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Phil DeGreg picturesPhil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished and comfortable in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from mainstream to bebop to Brazilian jazz. His versatility has led to professional performances with dozens of internationally recognized jazz artists, as well as leading and recording with his own groups. Phil DeGreg has released eleven recordings as a leader and has been recorded as a sideman on many other jazz projects. He is also featured with J.J. Johnson on the video "J.J. Johnson Live in Concert." His most recent recorded project called "Melodious Monk" done in conjunction with trumpeter Kim Pensyl features the music of Thelonius Monk in duo and trio settings without drums. A review in All About Jazz writes: "…he exhibits an excellent understanding of the complex compositions, and the stride tradition from which Monk sprang…they succeed because they have an undeniable affection for Monk, and their performance is top-notch.Phil DeGreg's masterful piano interprets Monk brilliantly and Kim Pensyl's trumpet is the perfect complement"

A native of Cincinnati, Phil completed a degree in psychology from Yale University before becoming a professional musician. After three years working and studying music in Kansas City, he finished a masters degree at University of North Texas, and subsequently toured the world for a year with Woody Herman's Thundering Herd. Later he was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants. He was named one of the 10 finalists in Jazziz Magazine's 1995 "Keyboardists on Fire" competition, and was a 1996 finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition. For 16 years, he served as the house pianist at Cincinnati's famous Blue Wisp Jazz Club, accompanying visiting artists on weekends. His jazz festival appearances include the North Sea, Pori, Monterey, Montreux, Brecon, Wigan, and Elkhart Jazz Festivals. Phil has performed in clubs and concerts throughout the United States, and in the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Brazil. In 2008 Phil was awarded a four month Fulbright Fellowship to lecture about jazz in Brazil.

Phil considers music to be a gift and is dedicated to sharing his love of jazz through teaching. He is currently Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, where he teaches jazz theory, arranging, piano, and ensembles. He has taught for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops (since 1982), the UK Jazzwise Jazz Camps (since 1996) and has served on the faculty of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Miami Valley Summer Jazz Workshops, and the Jim Widner Jazz Camps. He has appeared as a visiting artist/clinician at colleges and high schools throughout the U.S., Europe, Central and South America. Phil has presented lecture/demonstrations to the International Association of Jazz Educators, the National Group Piano Teachers Association, the Ohio Music Educator's Association, the Ohio Music Teachers Association, and the Music Teachers National Association, and has published articles for Jazz Player Magazine. In 1995 he published "Jazz Keyboard Harmony," a chord voicing method written for non-pianists and beginning jazz pianists, which is now used in private teaching and at universities throughout the world.

An extensive biographical article about Phil DeGreg can be found at:

Jazz artists who have performed with Phil.

Greg Abate

Woody Herman

Rufus Reid

Jamey Aebersold

Conrad Herwig

Kim Richmond

Eric Alexander

Gary Hobbs

Barry Ries

Bob Belden

Javon Jackson

Tim Ries

Roni Ben-Hur

Carter Jefferson

Claudio Roditi

Chuck Berry

Clay Jenkins

Jim Rotundi

Gene Bertoncini

J.J. Johnson

Harvie S

Blue Wisp Big Band

Randy Johnston

Maria Schneider

David Baker

Sheila Jordan

Lynn Seaton

Don Braden

Ken Karsh

Bobby Shew

Joshua Breakstone

Paul Keller

Zoot Simms

Nick Brignola

John LaBarbera

Jim Snidero

Rusty Bryant

Dave Liebman

Ed Soph

Gary Campbell

Joe Lovano

Martin Speake

Gary Carney

Paul McKee

Byron Stripling

Dave Cliff

Don Menza

Ira Sullivan

Jerry Coker

Ron McCroby

Frank Tiberi

Richie Cole

Billy Mitchell

Stanley Turrentine

Cal Collins

Bill Mobley

Warren Vaché

Junior Cook

James Moody

Ray Vega

John Fedchock

Mark Murphy

John Von Ohlen

Carl Fontana

Sal Nistico

Jim Walker

Maurizio Giammarco

Jimmy Owens

Bobby Watson

Dizzy Gillespie

Ken Peplowski

Jiggs Whigham

Brad Goode

Bill Perkins

Jim Widner Big Band

Everett Greene

Rich Perry

Jack Wilkins

Scott Hamilton

Ralph Peterson


Slide Hampton

Dave Pietro


Eddie Harris

Boots Randolph


Billy Hart

Nelson Rangel


Reviewers statements about Phil DeGreg CD's

"…a superbly fluent technician who values melodicism over pianistic gymnastics."
—American Reporter

"…a masterful way with a piano trio…surprisingly varied, displaying the huge range of what a piano trio is capable of."
—The Cincinnati Enquirer

" …this cat plays great jazz, seemingly effortlessly. Listening to "Whirl Away" shows again why DeGreg need not bow before any other jazz pianist in the land. He's absolutely worthy of the designation 'master.'"
—G21 magazine

"…a strong musician with rock-solid rhythmic power and a tasteful sense of melody and arrangement…The Green Gate is a compelling recording…all the correct elements are in perfect balance. More than a few New York musicians could learn from this guy in Cincinnati."
—Jazz Improv Magazine

"a musician of ceaseless curiosity…relaxed, natural, and soulful…a consistently provocative and enjoyable jazz performance"
—James Williams, pianist

"Phil DeGreg is a pianist whose music always swings…the music surges with power and energy…"
—Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Magazine

"Phil DeGreg is definitely a player …the music is first-class and the core trio is as securely anchored and synchronous as they come."
—All About Jazz Online

"A compelling modernist with a directly emotional approach, DeGreg has forged a singular style…Here, with Phil's bracing originals and well-crafted arrangements, there's organization and freedom. It's an appealing combination that makes one want to visit the music time and time again."
—Dr. Chuck Berg, writer for Downbeat

"An ear-pleasing session that's full of ingenuity and surprise."
—CD Now

"Provocative and lyrical style…the overall effect is one of strong rhythmic accord and imaginative melodic improvisation…"
—Coda Magazine

".…well-wrought linear playing imbued with a flowing lyricism…these four players settle into a comfortable empathy shaped by keen ears for the carefully chosen pieces."
—Cadence Magazine

"DeGreg is an elegant new voice at the Steinway...DeGreg handles every tempo and every grouping with consummate skill. Surely he is a pianist deserving of a national reputation."

"…DeGreg has a deep understanding of the blues. His moves swing …Highly recommended…"
—The Grand Rapids Press

"A talent deserving wider recognition, Phil DeGreg carries the mainstream jazz torch effectively and with sparks flying."
—Jim Santella, All About Jazz

"…straight-up jazz with confidence and authority. He has an easy grace and a strong sense of tradition."

"…Phil exhibits an excellent understanding of the complex compositions, and the stride tradition from which Monk sprang…they succeed because they have an undeniable affection for Monk, and their performance is top-notch….Phil DeGreg's masterful piano interprets Monk brilliantly and Kim Pensyl's trumpet is the perfect complement"
—All About Jazz,

"Phil DeGreg is a wonderful musician! He has the ability to make whatever he plays his own. Regardless of style, he is creative and comfortable in making music at a very high level. Playing music with Phil is always a treat!""
—Jiggs Whigham





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