Born: September 23, 1974 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Dr. Damani Philips is a native of Pontiac, MI, where he began playing at the age of 10. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music (Jazz Studies) at Grinnell College, where he directs the Jazz Ensemble and teaches courses in jazz composition/arranging, jazz history, improvisation, musicianship and aural skills. He has earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from DePaul University and The University of Kentucky in classical saxophone; and a second Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Wayne State University. Phillips recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is one of the first African-Americans in the country to earn this degree.
An active performer, pedagogue and composer, Phillips has taught and performed throughout the United States, England and Japan. He has previously served on the adjunct faculty of Oakland University (Rochester, MI) and Macomb Community College (Macomb, MI), and is actively sought as a guest artist, clinician and adjudicator. As a performer, Phillips has performed with artists/groups such as Christian McBride, Terrence Blanchard, Dianne Reeves, Marcus Belgrave, Terrell Stafford, Maceo Parker, Ira Sullivan, The Temptations, Red Holloway, Greg Gisbert, the Lexington (KY) Philharmonic, the Pontiac-Oakland Symphony, the touring Dave Matthews cover band “Crush”, and many others. As a recording artist, Phillips released his debut CD Yaktown Nights in 2004, and recently released his new album “The String Theory” in November of 2010; which features original compositions and arrangements that combine the traditional jazz rhythm section with a string quartet.
Review of The String Theory from The Muse's Muse: http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-damaniphillips-thestringtheory.html