for Christmas Christmasing with You Bethlehem Morning O Holy Night My Favorite Things The man with a Bag Box Of Blues Christmas Even Round Midnight What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Winter Wonderland Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas What A Wonderful World Over the Rainbow When You Wish Upon A star Blue Christmas Merry Christmas Baby Jingle Bells This Christmas Silent Night Away In a Manger I’ll be Home for Christmas Baby, it’s Cold Outside Just a Little Snow Rocking around the Christmas Tree The Lords Prayer Let It, Snow This Time of Year
SONGS BY OPTIONAL MALE VOCALIST ONLY Tower of Power(only with horns) What is Hip( male Vox Only) Down to the Night Club( Male Vox only) You Got To Funkafize(Male Vox Only) Diggin On James Brown James Brown I feel Good Papas Got A Brand New Bag Steve Wonder Higher Ground Tuesday Heartbreak Living for the City Jeffrey Osborne/LTD Back In Love (Only with horns) Love Serenade Sly & The Family Stone If you want me to Stay Dance to the Music Sex Machine Delbert McClinton Shaky Ground Commodores: Brick House Too Hot to Trot Easy Three Times a Lady Spinners: I’ll Be around Could it Be I’m Falling In Love Sadie Marvin Gaye: Let's Get it On Heard it Through the Grapevine Albert King: Crosscut Saw Bobby Womack: Woman’s Got to Have it Bobby Womack/Diane Schuur( Duet) Baby You Got What it Takes James Ingram/Patty Austin(Duet) How do you keep the music playing? Lou Rawls: You’ll Never Find Drink Muddy Water Lady Love Billy Preston: Will It Go Round In Circles Bobby Blue Bland: Ain’t No Love In the Heart of the City Santana: Black Magic Woman Smooth(Only with horns)
SONGS THAT ARE ONLY AVAILABLE WITH HORN SECTION( Due to the Brass-centric nature of the Songs) Soul Man Hold On I’m Coming Midnight Train To Georgia Boogie Oogie Oogie Last Dance Lady Marmalade Got To Be Real I love the Night Life Pick Up The Pieces Soulful Strut What is Hip Down to the Night Club You Got To Funkafize Could it Be I’m Falling In Love Play that Funky Music White Boy Shining Star( Earth Wind & Fire) Get Down Tonight
“Paula is hands down the best singer to ever grace our stage and the audience loved her. I’m looking forward to having her back” -Denton Morell- Manager/Talent Buyer Edmonton Canada’s “Blues on Whyte”
“Paula was a knock-out at the San Jose Jazz Summerfest. She and her band enthralled the crowd and were a highlight of our festival.” -Bruce Labadie-Director, San Jose Jazz Festival
“A thin Vanilla Coating on a dark Chocolate Soul” -Lou Rawls
“Paula has sung with symphonies. She’s performed jazz and pop. And now at an age where most musicians are thinking about hanging it up, she‘s set to roar out of the gate. There is a reason for her confidence. She has the kind of chops that can handle a ballad or shout down a 12 piece horn band”. -Dan Aykroyd AKA Elwood Blues- “The Blues Mobile” Radio Show
"Paula is a great singer and entertainer, a true professional, she has amazing musical talent who captures the audience's heart. She also sings her heart out. Her sound is incredible her show covers major hits. As a bandleader, Simply Put INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!! Words cannot describe how great she is!!! Paula's vocal ability shines under any situation. Paula's selling point is elegance. I've never seen so many people fill a venue so big to see one person. But then again, Paula by herself is a lot." -Bilal Hadj- Manager at Top of The Mark, Jazz Club in San Francisco
”There is a lightness and contrasting depth and breadth to Ms. Harris’ singing that gives her an outstanding edge over her contemporaries who only have two modes: quiet, and what Taj Majal accurately described as “Shouting in Key”. -Ian McKenzie- Blues Blast Magazine
"Paula gives you chills. Think smoky clubs from yesteryear with a piano and singer in a long dress who's lips shine in the spotlight while her velvet voice fills the air"- -Il Blues Magazine( Italy)
Paula has worked with us several times now and is always a favorite, completely professional and a great show! You simply can't go wrong with here! -Vince Jackson- Clemson Music Festival
"It's not difficult to figure out why she is enjoying this success. one listen tells the story. Brimming with scorching vocal work, Harris is a powerhouse who also knows how to use subtleties and who delivers one riveting performance after another." -Front Page-Daily News, San Jose Mercury News
“Her voice sizzles so hot she could bring a pot of water sitting on a block of ice to a boil. Paula Harris is NOT someone you can forget once you’ve heard her” -Cascade Blues News
“Paula is one of the finest modern voices today and her interpretation is impeccable!” -William Bell- Stax/Volt recording artist, R&B Pioneer and WC Handy award winner
“I book national and international acts on a nightly basis and Paula is much better than most of them, She’s a Bay area treasure”. -Steven Suen- Owner- San Francisco's ”Biscuits and Blues”
"Harris versatile pitch-perfect voice may have carried effortlessly to the back of the arena without amplifiers. Her stage presence is natural and polished, with a flirty personality, and a contagious smile indicative of a performer having the time of her life. But the highest point, even for Harris, may have been the tribute she did to Etta James. Soulful and haunting, it drew applause well before she was finished" -Front Page -Monterey Herald
“All William Shatner could say is “MY GOD! WHAT A VOICE!” This lady is on her way!” -Blues Culture Magazine ( Greece)