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Paul Helou: About Paul

With a masters in literature and a background as an award-winning freelance writer for The New York Times, Paul is a musician, songwriter, theatrical improviser and actor who has performed in venues across the country, including various camps, schools, libraries, hospitals, concert halls, coffee houses, and special events. He has recently won the 2006 Children's Music Web Awards (an international award guided by adults and judged by children) for the Best New Artist for Preschoolers. He is equally adept at performing for both children and adults. His shows for children are high-energy, interactive events with quality original songs. His bluegrass/folk shows for adults reflect the same energy with a high level of musicianship and a confident showmanship that engages and uplifts the audience. As an actor, he has done Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Pinter (to name a few), and been in improv shows – including a lead role in a play that won first place in New York’s 2005 Strawberry Festival. His song, Sweet Janine, won first place in the bluegrass song category at the 2002 Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas (oldest bluegrass festival in the U.S.). Another of his songs, Listen to the Mockingbird, placed in the top ten songs in the 2002 New Song Festival sponsored by Mountain Stage, national radio show. In 2006, he won first place in the guitar competition at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival (yes, that's the official name!) in East Hartford, CT. In addition, he won third place in the Mount Airy [North Carolina] Fiddler’s Convention bluegrass guitar competition in 2003. He is currently a participating artist on the Arts in Education Demonstrator Roster of the Mississippi Arts Commission. He also brings the healing power of the arts to hospitals through Hospital Audiences, Inc. With a sense of humor, kindness, and a respect for children, Paul pours his passion into songwriting, performance and the exploration of the creative process.