EVESHAM >> Cherokee High School music teacher Earl Phillips has been recognized as the 2020 New Jersey Jazz Educator of the Year.
Phillips directs the Cherokee Jazz Ensemble, Music Theory, and Music Technology departments and is an adjunct faculty member of Rowan University. This prestigious award is given out each year to one deserving New Jersey jazz educator who has demonstrated the highest standards of teaching excellence and dedication to the jazz education community.
Phillips has been commissioned to write for and work as a clinician with many local high school and collegiate programs and has also been commissioned by the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, led by artistic director Terell Stafford. He is a composer, arranger, educator, and bass trombonist in the greater Philadelphia area. Phillips has led the Earl Phillips Big Band 17-piece big band since 2007 and joined the Jazz Orchestra staff in 2014. Most recently, Phillips was commissioned to write music for the Philadelphia group Pat Martino.
As the leader of the Earl Phillips Big Band, Phillips, a bass trombonist, has shared the stage with Wayne Newton, Patti Austin, and Kurt Elling. He has recorded with Kid Cudi, Will Smith, Boyz II Men, and John Legend, among others.
Phillips has directed the Philadelphia Grammy Band (2005-2007), the All South Jersey Jazz Ensemble (2008 & 2012) and the All Central Jersey Jazz Ensemble (2014). He has been a clinician/manager with the New Jersey All State Jazz Ensemble (2009-2014).
Phillips is a graduate, with honors, of the University of the Arts, holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Bass Trombone Performance, a Master’s Degree in Music Education and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance/Jazz Composition from Rowan University. He is also a published author having articles printed in the Jazz Education Journal and Downbeat Magazine, as well as a published composer and arranger through Northeastern Music Publications.