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Published on: Saturday January 14, 2023

Paula Gardiner is best known for her work as a jazz bassist and composer based in Wales.  But her professional career began as a classical guitarist and composer for theatre. She has written extensively for theatre, radio and film. Paula calls herself ‘The Accidental Bassist’, as a number of coincidences found her playing electric bass in an Afro-Cuban band and then double bass for the Four Bars Inn, Cardiff, providing part of the rhythm section for a host of visiting international artists. During the Nineties and Noughties, Paula founded several bands, including the Paula Gardiner Quartet, 6, The Paula Gardiner Trio, Paula Gardiner 6.0 and the anarchic big band that was Wales’ Jazz Composers. She has worked internationally, taking her own music to the US and composing/conducting a major project in Wales and South Africa for the cultural Olympiad, 2012. Paula is currently Head of Jazz at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff, where she set up and developed the current jazz courses. She is an active member of the Ivors Academy Jazz Council. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and being mum to daughter, Ursula, and sheep dog, Gwen.

Women in Jazz