Paul Chafin

HometownLake Worth
High SchoolJacksonville
Main InstrumentSaxophone
Other InstrumentsMost Woodwinds
Early InfluencesClark Terry, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Brazilian music
(partial list):
1955-56: Johnny Osiecki’s First Herd.
Oct. 5, 1956: P.B. Post: Paul Chafin performed flute selections at Lake Worth Sorosis meeting. “Sonata, Gavotte, and Minuet by Mozart”.
1958: Marshall Grant Band.
1958-59: Paul Chafin Trio, Patio Club, Palm Beach Pier.
Dec. 28, 1958: P.B. Post: Pioneer Hall, Norton Art Gallery Jazz Concert. “Paul Chafin and Robin Gould will perform their own compositions. “Just Blues” by Chafin, and “Blues for Trumpet” by Gould. Opening will be Chafin’s Sextet playing “After Supper”.
1959: Paul Chafin Orchestra, Benefit for Palm Beach General Hospital, at Lake Worth Casino.
1958, ’64,’68: Paul Chafin’s Big Band, Norton Art Gallery.
1968: Paul Chafin Orchestra, Marina Inn (Musicians Benefit Fund).
1978-79: Paul Chafin Jazz Quartet, Lighthouse Gallery, Tequesta.
1985: “Erny’s Summer Jazz Fest”, with Paul Chafin, Ira Sullivan, Bobby Whitlock and more at Erny’s in Delray Beach.
1988: Second Time Around Band, Bryant Park Band Shell. Overflow crowd of more than 1000. CBS News crew filmed the concert for “Sunday Morning” show.
1991: Paul Chafin, Bunny Carfagno, Vincent DeRoma, Frank McCullum, Joe Scaduto, “Jazz at First United Church”, 2 services, 9am and 11am.
1993: “Special Guest: Saxophone Great, Mr. Paul Chafin” Alexander’s Coffee House, Palm Beach Gardens.
1996: Paul Chafin Quartet, Jazz showcase at This Is It Pub, W.P.B.
1999: Paul Chafin Quartet, Lynora’s Restaraunt.
2001: “The Hot Four”, (Paul Chafin-saxophone, Irwin Solomon-keyboards, Dave Tomasello-electric and upright bass, Fred Weng-drums), at Roundin’ Third, Lake Worth.
2004: Jazz Stream, with Keith Bell, Paul Chafin, Mark Doyle, John Luzi. Art Village Gallery and Café, WPB.
2003-07: “Tuesday Night Big Band”, PBCC band directed by Dave Gibble.
???? Ron Davisson Big Band, Paul Chafin, saxophone

Belgian musician Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax invented the Saxophone in 1840. And thankfully, Paul Chafin made it his instrument of choice when he began his music career.

“Looking for a way to beat the summer heat? Let Lake Worth’s coolest citizen help. Venerable multi-instrumentalist Paul Chafin leads his “Hot Four” quartet through a jazz history lesson every other Sunday at Roundin’ Third in Lake Worth.”

Paul Chafin was 71 years old when Bill Meredith wrote that for The Palm Beach Post in 2001. At that time he was still one of the best jazz players in the county.

Paul Chafin grew up in Jacksonville FL with his brother M.B., and started playing the clarinet at a young age. He first got paid to play in the 8th grade when he made $3 playing at the Junior League Women’s Club. His skills eventually earned him a full scholarship to the University of Miami. (The Frost School of Music there, was founded in 1926 and has always been considered one of the top music schools in the country.) He graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1953. He also met his first wife Shirley, a Lake Worth High School graduate, and UM student, there. (They married in March 1952.)

Shortly after that he joined the Air Force where he played with the group the “Crew Chiefs” and later became lead alto sax player in the elite touring band “Airmen of Note”. (He also met fellow sax player, arranger and future friend Tommy Newsom there). The group traveled extensively on goodwill tours, including a Bob Hope Christmas tour of Greenland. (He backed many top stars of the day, including Lena Horne, Jack Benny, Patti Page, Frankie Lane, and Barbara Streisand)

P.B. Post, 7-29, 1956 “Music Shop Owner of 32 Years To Retire For a life of Ease”

George Hulme retired after32 years of owning Hulmes Music Shop (921 Lake Ave.), which he purchased in 1924. “On Aug. 1st , Mr. and Mrs. Paul Chafin will take over the reins”.

Upon returning from his military service, he got help from his father-in- law, and purchased a former feed store on Lake Ave and opened a music store. Later he moved the store to 4th and Dixie and finally to it’s present location as Chafin’s Musicenter at 608 N. Dixie Hwy. It wasn’t easy establishing a business like that in Lake Worth at the time. It was still just a small laid-back vacation town. But Chafin traveled small towns around the area from Clewiston, to South Bay and Belle Glade, contacting local schools and Band Directors about instrument repairs and rentals.

Closer to home, he sold records downtown and started playing locally with the Paul Chafin Trio. They played frequently at the Patio Club on the Palm Beach Pier from 1958 -1959.

Mr. Chafin was a major supporter of school band programs in Palm Beach County and helped many students as a teacher, with repairs, and acquiring instruments over the years. He was also an avid gardener, maintaining a 10×20 vegetable plot and numerous fruit trees.

His son Jeff, with help from his wife Sue (now the store manager), took over the music store when Mr. Chafin passed away at the age of 78 on March 23, 2008. They carry on the tradition of working with local school bands, students, musicians, and promoting educational music programs in the area. They also have formed the Paul Chafin Music Scholarship at Palm Beach Community College.

Paul Chafin was one of the few real icons of the Palm Beach County music scene. His effect on people through his giving, his teaching, his performances and more made a lasting impression on an enormous number of people who encountered him over the years. He employed a large number of people at the Lake Worth store full-time and part-time, often working musicians trying to make ends meet.

Recordings: Paul Chafin appeared on Vocalist Tony Messina’s “Send in the Clowns” CD, with the Irwin Solomon Quartet. (Paul Chafin, Sax and Flute – Irwin Solomon, Piano – Ed De Matteo, Bass – John Hayman, Drums).

He also was a member of the band Jazz Stream: Paul Chafin – tenor sax, Joe Noto – trumpet, Mark Doyle – piano, Bob Hanni – guitar, Leon Orr – tenor sax, Keith Bell – drums, John Luzi – bass, vocals.