Damani Phillips is a native of Pontiac, MI, where he began playing the saxophone at age 10. As a pre-college student, Mr. Phillips achieved many honors to his name, including a year of study at the Interlochen Arts Academy on a performance scholarship, several scholarships to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp, Who's Who Among American High School Students, and selection to Pontiac Northern's Gifted and Talented program.
Mr. Phillips earned his Bachelor of Music degree from DePaul University in classical saxophone performance under the instruction of Scott Plugge and Susan Cook. While an undergraduate, Mr. Phillips participated in a study abroad program, through which he studied saxophone at the University of Sheffield (Sheffield, England) for 6 months. Throughout his undergraduate years, Mr. Phillips was an active performer and instructor in the Chicagoland area. Undergraduate credits to his name include a DePaul University Performance Scholarship, and 3 time recipient of the Pontiac Tuesday Musicale Dora Dawson Scholarship.
Mr. Phillips completed work on his Master of Music degree in Classical saxophone at the University of Kentucky in 1999. While at Kentucky, Mr. Phillips was awarded the Leyman T. Johnson Fellowship and was also awarded the saxophone studio's Teaching Assistantship for the 1998-1999 school year. Mr. Phillips recently completed a second Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Wayne State University under the instruction of Chris Collins, Russel Miller and Marcus Belgrave on a full performance scholarship.
Mr. Phillips has dedicated himself to the promotion and enhancement of the arts in the community. Mr. Phillips is an active instructor, performer, composer and clinician in the greater Pontiac area, and has previously served on the adjunct faculty of Oakland University and Macomb Community College. As a recording artist, Mr. Phillips has released his own CD "Yaktown Nights", and recorded with artists such as George Clinton, Wayne Kounty and QTMC. As a performer, Mr. Phillips has performed with Marcus Belgrave, Teddy Harris, Crush (touring Dave Matthews cover band), and many others. International performance credits include performances in Kusatsu, Japan and Sheffield, England.