Bassist, Composer, Band Leader, Jazz Radio Show Host
Phil Ravita is known widely in the Mid-Atlantic area as an acoustic and electric bassist performing in jazz, classical and other genres. He leads the new ensemble Ravita Jazz and is in demand as a guest artist performing with orchestras, big bands, theater bands, and smaller ensembles. He also hosts the weekly radio program Jazz on the Record at 7:00 PM, EST on WMTB 89.9 FM.
Ravita has shared the stage with jazz legends and leading East Coast artists Jimmy Heath, Bobby Shew, Claudio Roditi, Gabrielle Goodman, Diane Hoffman, Joyce Scott, Ruby Glover, Scott Wenholdt, Steve Wilson, Kim Nazazrain and Alex Norris. Closer to his Baltimore home, he has worked with leading artists Renée Georges, Sean Johnson, Herb Scott, Victor Provost, Akua Allrich, Thad Wilson, Geoff Reecer, and Jen Krupa. He is president and principal bass of the Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra, principal bass of the Trinity Chamber Orchestra of Washington, D.C. and belongs to the musicians’ unions of New York City, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.
He has appeared in countless clubs and concert halls in many cities. A short list includes Mr. Henry’s Takoma Station and Twins Jazz in D.C.; An die Musik Live, Baltimore Museum of Art, The Haven and The Hippodrome in Baltimore, the Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey and Cornelia Street Café in NYC.
He has played festivals such as Artscape, the Calvin Jones Big Band Festival, the Frederick Jazz Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and the Art in the Park Jazz Festival.
Ravita can be heard on numerous recordings of classical, jazz and blues music, including many with the Baltimore Philharmonia Orchestra from 1999-2013. Earlier in his career he recorded with the John Turner Quartet, the Jim Stewart Trio and Ten Directions. More recently, he received critical acclaim for his work with Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble and the group’s highly praised 2021 recording, Jagged Spaces.
His compositions were featured in composer showcases sponsored by Baltimore Jazz Alliance and Baltimore Composer’s Forum. His pieces “In the Back Door” and “Blue Sunshine received awards in the 14th Annual Billboard International Song Contest. In 2022, he introduced his band Ravita Jazz to East Coast jazz fans. Their extensive contemporary and historic repertoire is complemented by Ravita originals. The group’s unique and cohesive sound is already evident and will be captured with the release of their first recording in 2023.
On the faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s, Prince Georges Community College, Harford Community College, and the College of Southern Maryland, Ravita is a popular clinician and master class, instructor. He holds a master’s degree in jazz performance from the University of Maryland, College Park (2011), and earned a doctorate in music education from Boston University in 2020.
Jazz Beyond Borders is a Cultural Diversity Project of The Phillips Agency
P. O. Box 172 Davidsonville, MD 21035 USA www.jazzbeyondborders.com
My Jazz Story
I love jazz because of the freedom
it offers. I was first exposed to
jazz by my parentswhen I was 5 years old
listening to recordings of Duke
Ellington and also listening to the
Harley Show. This was
sponsored by The Harley
Sandwich shops in Baltimore and
featured many jazz greats of that
era who were playing locally. I also listened to polkas, classical music big band music, and torch light music with my parents on the family stereo. I still have that record collection,
Some of which I play on my Jazz radio show, "Jazz on the Record". In my teens and 20's, I became interested in rock, pop, and blues. In my 30s I became interested in all genres of
small group jazz ad world music. My interest in all these musical idioms continues to this day
In my profession career, I met and performed with Claudio
Roditi, Gabrielle Goodman, Jimmy
Heath, Chris Vadala, Steve
Wilson, Miguel Zenon, Alex
Norris, among others. The best
show I ever attended was one
offered by the San Francisco Jazz
Collective. The first jazz record I
bought was Miles Davis: Kind of
Blue". My advice to new listeners
is that music offers no limits and to listen to known and unknown
artists. There is something to be
learned from everyone and great
musicians are most of the time not
My House Concert Story
During the pandemic, I hosted
several live-stream concerts.
Although it did not provide much
in the way of income, it provided
the group of musicians I work
with the opportunity to get
together and keep playing. Now
that things are opening up again,
The live-stream aspect is now a
permanent addition to my
performances. This is so that I
can reach a worldwide audience.