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Canadian Heritage

Brigham Phillips


BRIGHAM PHILLIPS (trumpeter, pianist, bandleader) was born on January 8, 1960 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Well-known as leader of the accomplished Brigham Phillips Big Band, and long-time Musical Director for international recording & touring artist John McDermott, versatile arranger, composer, bandleader, and educator Brigham Phillips is respected equally for his skills as a trumpet-player and pianist.

He has been a professional musician since 1975, well before he completed his studies at Dalhousie University in 1980. He has been based in Toronto since 1981 where, while continuing to play all around that city, studied at the University of Toronto toward obtaining a Bachelor of Education (Music and Science) degree in 1983. Throughout that time, he worked in most areas of the music business, as a performer, bandleader, musical director, contractor, arranger, composer, and teacher/clinician.

Phillips’ strength is his versatility. He plays both piano/keyboard and trumpet, sings, and plays many styles of music – jazz and blues, big band and dance music, pop, Dixieland, show music, musical theatre, multicultural, solo piano, and digital computer/MIDI music, as well as composing and arranging for all genres. He has arranged more than 30 songs for John McDermott and full 66-piece orchestra. His production and arrangements on the debut CD by the Cape Breton traditional group The Cottars led to their receiving the Best New Artist Award at the 2003 East Coast Music Awards.

In May of 2006 and again in August of that year, Phillips went to Moscow to play and record his own arrangements with the Moscow Festival Orchestra for Somerset Entertainment, which resulted in the release of two CDs. He has arranged and composed for concert band (The U.S. Military Academy Band), chamber orchestra, and many other ensembles for various industrial shows touring Canada. He was bandleader for the Moscow Circus when they toured Canada in 1987, and has performed in various capacities with Colm Wilkinson, The Jive Bombers, Carol Welsman, Guido Basso, The Canadian Tribute to Glenn Miller, Bob DeAngelis, George Kash, Russ Little, Bobby Herriot, and dozens of other well-known names on the Canadian entertainment scene.

Brigham Phillips has worked as musical director for EMI recording artist John McDermott, arranging and recording and playing keyboards. He leads The Brigham Phillips Big Band, and is a member of both Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band and The Humber College Staff/Alumni Band.


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Brigham Phillips RocksBrigham Philips at the TD Canada Trust Jazz Festival.Brigham PhilipsBrigham Philips at the Montreal Bistro.