Born and raised in Toronto close to the rolling green hills of Christie Pits, Joe Phillips started studying classical guitar at age 9. After some time playing the clarinet, he discovered the
double bass in high school. Time spent playing in various blues bars, Irish pubs and booze cans, and four years studying with renowned classical virtuoso Joel Quarrington have led to a busy and
Highlights of this past year include a western Canadian tour with Canadian chamber music supergroup Octagon, extensive touring throughout the United States, Canada and the U.K. with banjoist Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project (featuring roots and country music legend Tim O’Brien), multiple projects with the Art of Time Ensemble (with jazz chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux, actor/singer Brent Carver, pop singer Steven Page and members of The Spirit of the West, The Odds and The Skydiggers), and a trip to China with Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra. As the featured bass soloist and singer in an Orchestra London’s Pops programme, Joe also wrote his own orchestral arrangements. This spring, he appeared as guest principal bass with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Recent recordings include a chamber version of Schumann’s Dichterliebe with the Eybler Quartet and Brett Polegato, a chamber version of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with James Campbell, Mark Fewer and other Sweetwater artists, Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, Payadora tango ensemble, and fiddle and guitar masters Shane Cook and Jake Charron.
Since 2007 Joe has been principal bassist of Orchestra London Canada. He lives in London, Ontario with his partner and their two children.
Joe is thrilled to be participating in his 7th Sweetwater Music Festival.