Local El Cajon musician working on project to help support wounded veterans

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Paul Gregg, 78, from El Cajon is a local vocalist that plays the keyboard, both the acoustic piano and synthesizer. After spending several years as an activity director at a senior living facility, Gregg, with his wife Linda by his side most of the time, perform all over the county at convalescent and senior homes. They perform around six to eight facilities a month and Gregg said it is a wonderful experience that he loves participating in. Gregg can be found all around town playing with other groups, recently making a debut with a jazz quartet at The Rock Church in El Cajon. Charity performances are not uncommon for Gregg and he said he looks for any opportunity to share his music for any cause.

“When playing the retirement homes, or playing for charity,” said Gregg. “I think it is the satisfaction that I am helping others. But I think anyone that does what I do would say the same thing and that is that I get more out of it than they do.”

A long time friend of Gregg’s, Victor Pinzon, formally from East County approached him about a project he had in mind. He said Paul agreed to support the project because it is a fundraising vehicle for veterans in need. He said even though he no longer lives in East County, he felt that it was important to keep the funds raised at a local level. All funds from the CD releasing this month will go to helping rehabilitating service veterans.

Pinzon said that one song that stands out to him is, “A Lot of heart, A little Prayer,” which is the story of a combat veteran and a loved one facing the challenge of rehabilitation. He said as a military retiree, he was deeply touched by Gregg’s ability to tell this story in such a compelling manner.

“A lot of people have helped make the CD possible,” said Pinzon. “From Paul’s contribution of songs and music support to Tom Komin’s design of the cd from his office in San Diego. My goal as a Vietnam veteran was to combine music and a great cause to generate much-needed funds to help veterans. My only goal at age 66 is to raise money to help people who have had the courage to serve our country.”

Pinzon and Gregg go back a ways, said Gregg. He introduced him to Frankie Laine at Duke’s on El Cajon Blvd. Between the two of them they asked if he would help do some work for The Salvation Army and began working with them on some projects. Gregg said it has been wonderful working on the album and that he could not say no because Pinzon has been such a good friend to him.

Pinzon said he met Gregg in 1990, while working as a public relations director for The Salvation Army in San Diego.

“In addition to playing piano and singing his songs at a variety of local venues, Paul always took time out of his busy schedule to do shows for seniors and help charities,” said Pinzon. 

Pinzon said Gregg’s fine talent as a pianist and song writer is showcased on the soon to be released music cd, “Walk With me In Love.” Gregg is the composer of the title song and several other songs on the CD.

Pinzon said singer Frankie Laine thought so highly of Paul’s talent that he made a surprise visit to help Paul celebrate a birthday while performing at Balboa Park.

“The patrons were surprised to see the famous singer on site to pay tribute to Paul Gregg,” he said. “It was also a very special moment for Paul Gregg, who has spent a lifetime bringing the joy of music to others. Paul has played for singer Eddie Fisher and other impressive talents, but he is most at home playing and singing songs in the old fashioned way, before appreciative audiences who gather to listen to Paul or sing along to a favorite melody.

Gregg said his brother Billy who played the clarinet introduced him to a jazz piano teacher who agreed to take him on as a student at 9-years-old.

“My favorite kind of music, jazz, no question,” said Gregg. 

Some pre-release copies of the CD will be available before Christmas but will not officially release until early 2014. 

To contact Paul Gregg about the upcoming CD release or upcoming performances, e-mail him at pgregg5@cox.net.