Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Markowitz, Phil

Markowitz, Phil, pianist, composer and producer; b. Brooklyn, NY, 6 September 1952.

Markowitz was raised in East Hampton, New York, began playing the piano at the age of four and composing music at eight.  He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music, and while there in 1971, formed the electric jazz group 3Petrus2, which was chosen by jazz impresario George Wein as the best new jazz group in a nationwide search.  So at the age of 21, Phil performed at the 1973 Newport Jazz Festival at Lincoln Center, in New York. In 1976, Phil moved to New York where he worked with Joe Chambers, Toots Thielemans, Miroslav Vitous, Jeremy Steig, and also joined the Chet Baker Group.  Four tours of Europe and the U.S. followed during which Phil recorded four records with Chet.  In 1980, Phil recorded with Jack Wilkens, the Brecker Brothers, and Al Foster on the underground classic "Merge." Around the same time, pianist Bill Evans heard Phil playing his composition Sno Peas with Toots in New York and he asked Toots to bring the tune to their upcoming record date. Sno Peas was released on the Grammy-nominated album Affinity and has since taken its place as one of jazz's contemporary classics. In 1983, Phil joined the Mel Lewis Orchestra and remained with that band for a period of two and a half years.  Also in 1983, Phil formed a new group with bassist Eddie Gomez, drummer Keith Copeland and vibraphonist Joe Locke. With that band, Phil performed a highly acclaimed concert at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York. In 1985, Phil was asked by Al Dimeola to join with renowned Brazilian percussionist, Airto, and form a new group.  They toured as a trio and, later, as a quintet with Danny Gottlieb and Chip Jackson. In 1987, Phil joined the Bob Mintzer Big Band and continues his position with this top ensemble to this day. In 1991, Phil became a member of The Dave Liebman Group.  He has recorded and co-produced six CDs with Dave. This group recently returned from critically acclaimed tours of Japan, Europe, and Israel. His trio, which includes veteran drummer Glenn Davis (w/Marion McPartland), and bassist Roy Cumming, has been together for 4 years, and play a wide range of original repertoire, as well as extremely original versions of standards. As a composer and performer, Phil has received multiple composition and performance grants from both the National Endowment for the Arts in 1983 and 1994 and The New York Foundation for the Arts in 1984 and 1996.  He is also active on the educational front as a clinician.  His workshops and Master Classes have included residencies at The Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, the U. of Miami, Eastman School of Music, BYU, Ithaca College, and Manhattan School of Music.  Phil is also a professor at the world renowned Mannes College Jazz and Contemporary Music Program in New York, where he teaches composition, improvisation, chromaticism, and jazz theory . Performances in 1996 included Lillehammer Jazzfest and the Kobe Contemporary Music Festival.   Performances in 1997 included Bergamo Jazz Festival, a concert for The Composer's Collective in NYC, the Blue Note in NYC, and an appearance on Marian McPartland's  internationally syndicated radio show  "Piano Jazz".

He is currently a professor at Mannes College of Jazz and Contemporary Music. For information on workshops and clinics contact by phone, fax, or e-mail. He was very involved in writing the composition, theory and new chromaticism in Jazz curriculum a t the New School in NY. Also frequent clinics and master classes in US and Europe.

Recordings:
Rerstless Dreams; Sno' Peas; In The Woods; Taxi Ride (featuring special guest Toots Thielemans);
As sideperson:
David Liebman: Classique, Turn It Around, Miles Away, Songs For My Daughter, Return of the Tenor, Voyage, New Vista, Medidations, as yet untitled- renditions of the works of Puccini; Bob Mintzer: Art of the Big Band, Spectrum, Departure, Only In New York, Big Band Trane, Latin In Manhattan, as yet untitled quartet with Peter Erskine; Chet Baker: Looking For The Light - A Tribute To Chet Baker, Broken Wing, Two a Day, Live at Nick's Place, Live At Chateauvalion, Live at the Rising Sun; Mel Lewis: Live in Israel; Phil Woods: For Astor, For Elis; Lionel Hampton: Mostly Ballads; Al Dimeola: Souring Through A Dream; Nick Brignola: Poinciana; Jack Wilkens and The Brecker Brothers: You Can't Live Without It

Concerts. Tours and Personal Appearances Include:
Chet Baker, Michael Brecker, Joe Chambers, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton,
Mel Lewis, David Liebman, Marion McPartland, Bob Mintzer, Toots Thielemans, Miroslav Vitous, Joe Williams, Paul Winter, Phil Woods

Contact information:
Phil Markowitz
Solar Hawk Music
717-629-6907
snopeas@ptd.net

 

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