Dan Phillips has been a bandleader and composer for more than fifteen years and during this time he has performed throughout North America, and Asia developing an original voice and approach to improvised music.
Dan began his musical pursuits as a teenager playing drums and percussion as well as noodling on the piano. He entered a local Community College in his native Springfield, Illinois as a percussion major before realizing that guitar was his calling and switched in his second year. It was during this time in his hometown that Dan began playing his first Jazz gigs on guitar thanks to genourous compassionate local musicians who heard something promising in the very green young BeBopper. His progress was such that after only a few years on the instrument he had gained enough confidence and chops to enter Berklee College of Music in Boston as a guitar performance major.
While at Berklee, Dan had the opportunity to play and study with many greats in Jazz including John Damien, Pat Metheny and Bruce Arnold. Not satisfied with his own playing he began to realize how much work he had to do. He dropped out of Berklee after a year and a half and began shedding with renewed intensity (living on money he had earned working for his father in a Texas oil refinery during summer months). After a year of practicing and playing local gigs in Boston he decided with the encouragement (and a generous sholarship offer) of a Berklee faculty member to complete his studies. It was also during this period that he was able for the first time to begin performing his own compostions, a goal from the beginning of his musical journey. He led an ensemble in the Boston area that featured Berklee faculty and top students. During his final year he was selected as the guitarist to represent Berklee at the 1990 Montreal Jazz Festival.After graduating from Berklee in 1990 he moved to New York City and began his performing career. Dan was fortunate to land an artist resident apartment on the lower east side in only his second year in the city. This was a blessing that allowed him to avoid the"day gig world" and focus on music completely. In New York he continued to lead his own groups as well as perform in a variety of settings as a free-lance guitarist in the vibrant downtown scene. New York was certainly fertile ground and his ensembles included many of the new voices in improvised music such as Jim Black, Ben Street, Owen Howard, John Arruci, Chris Speed, Pat Zimmerly and Mike Sarin.
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“Dan Phillips new CD Destination Unknown is a brilliant recording of
contemporary improvisation at it’s best. The album features nine original
compositions that distinguish Phillips as an elite and highly imaginative
composer……….Phillips has a very unique guitar style embracing the best
qualities of today’s most prolific guitarists……yet retaining his own
individualistic approach to composition and improvisation.”
Review of Dan Phillips Trio CD Destination Unknown, Jazz Improv Magazine
“The first impact Phillips makes is with his sense of swing and thick notes that
fall from his guitar…….he opens the vista in a swell of notes that cut, roll and
sweep ahead in a near torrent…..The textures weave and bob, taking flight on
the wings of their imagination. Phillips….makes the experience interesting by
taking a turn, breaking up a rhythm, and scattering the edifice. In the
unknown lies welcome surprise.”
Dan has been a guitar instructor and music educator for 20 years. He has had
private guitar studios in New York City, Chicago and Bangkok. He has taught
at the university level at Mahidol College of Music (head of jazz dept), Rangsit
University (lecturer in Jazz Guitar), Minnesota State University Moorhead
(Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies) and now at Silpakorn University College
of Music (lecturer in Jazz Guitar and Jazz Studies).
For Private instruction he has taught students of various interests and levels
and has developed a solid approach that fits the needs of the individual.
Dan is available locally in Bangkok for private lessons or internationally via
Skype. He is also available for workshops locally and abroad. Fell free to
contact Dan for more info.