in Tripoli, Libya, Paolo Taliana was a sprightly six year old when his
father, who had been on a working trip to Tobruk, surprised him by bringing
home a piano accordion.
This was Paolo’s first experience with a musical instrument and, showing promise, he was encouraged to take up music theory lessons at the tender age of eight. It was not long after that he performed his first concert at the local church hall playing the accordion and teaming up with his cousin Renaldo who played violin.
But, as the song goes, the times they were a changing and it was on his fourteenth birthday that Paolo got his first guitar, this time a present from his dear mother, Violette.
His influences included the Beatles, the band he considered the most complete of the times, but also frequenting the local US Air Base introduced him to new sounds and in particular R&B which he quickly added to his ever-growing musical baggage.
Paolo was still a teenager when he formed his first band called The Tombstones, a band with which he toured various parts of North Africa including Tunisia and also the Mediterranean island state of Malta.
The Tombstones, often featured on Radio Libya, consistently drew sell-out crowds wherever they played and their weekly stint at the Piper within Tripoli’s infamous Mediterranean Hotel became legendary.
It was at the beginning of the seventies that the Taliana family decided to make the move down under and virtually upon arrival Paolo gained a residency at the prestigious Park Royal performing seven nights a week and earning what was then a very lucrative income.
The urge to explore and expand his knowledge of music was, however, too great and Paolo promptly quit the gig after two solid years and enrolled at the College of The Arts where he concentrated on jazz guitar and orchestral arranging under tutoring by a host of notable names including Professor Jamey Aebersold.
Paolo formed a number of different line-ups in the mid seventies all of which invariably performed and entertained in the best and most chic nightclubs around Melbourne.
His bands also provided accompaniment for various national and international touring artists such as John Farnham, Helen Shapiro, Normie Rowe and the fabulous Supremes, to name a few, and on other occasions his bands appeared as support for headline acts such as Blood Sweat & Tears.
In the mid eighties Paolo joined popular band Koco and became the band’s producer, arranger and marketing manager as they successfully toured and performed across the entire Australian continent.
In 1995, with his extensive performing experience and general musical knowledge, Paolo commenced his association with the State Education Department.
At that stage he was amongst the first music teachers in Australia to use a computer as a teaching aid and as a consequence was cordially invited to organize a special clinic to outline and explain to fellow teachers the importance of computers and music software in education.
Currently Paolo is a principal instructor across four campuses at Sunshine College and Kurunjang Secondary College. He is also a manager of the Rock Band Program, a unique program specifically designed to develop the skills of young musicians in the main areas of Australian rock/pop music performance, as well as being musical arranger for the VCE Music Performance and audio engineer for the college productions.
Of course, as with all artists, Paolo’s main love remains performing live and the adrenalin triggered by the interaction with an appreciative audience, an audience that has grown to love and respect him, is an emotion he particularly cherishes.
Paolo’s appearances in Australia’s top venues have included regular weekly performances over several years alongside internationally renowned artists at Melbourne’s Crown Towers Hotel & Casino.
His services are continually in demand by venue operators, promoters and musicians and consequently it’s no surprise to find him performing either as a soloist in a trendy city restaurant, maybe providing dance music with a trio at a prominent social club, or even leading an eight piece latin jazz band at a major corporate event.
Paolo was recently (Aug/Sept 2016) invited to be lead guitarist in the orchestra accompanying the internationally acclaimed Italian Tenors on their Australian Tour.
The good looking and very talented Mirko Provini, Sabino Gaita and Evans Tonon do an unbelievable balancing act between classical arias and popular pop hits and not surprisingly they have gone from being three of europe's most successful operatic tenors (signed to Universal Records) to now being considered a world wide pop-opera phenomenon!
The Italian Tenors concerts were staged at a number of city and country venues around the nation including the Mildura Arts Center and the Palms at Crown Hotel & Casino, the Canberra Southern Cross Club and Perth's iconic Astor Theatre.
Despite multiple performing commitments Paolo continues to produce in the studio recording instrumental guitar classics always sprinkled with a selection of his very own original compositions.