A Musician Ahead of His Time.
Content by Stephanie Solomonoff Reich Ph.D.
Paul Nero (1917-1958), a much-admired jazz violinist on the West Coast in California’s golden age of radio and recordings, is one of American jazz music’s best kept secrets. Although highly-regarded among his peer musicians, Nero never got the recognition he and others believed he deserved.
Why is Nero virtually unknown to the general public? One explanation for this could be that he was at least ten years ahead of his time, and since he left us too soon, he couldn’t ride the wave of popular music’s breakout. The music market of his time was not interested in new art forms for violin. Had Nero lived as long as his contemporaries (i.e. Venuti, Grappelli, Stuff Smith), his name would have joined these artists who were “rediscovered” in the l970’s jazz fiddle revival.
Another reason for Nero’s low profile is that, until now, no one has provided an organized presentation of his life and works to musicians and music lovers.