Phil Hawkins is a master percussionist, an accomplished jazz drummer and one of the leading innovators of music for the steelpan. As a percussionist and drummer he has traveled throughout the United States, the Caribbean and South America to perform concerts, teach clinics and study percussion.
Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Phil completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music at Wichita State University where he remained as adjunct faculty, directing the Steelband and Latin Jazz Ensembles. In 1998, Phil moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he quickly gained a reputation as a versatile drummer with groups such as Three Tenors No Opera (Sea Breeze Records), Pete Escovedo, Joe Craven, the Resident Aliens, Ray Obiedo, Sam Bevan and Irish music master Ron Kavana (Proper Records, UK). A friendship with world renown percussionist Michael Spiro eventually led Phil to begin work on his recently released debut CD, “H2O.” He also met and collaborated with vibraphonist Gerry Grosz and bassist Jim Kerwin (David Grisman Quartet) on the 2001 release, “The Cosmic Buzz.”
Throughout his career Phil has been an active teacher, working for the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts in Richmond, CA, the Oakland Fine Arts Summer School and the National Guitar Workshop in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In addition, he has given clinics at Miami University Ohio, Boise State University, the Wichita Jazz Festival and the Ellie Mannette Steel Drum Workshop in Morgantown, WV. In the Fall of 2004 he was offered a tenure-track position as a member of the music faculty at Mission College in Santa Clara where he currently teaches World Music, MIDI and Digital Audio courses and directs the Mission Percussion Ensemble.