Earl Phillips is active as composer/arranger, educator, and bass trombonist in the greater Philadelphia area. As a composer/arranger, Earl directs and writes for the Earl Phillips Big Band, his own 17-piece big band since 2007. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by numerous middle schools, high schools, and colleges in the tri-state area, along with artists like the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, under the direction of Terell Stafford.
As an educator, Earl directs the Cherokee High School Jazz Ensemble and teaches music theory, music technology and piano lab. Earl also is an adjunct faculty member of Rowan University teaching undergraduate brass courses, private lessons on trombone/bass trombone, and teaches graduate composing and arranging. Earl has also directed the Philadelphia Grammy Band (2005-2007), the All South Jersey Jazz Ensemble (2008 &2012), the All Central Jersey Jazz Ensemble (2014) and he has been a clinician/manager with the New Jersey All State Jazz Ensemble (2009-2014). Earl also created, directed, and produced the first ever NJAJE Virtual All State High School Ensemble over the COVID pandemic.
Earl is a graduate, with honors, of the University of the Arts, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Bass Trombone Performance (’04), a Masters Degree in Music Education (’05) and a Masters Degree in Jazz Performance / Jazz Composition from Rowan University (’11). Among performances and recording sessions as the leader of the Earl Phillips Big Band, Earl, as a bass trombonist, has shared the stage with Wayne Newton, Patti Austin, Kurt Elling and has also recorded with, most notably, Kid Cudi, Will Smith, Boyz II Men, and John Legend, among others. The John Legend recording (So Amazing: A Tribute to Luther Vandross) won 2 Grammy Awards in 2005.
In his spare time, Earl is also working in the Thad Jones Living Archive at William Patterson University archiving the original manuscripts of his hero, Thad Jones. Earl’s research and individual study of Thad has also enabled him to be a contributor to the Thad Jones Living Archive. Earl is also a published author having articles printed in the ‘Jazz Education Journal’, and ‘Downbeat Magazine’, as well as a published composer/arranger through Northeastern Music Publications.
Earl Phillips resides in West Deptford, New Jersey with his beautiful wife, Jennifer, and their three children, Madeline, Zachary, and Luke.