Accomplished vocalist and harmonica ace, PHIL BERKOWITZ has brought his energetic and refined musical style to American audiences for over 20 years.
A New Jersey native, Phil has produced five critically acclaimed albums, 3 of which are under his own name (2 with The Lucky Losers). His music presents a diverse mosaic of covers and original material, spanning genres from west coast swing, Chicago blues, New Orleans R&B and soul, to country blues. Phil draws upon his encyclopedic knowledge of music, popular and obscure, to craft swinging, heartfelt songs, bursting with creativity. He pays tribute to his idols and the rich tradition that forms the basis of his repertoire.
Possessed of a strong melodic tenor complimented by his virtuosic, night train flavored harmonica skills, Phil has collaborated with a range of premiere musicians, such as 2011 International Blues Challenge (IBC) winner Sean Carney, 2014 IBC winner for “Best Guitar” Ben Rice, Duke Robillard, Billy Branch, and most notable, Charles Brown’s former bandleader and guitarist, Danny Caron with whom he currently co-writes his songs.
Phil is a seasoned performer, who has brought crowds to their feet at esteemed venues across the United States. In 2013, he produced a successful tour with fellow harmonica players called “North Meets South: Blues Harmonica Summit.” Phil has also toured nationally several times and has played showcases at The House of Blues in Chicago, Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis, Humphries in San Diego, Highway 99 Blues Club in Seattle, and other celebrated locales. Phil has been featured at many festivals such as The Soulshine Festival in Ohio, The Eureka Springs Blues Festival, and the Choo-Choo Ch’ Boogie Festival.
In addition to being a hard working musician, Phil is the president of West Coast Blues for a Cure, a non-profit organization, which puts on benefit shows to raise money and awareness for various cancer charities. In 2011, he launched the first of these shows which featured Elvin Bishop, Junior Watson and Tip of The Top and raised over $10,000. In 2012, the second show was staged at Yoshi’s in San Francisco which included, Irma Thomas (The Soul Queen of New Orleans), Rick Estrin & The Nightcats and Alvon Johnson.
PHIL BERKOWITZ DISCOGRAPHY
"Phil Berkowitz blows inspiring harp and sings on every tune, causing the toes to tap and the fingers to snap along with his constant rhythm."
- BRUCE COEN, Blues Bytes
"Berkowitz's vocals are engagingly hip, but not self consciously so. His playing and tone echo Jordan's parts admirably, and the other musicians - 3 members of jazz-jumpers Stompy Jones plus immaculate string-bender Danny Caron (formerly Charles Brown's bandleader) - display absolute accuracy in the style."
- TOM HYSLOP, Blues Revue
"Back with another winner! Consistently imaginative arrangements make "All Night Party" an especially satisfying listening experience - what a wonderful way to end the party!"
- LEE HILDEBRAND, Living Blues
"A top-flight blues vocalist/harmonica player!"
- PAUL FREEMAN, San Jose Mercury News, December 2011
"Tired of Rock being passed off as Blues? Then get back to basics with Phil Berkowitz. Not only is his music authentic, it is a party!"
- JAMES "SKYY DOBR" WALKER, Blues Blast E-Zine, April 2009
"Berkowitz's singing is relaxed and unaffected, his harp tone is resplendent, his phrasing inventive."
- TOM HYSLOP, Blues Revue: Issue #119, August/September 2009