Gerry Paul is an award winning songwriter, musician, producer, children’s author, television presenter, festival director and publicist - who in his spare time likes to go spearfishing, wrestle sharks and discover new recipes for cooking kai moana.
Dublin born and raised in the Hutt Valley, Gerry spent sixteen years touring the world and has performed in over forty countries, including forty states in America. He has played in some of the world's most prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House, The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the National Geographic Headquarters in Washington DC and festivals such as the Cambridge Folk Festival, Roskilde Festival, Woodford Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and WOMAD festivals around the globe. Gerry now resides in Wellington, NZ, his favourite city in the world!
An in demand session musician, Gerry has performed and recorded with some of the world’s best known folk musicians including Grammy Award Winning Bluegrass Icon Tim O’Brien, Irish Platinum selling Accordion maestro Sharon Shannon, Indian Bansoori player Ravi Kumur (long time member of Ravi Shankar's band) as well as his own band of ten years ‘Gráda’. In recent years he put together the project ‘Motu : Oileáin’ with Trinity Roots and renowned Irish musicians; Pauline Scanlon, Alan Doherty and Tola Custy, which performed sell out shows in NZ and Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow and was chosen to be the cultural component of the Irish President, Michael D. Higgins’ state visit to NZ in 2017.
As a promoter, agent and publicist, Gerry has promoted many sell out tours through NZ and Australia for many international acts and is currently the Music programmer for NZ’s largest Street Festival CubaDupa. In 2016 Gerry started his own music festival ‘Coastella’ which is going into its fourth year and has recently founded the very first national Irish Festival in NZ, NZ Irish Fest which will happen between the 15th – 18th November 2018.
In 2010, Gerry's song ‘Hank the Wrestling Shark’ was awarded the 2010 Grand Prize in the prestigious international John Lennon Songwriting Contest, a coveted award among songwriters. Another song off the same album ‘Workin’ on the Worm Farm’ was a finalist and received an honourable mention in the International Songwriting Competition 2011. His children's picture book ‘Hank the Wresting Shark’ was one of twenty books chosen by the New Zealand Society of Authors to appear at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2012, where NZ was the country of honour.
In 2013, Gerry was chosen to be the house guitar player and musical director for Ireland's National Music Week, which had him traveling around Ireland on a "music train" recording and performing with fifty of Ireland's best known singers. ‘Hank the Shark’ made a big splash over there and Gerry went on to co-write and present his own TV series ‘Woohoo! Splash’ for RTE on national Irish television.
INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS: • Motu : Oileáin (Trinity Roots & Their Irish Friends) – A Maori / Irish collaboration • Tim O’Brien Two Oceans Trio – A Bluegrass / Irish collaboration • Murali Ensemble – A Classical Indian / Irish collaboration
AGENT/PROMOTER/PUBLICIST FOR: • Kelly Joe Phelps (USA) – NZ tour October – November 2013 • The Foghorn String Band (USA) – NZ tour October - November 2013 • Tim O’Brien (USA) - NZ tours October 2009 and Feb 2011 • Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys (Canada) – NZ tour 2014 • Gráda (Ireland) – NZ and Australian tours 2003/2005/2007/2009 • Beoga (Ireland) – NZ and Australian tours 2006 and 2009 • The Whileaways (Ireland) - NZ and Australian tours 2012 • Celtic Divas (Ireland) – NZ and Australian tour 2012 • Pauline Scanlon and Keeva (Ireland) – NZ tours 2012/2014 • The String Contingent (Scotland/Australia) – NZ 2015 • Mel Parsons (NZ) – NZ tour 2015
MUSIC PRODUCER FOR: • Mel Parsons – Drylands – 2015 (Silver Scrolls Finalist 2015) • ALDOC – From Tallaght to Halle – 2014 • The Whileaways – The Whileaways – 2013 (RTE Album of the Week 2014) • Gerry Paul – Tales From the Sea & an Elephant Tree – 2012 • Noriana Kennedy – Eb n Flow - 2011 • Celtic Divas – ABC Collection – 2010 and 2012
TELEVISION WORK: • Woohoo! SPLASH! - TV presenter/writer – RTE Ireland 2014 • The BEO Show – Presenter - RTE Ireland 2014-2015 • Link episodes –writer/presenter – RTE Ireland - 2015 • Imelda May Show – guest - RTE Ireland 2015 AWARDS • Grand Prize - John Lennon Songwriting Contest 2010 for ‘Hank the Wrestling Shark’ • Finalist in the 2011 International Songwriting Competition for ‘Workin’ on a Worm Farm’ • Finalist in the APRA Children’s Music Video Competition 2013 for ‘Hank the Wrestling Shark’ • Gráda’s album ‘The Landing Step’ was Winner of the Indie Music Award’s Celtic Album 2005
FESTIVALS AND VENUES PERFORMED AT: Womadelaide, Woodford Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, Brisbane World Beat Festival, Sydney Opera House World Music Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Sydney Road Festival - Melbourne, Melbourne Recital Centre (Australia); Tauranga Arts Festival, Nelson Arts Festival, New Zealand Festival of the Arts, WOMAD New Plymouth, Volvo Ocean Race - Auckland, Auckland Folk Festival, Wellington Folk Festival, Summer City Festival - Wellington, Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections Festival - Scotland, Wimbourne Festival, Girvan Festival (UK); National Geographic Headquarters - Washington DC, East of the Hebrides Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Boston Irish Connections Festival, Canton Irish Festival, Calivares Irish Festival , Potomac Celtic Festival, Kansas City Irish Festival, (USA); Dranouter Festival, Gooikoorts Festival, Folkn’Ro Festival, Deerlycke Festival (Belgium); Tønder Festival, Copenhagen Irish Festival, Roskilde Festival (Denmark); Queens Festival Belfast, West Belfast Feile, Open Arts Festival Belfast, BEO Traditional Music Festival - National Concert Hall Dublin, St. Patrick’s Day Festival Dublin, Waterford TráFest; Roundstone Arts Week; Waterford Tall Ships Festival (Ireland); Telemark Festival (Norway), Folkwoods Festival (Holland), Malmo Festival - Sweden