in Tripoli, Libya, Paolo Taliana was a sprightly six year old when
his father, who had been on a working trip to Tobruk, surprised
him by bringing home a piano accordion.
This was Paolo’s first experience with a musical instrument and,
showing promise, he was encouraged to take up music theory lessons
at the tender age of eight. It was not long after that he
performed his first concert at the local church hall playing the
accordion and teaming up with his cousin Renaldo who played
But, as the song goes, the times they were a changing and it was
on his fourteenth birthday that Paolo got his first guitar, this
time a present from his dear mother, Violette.
His influences included the Beatles, the band he considered the
most complete of the times, but also frequenting the local US Air
Base introduced him to new sounds and in particular R&B which
he quickly added to his ever-growing musical baggage.
Paolo was still a teenager when he formed his first band called
The Tombstones, a band with which he toured various parts of North
Africa including Tunisia and also the Mediterranean island state
The Tombstones, often featured on Radio Libya, consistently drew
sell-out crowds wherever they played and their weekly stint at the
Piper within Tripoli’s infamous Mediterranean Hotel became
It was at the beginning of the seventies that the Taliana family
decided to make the move down under and virtually upon arrival
Paolo gained a residency at the prestigious Park Royal performing
seven nights a week and earning what was then a very lucrative
The urge to explore and expand his knowledge of music was,
however, too great and Paolo promptly quit the gig after two solid
years and enrolled at the College of The Arts where he
concentrated on jazz guitar and orchestral arranging under
tutoring by a host of notable names including Professor Jamey
Paolo formed a number of different line-ups in the mid seventies
all of which invariably performed and entertained in the best and
most chic nightclubs around Melbourne.
His bands also provided accompaniment for various national and
international touring artists such as John Farnham, Helen Shapiro,
Normie Rowe and the fabulous Supremes, to name a few, and on other
occasions his bands appeared as support for headline acts such as
Blood Sweat & Tears.
In the mid eighties Paolo joined popular band Koco and became the
band’s producer, arranger and marketing manager as they
successfully toured and performed across the entire Australian
In 1995, with his extensive performing experience and general
musical knowledge, Paolo commenced his association with the State
At that stage he was amongst the first music teachers in Australia
to use a computer as a teaching aid and as a consequence was
cordially invited to organize a special clinic to outline and
explain to fellow teachers the importance of computers and music
software in education.
Currently Paolo is a principal instructor across four campuses at
Sunshine College and Kurunjang Secondary College. He is also a
manager of the Rock Band Program, a unique program specifically
designed to develop the skills of young musicians in the main
areas of Australian rock/pop music performance, as well as being
musical arranger for the VCE Music Performance and audio engineer
for the college productions.
Of course, as with all artists, Paolo’s main love remains
performing live and the adrenalin triggered by the interaction
with an appreciative audience, an audience that has grown to love
and respect him, is an emotion he particularly cherishes.
Paolo’s appearances in Australia’s top venues have included
regular weekly performances over several years alongside
internationally renowned artists at Melbourne’s Crown Towers Hotel
His services are continually in demand by venue operators,
promoters and musicians and consequently it’s no surprise to find
him performing either as a soloist in a trendy city restaurant,
maybe providing dance music with a trio at a prominent social
club, or even leading an eight piece latin jazz band at a major
Paolo was recently (Aug/Sept 2016) invited to be lead guitarist in
the orchestra accompanying the internationally acclaimed Italian
Tenors on their Australian Tour.
The good looking and very talented Mirko Provini, Sabino Gaita and
Evans Tonon do an unbelievable balancing act between classical
arias and popular pop hits and not surprisingly they have gone
from being three of europe's most successful operatic tenors
(signed to Universal Records) to now being considered a world wide
The Italian Tenors concerts were staged at a number of city and
country venues around the nation including the Mildura Arts Center
and the Palms at Crown Hotel & Casino, the Canberra Southern
Cross Club and Perth's iconic Astor Theatre.
Despite multiple performing commitments Paolo continues to produce
in the studio recording instrumental guitar classics always
sprinkled with a selection of his very own original compositions.