Paul Brownlee McCandless Jr. (born March 24, 1947, Indiana, Pennsylvania) is an American multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the American jazz group Oregon. He is one of few expert jazz oboists. He also plays bass clarinet, English horn, and soprano saxophone.
Paul Brownlee McCandless Jr. was born into a musical family. His father taught him clarinet, his mother piano, and he attended the Manhattan School of Music. In 1971 he auditioned with the New York Philharmonic playing English horn and was a finalist.
McCandless has released a series of records of his own compositions with bands he led, including All the Mornings Bring (Elektra/Asylum, 1978), Heresay (Windham Hill, 1988), Navigator (Landslide, 1981), and Premonition (Windham Hill, 1992). With Oregon, he has recorded 28 albums and CDs, in addition to 7 records and CDs with Paul Winter.
In 1996, McCandless won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. He also won Grammys in 2007 and 2011 with the Paul Winter Consort, for Best New Age Album, and in 1993 for Al Jarreau‘s album Heaven and Earth. His performance on Oregon’s album 1000 Kilometers was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo in 2009. He won the Down Beat Critics’ Poll for Best Established Combo, the Deutscher Schallplatten Preis for his albums Ectopia, and the Arbeitskreis Jazz im Bundesverband der Phonographishen Wirtschaft Gold Record Award.