Paola is a pianist and composer born in Colombia, currently based in South Florida. Paola is a versatile player and composer; she leads her own quintet that features Simon Fagerstedt on bass and Juan Mejia on drums, has a piano and bass duo project, performs regularly as a solo artist and as a sideman for pop, latin and jazz singers.
Paola started playing at the age of 12 in Cartagena, Colombia, where she studied with Patricia Ojeda. Thanks to Patricia's Music School performance program Paola was playing solo piano at the age of 14 and performing frequently with various ensembles throughout the city at its beautiful and historical venues, including the CAVI(Castillo de San Felipe), Catedral Santa Catalina de Alejandria, Alianza Colombo Francesa, Plaza de la Proclamación and Cooperación Española.
Paola moved to the United States in 2011 after graduating from high school. She attended the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis for one year, where she experienced jazz for the first time; she got to play with jazz combos and was the pianist for the school's Big Band. On 2012 she decided to move to Boston to study with pianist Alon Yavnai and later attended Berklee College of Music where she studied Piano Performance and Jazz Composition.
During her time at Berklee she was honored with the Thelonious Monk award and the Gil Evans award. She has studied with Jazz greats such as JoAnne Brackeen, Francesca Tanksley and Nando Michelin. She has expanded her knowledge of Afro-Cuban styles with Rebecca Cline (Piano) and Egui Castrillo (Percussion).
She has been mentored in composition and arranging by Greg Hopkings, Ayn Inserto, Scott Free, Mitch Haupers, Bob Pilkington, Dick Lowell and Jackson Schultz.