Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Paul Hession

Paul Hession is a drummer working in jazz and free improvisation. His research interests are the augmentation of the drum set with analogue and digital electronics, particularly in a solo context.


Paul Hession has played and broadcast in many European & Scandinavian countries as well as Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, USA & Canada. He has played with many of the major figures on the free music scene, such as: Peter Brötzmann, Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Lol Coxhill, Sunny Murray, Marshall Allen, Frode Gjerstad, Peter Kowald, Joe McPhee, Borah Bergman, Otomo Yoshihide & his old friends Alan Wilkinson, Simon Fell, Mick Beck & Hans-Peter Hiby. Collaborators from a different scene are Squarepusher and dj/producer Paul Woolford. He is known to relish the interaction of collective music-making, but also responds to the challenge of solo performance.

Paul was awarded Jazz Bursaries by The Arts Council in 1986 and 1990.




Research Interests

  • Free Improvisation
  • Solo Percussion Performance
  • The work of Tony Oxley as a jazz drummer, free improviser, live electronics pioneer and painter
  • Analogue electronics with acoustic percussion
  • Digital electronics with acoustic percussion
  • The combined use of the above technologies

Research Projects & Grants

Yggdrasil Research Scholarship – University of Stavanger 2014

Research Centres & Groups


Professional Practice

Festival Appearances

Termite Festival, Leeds 1983, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 98

Free Music ’83, Antwerpen, Belgium

Holland Art Initiative, Eindhoven, 1983

Fast and Loose Festival, LMC, London, 1984

XIV Festival Internacional Cervantino, Guanajuato, Mexico, 1986

Festival Fort Paul, Köln, 1987

OIC Festival, Oxford, 1987

Company Week, ICA, London, 1988

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Fringe, 1990

Foot and Mouth Festival of Improvised Music, Sheffield, 1990

Leipzig Jazz Festival, 1990

European Arts Festival, ‘Freetime’, City Gallery, Leicester, 1992

London Musicians’ Collective Festival 1992

Ruhr Jazz Festival, 1992

Outside In Festival, Crawley, 1993

Company Week, The Place Theatre, London, 1993

‘Oneday’ SPNM, ICA London, 1994

Sound Symposium 7, Newfoundland, Canada, 1994

Huddersfield Poetry Festival, 1996

Swansea Literature Proms, 1996

For Open Ears, Sheffield, 1998

AntiArt Festival, Kuopio, Finland, 2003

MaiJazz, Stavanger, Norway, 2003

Festival Internacional de Improvisacion, Universidad de León, Spain, 2003

Neue Musik, Köln, 2004

Wuppertaler Jazzmeeting 2004 & 2007

Seattle Improvised Music Festival, 2004

On the Outside, Newcastle, 2005

Brecon Jazz Festival, 2005

Jazz & Other, Bolzano, Italy, 2005

Frakture Festival of Improvised Music, Liverpool, 2005

Music Lovers’ Field Companion, The Sage, Gateshead, 2007

Hurta Cordel Festival, Madrid, Spain, 2007

KRAAK, Brussels, 2008

Colour out of Space, Brighton, 2009

Uncool, Poschiavo, Switzerland, 2009

Gateshead International Jazz Festival, 2010

London Jazz Festival, 2012

Manchester Jazz Festival, 2013



http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/ European Free Improvisation

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