During the 1950’s to the early 1960’s “the outcat,” Paul Knopf had a promising career in the Jazz circuit as a performing pianist with album releases, and rave reviews by Leonard Feather in playboy as well as a write up in Down Beat Magazine. He also performed as a feature on a CBS radio broadcast in the 1950’s titled: “Jazz is My Beat. “
However, the storm of the Rock and Roll take over during the 1960’s that left Jazz music a casualty gave Paul little options as to where to perform as a Jazz musician. Performing is sanity to the “outcat,” and to maintain his mind he would play anywhere that would accept a jazz act, such as strip clubs.
To stay relevant, Paul played for a society band in New Orleans which performed at a night club owned by mob boss Frank Costello.
Later on, he went on to play piano for Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, and Paul Draper.
Always playing for a purpose Paul Knopf often dedicates his music to social justice, it is his way of fighting social ills such as racism, war, bullying, etc… Putting his money where his mouth is and his hands where his piano keys are, Paul was arrested three times for protesting the Vietnam War.
After that, Paul found himself in a grueling war with anxiety and alcoholism that made times tumultuous, which in return limited possibilities of being recognized as an artist. However, with a never saying die attitude and a bullet piercing passion for his music he was reviewed in the New York Times and appeared on the Joe Franklin show in the 1990’s, making a statement: “I am wounded but not dead.”
In his fifty plus years of being an independent Jazz Artist he has experienced many eras, starting from World War two to the current state of affairs. He expresses his emotions through his piano keys.
Now Paul Knopf has a message for the world, and it is that Jazz is very much alive as well the sound of the “Outcat.”
At 90 years old, he continues to be an inspiration to us all by being a text book definition of never giving up. Paul host a podcasts called The Outcat Show and he occasionally writes blogs covering many topics on www.jazzyoucanfeel.com.
Paul Knopf has albums available for download on ITunes, Amazon, and CDBABY titled: “Jazz You Can Feel, Volume One,” “Jazz You Can Feel, Volume 2” and “Through it All,” released by R. Media Inc.
You can buy his music here, click on the titles and you can listen before you buy: