He sports a white fedora in addition to his kippah, speaks in a distinctive Scottish accent (except when he’s pretending to be French), and sings as though he’s auditioning for a place in the Rat Pack. He’s Paul Avrom Toshner.
A classically trained singer, Paul lives in Pikesville but was born and raised in the city of Glasgow. His professional career began in the Danish city of Aarhus, when an acquaintance asked him to cover his gig as a performer in a hotel for a month. He soon became quite enthusiastic of the associated benefits. “When they first gave me the check, I giggled, that you get paid for doing that."
From there, an agent got him jobs playing at the bars of Swiss ski resorts. He went on to take his performances all over the United Kingdom, including London, Manchester, Blackpool and, of course, his native Scotland.
In the course of his adventures, Paul eventually crossed paths with a Dr. Tan Sri Khoo, he says. A major shareholder and chairman of a British textile company, Khoo became his major patron and pushed him into the musical genre that would become his staple.
Khoo happened to be a great fan of Sinatra.
Paul currently describes himself as a THE KING OF OF CROONING. He said he finds American audiences enthusiastic about his repertoire in general — which is what influenced him to relocate to the US three years ago.
“[The British] were great, they’d say, ‘Oh, it’s great, mate. Do you want a drink? Can you play Wonderwall by Oasis?’ But the Americans would be like, ‘Hey, man. Do you know Bob Dylan? Here’s 20 pounds.’ They would tip,” he explains. The fact that American audiences seemed more emotionally invested in his performances helped to sway him as well.
With a friendly, bubbly personality that lights up the room and makes everyone feel welcome, Paul is known for his distinctly off-beat style and an almost mystical relationship with his music.
“I have songs, a handful of my own songs, that I dreamt the melodies of,” he says. “I played so much that… you would dream music. The same as you would dream a dream: Something you can see.” JT
“The very embodiment of the term Crooner. Knows his way round the ivories better than most, with an unbeatable repertoire of Classics and originals to keep you entertained."
Island Records artist
“Bar sales are way up on the previous years when Paul was not here. Please do not hesitate to contact me for a reference ”
Andrew Hollett GM at the time Pinny was resident, now GM at Kettering Park T: 01536 416666
"Paul has been performing for a number of years in various hotels in London I have been running. He is an all round entertainer, has shown great engagement and is willing to go that extra mile for customers and you as a client.“
Operations Manager, 2014
Danubious Regents Park London
“Plus you had that little extra ability to "act" a scenario about the number being sung which contributed tremendously to the atmosphere at the Alanda Club Marbella”
Len Corbin CEO,
Artist Management Marbella
"Really good solid organic original material…it has to be experienced live, they’re not simple in terms of structure nor in terms of emotional content."
-Miguel Cavazos, session drummer Los Angeles
(special thanks to Miguel for running through the demos with me on the drums)
"Interesting songs, the harmony is outside of the pop realm but the whole mood of it is accessible to people, it reaches out and grabs, it's a good wake up!."
-Joey Nasar, studio owner, New York City
"Paul's songs are alive, you have to live with them.
Pinny also sets the standard, when it comes to camaraderie, and healthy artistic sharing."
Portrait artist and Bass player New York City
“It’s Beatles, it’s u2, its Bob Dylan, its jazz – you write this style and that style – you have obviously been influenced by all the songs you have been playing through the years.The world would welcome something like this now with open arms, the songs are timeless, it’s an album like Sgt Pepper”.
drama and English teacher Canada
"So much chochma in this album it’s insane, even the music part of your music is very compelling."
Mr Studio N.Y. City.