Phil DeGreg began playing the piano in his childhood and now performs as a jazz pianist locally, regionally, and internationally. His earliest jazz influences were Bud Powell and Bill Evans, but he is accomplished in a wide range of jazz styles, ranging from traditional to bebop to Brazilian jazz. His versatility has led to professional performances with dozens of internationally recognized jazz artists, including Randy Brecker, Ira Sullivan, Claudio Roditi, Howard Roberts, J.J. Johnson, Scott Hamilton, Harry Allen, Dave Liebman, Conrad Herwig and many others, as well as leading and recording with his own groups. Phil DeGreg has released twelve 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.” The late pianist James Williams described Phil as “a musician of ceaseless curiosity…relaxed, natural, and soulful.” Jazz Improv magazine called him “…a strong musician with rock-solid rhythmic power and a tasteful sense of melody and arrangement.”
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, named one of the 10 best unsigned pianists 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. He received two of the Cincinnati Enquirer’s prestigious “Cammy” Awards, and has been a frequent nominee for the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. 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 2016 he was inducted into the Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame.
Phil considers music to be a gift and is dedicated to sharing his love of jazz through teaching. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, from which he recently retired after 27 years. He has taught for the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1982 and has also taught at the UK Jazzwise Jazz Camps, the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Miami Valley Summer Jazz Workshops, and the Jim Widner Jazz Camps. In 2008 he received a Fubright Fellowship to teach jazz for a semester at the University of Campinas in Brazil. 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 at universities throughout the world.
Read an extensive biographical article about Phil DeGreg from the All About Jazz web site.
Phil DeGreg has professionally shared the stage with these artists:
Greg Abate, Jamey Aebersold, Eric Alexander, Harry Allen, David Baker, Alan Barnes, Bob Belden, Roni Ben-Hur, Chuck Berry, Gene Bertoncini,Blue Wisp Big Band, Don Braden, Randy Brecker, Nick Brignola, Rusty Bryant, Gary Campbell, Gary Carney, Cincinnati Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Pops, Dave Cliff, Dayton Philharmonic Orchesta. Jerry Coker. Richie Cole, Cal Collins, Junior Cook, Dan Faehnle, John Fedchock, Carl Fontana, Maurizio Giammarco, Dizzy Gillespie, Brad Goode. Ronan Guilfoyle, Everett Greene, Scott Hamilton, Slide Hampton ,Eddie Harris, Billy Hart, Woody Herman, Conrad Herwig, Sheila Jordan, Javon Jackson, Carter Jefferson Clay Jenkins, J.J. Johnson, Randy Johnston, Ken Karsh, Paul Keller, Kentucky Symphony Orchesta John LaBarbera, Joe LaBarbara, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Miami Saxophone Quartet, Delfayo Marsalis, Paul McKee, Don Menza, Ron McCroby, Billy Mitchell, Bill Mobley, James Moody,Mark Murphy, Sal Nistico, Jimmy Owens, Ken Peplowski, Bill Perkins, Rich Perry, Ralph Peterson, Dave Pietro, Boots Randolph, Nelson Rangel, Janelle Reichman, Rufus Reid, Kim Richmond, Barry Ries, Howard Roberts, Lynn Seaton, Tim Ries, Claudio Roditi, Jim Rotundi, Harvie S, Maria Schneider, Bobby Shew, Zoot Simms, Jim Snidero, Ed Soph, Byron Stripling, Ira Sullivan, Frank Tiberi, Stanley Turrentine, Warren Vaché, Ray Vega, John Von Ohlen, Gene Walker, Jim Walker, Tom Warrington, Bobby Watson, Walt Weiskoph, Jiggs Whigham, Jim Widner Big Band, Jack Wilkins