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(b. 1966)

The compositions of Joseph C. Phillips Jr. are not limited or defined by any one genre but rather are an amalgamation, transmuted into a singular and individual style. Phillips calls his style, mixed music; the term is inspired by mixed race people who have traits and characteristics that come from each individual parent, from the melding of the two, and their own uniqueness. Mixed music is an organic fusing of various elements from many different influences, forming compositions that are personal, different, and new.

He has received a Brooklyn Arts Council Arts Fund grant, NewMusic USA project grant, a American Composers Forum Jerome Foundation grant for New Music, a Meet the Composers Creative Connections grant, an American Music Center CAP grant, two Live Music for Dance commission grants, two Puffin Foundation grants, and was a finalist for both the Sundance Institute Film Composers Lab Fellowship and the Opera Company of Philadelphia Composer-in-Residence. In addition to the worldwide performances of his works, including the Steve Reich Festival in The Hague, Netherlands, new works have been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Next Wave Festival, the Kaufman Center and Ecstatic Music Festival, Maryland Opera Studio, pianist Lara Downes, the NextNow Fest for the Invoke String Quartet, Simone Dinnerstein and the Neighborhood Classics Concert Series for Face the Music, Dave Douglas and the Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), the Rhythm in the Kitchen Festival, Concrete Temple Theatre Company, St. Olaf College, University of Maryland, University of Denver, the Fieldston School, Edisa Weeks and the Delirious Dance Company, Take Dance Company, Maffei Dance Company, and a number of other musicians and ensembles.

Currently Phillips is working on various commissions and new projects including recording his mono-opera The Grey Land, a monoopera exploring universal themes of acceptance, ostracization, authenticity, and identity centered around intractable issues of race, class, and power in American society. The Grey Land will be released November 2020 on New Amsterdam Records. He is also beginning work on 1619, an opera cycle inspired by the 2019 New York Times series The 1619 Project and the 2014 Ta-Nehisi Coates The Atlantic article “The Case for Reparations”.

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