Paul John Dear


Founder and Director of Tinto Music and Arts CIC

Paul began his work as the driving force behind Rhythmbridge, an Educational company which provided rhythm based workshops to schools from 1999-2021, bringing Culturally Specific Rhythms and Artists into these environments. A sister organisation, The Rhythmbridge Foundation, ran weekly drum classes and an annual Festival Of West African Music, Rhythm and Grooves.

Paul was blessed to study a variety of drums with many teachers from around the globe, including Lamine Bodian ( Bougarabou, Senegal), Ni Tagoe, Ben Lawrence ( Kpanlogo, Ghana), Iya Sako, Nansady Keita ( Djembe, Guinea), Mohammed Ibna Sin ( Bendir, Darbuka, Morocco), Duddu Tucci, Claudio Kron ( Samba Ensembles, Brazil).

He was one of the first people in the UK to train with Arthur Hull of Village Music Circles in Hawaii in 2001/2 and has developed his facilitation skills in a wide variety of setting in the years since. He is now Program Director for UK Playshop and lead Trainer alongside Dr Jane Bentley.

As a volunteer with Wiston Lodge Paul helped to develop a creative arts program and an outdoor Musical Trail as part of the BBC Children in Need Funded ‘Path of the Little People.’

Paul is a charismatic facilitator and delivers his sessions with warmth, humour and a high degree of professionalism.

To stand in the middle of a circle and say “Look at me, then do what I tell you to do” could invoke the response of “Who do you think you are? Stop showing off you ego-maniac!”. Yet no-one even thinks of saying this to Paul John Dear. Why? Because you know that when he’s there centre stage he has only your well-being in mind. Your development, your enjoyment and, on a good day, your transformation. Yes, he’s having a good time and it shows, but only because he’s fulfilling his dream of bringing people together in rhythm. An expert, disciplined musician who hides it all in devotion to humorously creating community. Entertainer and Elder, there are very few people walking on this planet with the quiet magnitude of Paul John Dear. I count myself lucky that I’ve danced with him in that circle and learned from his mastery.

Tom Morley, Instant Teamwork