“The blues is a rich heritage that celebrates life in all of its glory and complexity. Phil brings a fresh perspective and voice to America’s greatest native art form with the determination and talent to move it forward as a vital, living cultural treasure.”
Dave Rubin, Guitar Edge Magazine.
Phil Gates was born in Chicago Ill., into a family of musicians that helped form his music style, and ability. Phil began playing musical instruments at the age of eight, and the Blues has always been one of his main sources of musical inspiration. Phil has played venues from small clubs, to the U.S. Air Force’s “Tops in Blue” World Tour, which performed the halftime show at the NFL Superbowl.
Phil Gates regularly tours in Europe and the States for festival and club dates, and performs locally at many of the best Los Angeles Blues Clubs. Also, Phil was featured every Friday night for five years on Hornblower Cruise’s “Friday Night Blues Dinner Cruise”. Phil’s style is reminiscent of early Buddy Guy mixed with a special blend of flavors from Jazz, Fusion, and the Chicago, Delta, and Mississippi Blues styles.
The Phil Gates Band has also won the “Beale Street Blues Kings” Competition in Memphis.
Phil has been steady contributor to the Blues Community in Southern California. He founded the Los Angeles Blues Society, and has been a valued judge for the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, and also at many of the Guitar Center “King of the Blues” competitions in Hollywood, CA
Phil has also performed at great venues such as B.B. King’s, Cozy’s, Biscuits and Blues San Francisco, Highway 99 Seattle, WA, The Coach House, CA, The Monterey Bay Blues Festival, The Santa Clarita Blues Festival, The Topanga Canyon Blues Festival, The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival, The Blues Music Awards Blind Raccoon Showcase, The Blues Nights Gossau(Blues Festival in Gossau, Switzerland), The Rock und Blues Festival in Gams, Switzerland.
Phil had the opportunity in his early years to listen and study great talent. As front of house sound engineer at the Caravan of Dreams Performing Arts Centre in Fort Worth, Texas, Phil worked with some of Blues and Jazz’s greatest performers to include: Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Dizzie Gilespie, Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, Eartha Kitt, Dianne Reeves, Bobby “Blue” Bland, and many others.
In the studio, Phil has been finished working on the follow up to the successful releases of “Phil Gates Live at The Hermosa Saloon”,“Addicted To The Blues”, and “In The Mean Time…” which were all on the Grammy Ballot in their respective years as one of a few titles in their Category.The current project is titled “The Twelve Rhythms”
Phil is an accomplished session guitarist, performing on such projects as the Philip Bailey CD “Life & Love”, also with artists Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Deniece Williams, Jody Watley, Howard Hewett, Teddy Pendergrass, Brian McKnight, Ruben Studdard and Maurice White, Kellie Blaise, Billy Shields, Maurice White, Zac Harmon, Preston Glass, L.A. Stlyz and Seabron.
As a Producer, Phil has also produced a song of his with Karen Briggs, also Phil Co-Produced the award winning Blues record “The Blues According to Zacariah” with Zac Harmon, and recently has also Produced the “Urban Legacy” CD for Julia Jordan, daughter of renowned guitarist Stanley Jordan (who also performed on the CD). Also Phil scored an AFI film “My Normal Life”. Not to mention he has nine CD’s of his own music “This Side OF Me” and “Music From the film “My Normal Life” , “Should I?”, “Addicted To The Blues” “In The Mean Time”, “PhilGates LIVE at The Hermosa Saloon” The last three titles being on the Grammy Ballot. These are also available on Apple iTunes. Phil has three full endorsements with Ernie Ball/MusicMan Guitars, Evertune Bridges, and Ultimate Support music stands respectively.
Phil is currently the Director of Music for the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation. (www.jimihendrixfoundation.com). Phil is also the Signature Band for the Sickle Cell Foundation of Orange County; for many years a strong relationship, and a great charity to help bring awareness to.
Phil is a dedicated, hard working professional entertainer that has proven time and time again, that his being dependable, and being able to work well with others can be an asset in wide array of musical endeavors.