Being greeted by Paula is like being enveloped by honeysuckle and sunshine and spring breezes, all at once. She’s got an infectious warmth, sweetness, and regality that’s a joy to engage with. I find hints of her Southern upbringing in her soft drawl and inexhaustible cheer and charm.
I first met Paula when she was maven of SomaSpace, a studio in NE Portland that she shaped into a gorgeous hub for classes and workshops in many wellness and movement modalities. With Paula at the helm, SomaSpace became a fixture in the Portland dance and holistic health community; I remember with particular fondness the beloved weekly ecstatic dance, and a few transformative blindfolded trance dance sessions facilitated by the maven herself.
Since her departure from SomaSpace, Paula has stepped into a new role that suits her quite marvelously: jazz singer, teacher, and performer! Paula regularly performs around the greater Portland and Salem area, and delights crowds in a whole slew of venues—ranging from cozy wine bars to more raucous bistros. At these live events, she always has fantastic musicians as collaborators (some of the finest pianists, bass players, and more from the Portland area!); to this, I credit both her talent as a singer, and also her warm and playful demeanor.
I have the utmost admiration for Paula’s ability to bring people together through music. Outside of her concerts and gigs, she regularly curates “Siren Salon” events (allowing amateur or seasoned musicians to showcase their songs in front of a kind crowd), and hosts the inimitable Greta Matassa for workshops—all our of her own home! She is a bright light that many doting musical moths flock to, for support artistically and also personally. And yeah, we also know where the good champagne and bourbon is. 😉 (Speaking of: good gracious, can this missus throw a party! Insider’s tip: bring caramel popcorn as a hostess gift, and she’ll swoon all over you.)
Paula stands strong in her truth, and struts a fantastic strut. And despite her striking and charismatic persona, I have always felt immediately at ease with her. She is unerringly welcoming and friendly; sometimes reverent and sometimes a little risqué, but unquestionably and warm. Her humor is wry, and the deep embodiment she exemplifies is inspiring.
Check out Paula at www.paulabyrnemusic.com, where you can learn about where you can next find Paula onstage, and opportunities to enroll in lessons or workshops. You can also follow Paula at Paula Byrne Music on Facebook. And if you or anyone you know is on the quest for a killer cabaret singer, with a wow-worthy stage presence to boot—look no further!
And hey: a salute also to current SomaSpace owner Jacqueline, who has gracefully taken over and welcomed a new era of blossoming at the space! Check out www.somaspace.us to see all the beauty brewing in those parts.