The Perseverance of Paul Pena

by | Mar 4, 2004

Paul Pena is a blind Bay Area musician who taught himself the arcane techniques of Tuvan throat singers. This is but one remarkable fact of his extraordinary life. For more about Paul’s throat singing abilities and his journey to Tuva, see the documentary film Genghis Blues.

Paul also put out a record on the Capitol label in the early 1970s and recorded another album, New Train , in 1973. New Train features his original, “Big Old Jet Airliner” (made famous by Steve Miller) and performances by Merl Saunders and Jerry Garcia. As often happens in the music business, the recording, although superb in every way, was not released. Not until Genghis Blues won at Sundance and created a new interest in Paul and his work did the album see the light of day. It was relased in September of 2000, 27 years after it was made. Fans of music can now hear for themselves this unique American voice.