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As a high school senior, I needed one more class to fill my schedule, and I picked piano. As I started working on a song I was given to practice, I realized the first two notes sounded like something I’d heard on the radio. I was intrigued, so I continued to feel around on the keys until I heard the sound I recognized … it was the beginning of “Open Arms” by Journey. My passion was instantly ignited by this moment, and I began learning as many popular songs as possible. 


The substitute teacher who’d taken over the class told me that not only could I read music, but that I could also play by ear. She knew because she shared the same gift. I didn’t know it at the time, but the ability to play by ear allows me to anticipate song melodies and learn pieces faster, and it also created a more intimate relationship between me and my piano. 


As I began to improve, I started looking for places to play out. My first gig was at Bull on the Market in downtown Frederick. My #1 fan at the time, my mother, helped me secure this gig. From there, I started getting calls to play brunch at a local hotel, weddings, holiday parties, benefits events, political events, and more.


Over the years, I continued to play out on occasion. But my real estate business took up a lot of my time, and I wasn’t sure gigging was what I really wanted, so the piano stayed a beloved hobby. Music pulled back to the forefront for me when my mom passed away and I played “Memories” from Cats at her memorial. I began to transform, my passion reignited, and I felt like something awakened in my soul and I could hear the music better. 


Today, I’m devoted to deepening my relationship with music and my audiences. I love to add passion, romance, and drama to popular music. On any given night, you might hear me play “Cherish” by Kool & The Gang, “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston, “Moon River” by Henry Mancini, “Benny & the Jets” by Elton John, “Phantom of the Opera” … and the list goes on. I play to the mood. I love reading the room, getting a feel of the audience, taking a few requests, and from there, the magic happens.

Pianist Paul Warthen Photo



In this candid interview, I sit down and talk about my journey as a pianist, my career and skills, my approach to playing, and more. You'll also get to hear some of my best performances. If you're a fan of piano music, then you'll definitely want to check out this video.

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Elegant, professional, and elevated. Passionate, sophisticated, and relatable. An expert at reading the mood of the room, pianist Paul Warthen will captivate your audience with songs they know and love, presented with a modern, jazzy twist. Paul is available for premium settings including restaurants, lounges, and bars plus corporate and private events.

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