Paul Renz is a teaching artist at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. He specializes in jazz guitar, bass, and ensembles. Renz was Director of Jazz Studies at West Bank School of Music, in Minneapolis, for over 20 years (1993-2016). At WBSM he was responsible for developing the curriculum, directing jazz ensembles, and recruiting students and faculty. Renz created and maintained four jazz ensembles of varying instrumentation, for the duration of his tenure. In addition to the ensembles, Renz taught jazz theory, composition, ear training, sight singing and improvisation classes. Renz performs regularly in the Twin Cities as a jazz guitarist and bandleader. He tours nationally every year and recently released a new CD, In My Own Hands.
From 1987 to 1993, Renz taught at the Governor’s Magnet School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia-an accelerated program designed for gifted and talented high school students. He helped develop the music program, offering courses such as traditional harmony, theory, composition, ear training, sight singing, introduction to improvisation, music history, and jazz ensembles. He also taught applied guitar and bass. Renz was largely responsible for developing the jazz curriculum and building a program that attracted many students from five school districts and invariably produced the hottest players in the area. Renz’s An Introduction to Sight Singing, published in 1991, was a much-used text in the ear training classes.
From 1989 to 1991, Renz also taught theory, composition, jazz ensembles, applied guitar and bass at Tidewater Community College. He personally recruited the players for the jazz ensembles and was the first to teach such classes at that college.
Renz graduated summa cum laude from the New England Conservatory in 1987 with a M.M. Degree in Composition and Jazz Studies.
He graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in December 1985 with a B.M. Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. While attending Berklee, Renz was a tutor of composition, theory and arranging, ear training and harmony.
He has been honored as a member of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges and The National Dean’s List.