Optometrist by day, musician by heart. Paul Kempkes has been playing music his entire life. He made Ithaca, NY his home shortly after graduating Optometry School in New York City. Many years later he's relocated to Savannah Georgia! Here's a few of the fine bands Dr. K has performed with:
The Ageless Jazz Band
Do It Again
Tony Brown and Total Harmonic Control
After seeing "The Benny Goodman Story" on TV, I begged for a clarinet in 4th grade. Watching Steve Allen make Donna Reed swoon on a NYC rooftop? Yes! That's for me! But the young ladies didn't dig the clarinet scene. When I couldn't play clarinet in the junior high jazz band, I switched to the saxophone. But then I couldn't play in my neighborhood rock band on sax; bass guitar was my next step. The bass and my instructor, Carmen Caramanica, changed my life. Guitar was soon added to the stable.
On to college at Oswego State, then to NYC for Optometry School where I continued to play bass guitar whenever and wherever possible. Shortly after graduating from Optometry School, I moved to Ithaca, NY to work at American Vision Center. and then Sterling Optical. These days the day job is as an optometrist in the Department of Corrections.
Not to date myself....but I played in the rock band Uncle Fester. Continued flexing my jazz chops with the Ageless Jazz Band. Added blues and swing to the repertoire with The Purple Valley. Somewhere along the way I moved to fretless electric bass, which became my forte.
I started to consider going the solo route while playing with the Steely Dan cover band, Do It Again. I had been playing more guitar and wanted the freedom that a solo effort would afford me. My wife bought me vocal lessons for Christmas. (Which I admit hurt my feelings initially but now I am forever grateful.)
Currently I gig out a couple times a month with my solo effort. I play mostly cover tunes from the late 70's to this century. Primarily the "B" sides. Plus, I throw in a couple of my own compositions. I gravitate towards songs you know, but not songs that anyone else plays.
Before moving south you could find me playing fretless bass with Wonder Monday and Mantra Magic. Wonder Monday is an all original alternative rock group. Think Green Day meets the Talking Heads. Mantra Magic will help you find your Zen experience with our jazz infused Kirtan Chants. Every now and then, I did some recording for folks at Al Grunwell's Solar Studio in Ithaca.
I'm always up for a new music adventure! Case in point: my recent relocation to Savannah, GA. Watch this space for new regional performances! I'm playing more jazz with Bill Smith, and rock and blues with Guns-4-Hire and Tony Brown's Total Harmonic Control.
Dr. K solo act includes songs by these artists:
Earth, Wind, and Fire
Little River Band
Rickie Lee Jones
Stone Temple Pilots
Plus many more....