Paulus Schäfer (born 31 March 1978, Gerwen, Nuenen) is a guitarist, composer and arranger who is considered to be one of the most talented gypsy jazz or "jazz manouche" guitar players from the Netherlands. Paulus was born into a Dutch Sinti-Romani (Gypsy) community where he was taught to play the guitar at a very early age. Like almost all gypsy jazz players and gypsy jazz fans, Paulus considers Django Reinhardt his idol.
Paulus Schäfer was born in Gerwen, Nuenen into a Dutch Sinti community renowned for their talented guitar players like Stochelo Rosenberg, Jimmy Rosenberg, Mozes Rosenberg and Feigeli Prisor. This tradition of gypsy jazz was started by the legendary Wasso Grünholz, who was an inspiration and the primary teacher for the Sinti guitar players in this community. Paulus was taught how to play and inspired by Wasso Grünholz and by Stochelo Rosenberg during the many jams around the campsite. His first real fame came when Paulus briefly took over the lead guitar in the Gipsy Kids when Jimmy Rosenberg left the group.
He formed the Paulus Schäfer Gipsy Band together with rhythm guitarist Sendelo Schäfer, bassist Jozua Rosenberg and violinist Martien Wagner in 2001. They recorded their debut album “Into the Light” the year after that. Soon after the release of this album Jozua Rosenberg left the group to be able to concentrate more on playing flamenco guitar and Rinus Steinbach, who played bass with Jimmy Rosenberg in Gipsy Kids and Sinti stepped in to fill the gap. In 2006, while recording the next album Desert Fire, Noah Schafer replaced bassist Rinus Steinbach.
Paulus Schäfer performed at many prestigious venues: DjangoFest NorthWest, Langley WA (US), Django in June, Northampton, MA (US), Sziget Festival Budapest (H), Khamoro Prague (CZ), International Gipsy Guitar Festival Gossington (UK), Django Reinhardt Festival Samois-sur-Seine (FR), Gipsy Festival Anger (FR), and the International Gipsyfestival (NL).