Paul Pena

Paul Pena

Musical Artist
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Paul Pena

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Paul Pena (January 26, 1950 – October 1, 2005) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist of Cape Verdean descent.

His music from the first half of his career touched on Delta blues, jazz, morna, flamenco, folk and rock and roll. Pena is probably best known for writing the song "Jet Airliner," a major 1977 hit for the Steve Miller Band and a staple of classic rock radio; and for appearing in the 1999 documentary film Genghis Blues, wherein he displayed his abilities in the field of Tuvan throat singing.

Early years

Pena was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts. His grandparents were from the islands of Brava and Fogo in the Cape Verde islands off the western coast of Africa, and emigrated to the United States in 1919. Pena spoke Cape Verdean Creole with his family while growing up. His grandfather, Francisco Pena, and father, Joaquim "Jack" Pena, were both professional musicians, and taught Paul to play Cape Verdean music, including Morna. Pena performed professionally with his father, including a summer spent in Spain and Portugal, where he studied flamenco music.

Pena was born with congenital glaucoma. He attended the Perkins School for the Blind in......
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