116 – Derrek Phillips: Drumming for Hank Williams Jr, Teaching at Two Universities, Master Classes with Tony Williams
Since the age of three, Derrek C. Phillips has had a deep passion for music. From that time he has carved out an exciting musical career as a performer, educator, and composer
While attending high school, Phillips played snare drum for the Concord Blue Devils drum and bugle corps from 1990-93. In 1998, he received his bachelor’s degree in jazz studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. He studied privately with Horace Arnold, Yoron Israel, John Riley and Tony Williams.
As an educator, he has also worked with several school bands and drums corps as a percussion and marching instructor, jazz and drum set clinician, composer, marching drill designer, and private tutor. He is currently the presiding drum set and ensemble instructor at both Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University.
In the spring of 2014, Derek became the touring drummer for Hank Williams Jr. His drumming is featured on Vanessa Williams’ recording The Real Thing and Michael McDonald’s This Christmas. He has also worked with Rachael Lampa, Jonny Lang, Charlie Peacock, Mike Farris, the McCrary Sisters, Seth Walker, James Otto, Charlie Hunter, Jimmy Hall, Tommy Sims, Delbert McClinton, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Greg Osby, Joshua Redman and Kurt Elling.
He has performed on the CBS Early Morning Show and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, BET (Black Entertainment Television) and throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as Brazil, Korea, South Africa, Turkey, India, Panama, the Caribbean, and Japan.
In this episode, Derek talks about:
Teaching at Middle Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University
Utilizing a curriculum when teaching
Getting into drum corp and joining The Concord Blue Devils
Master classes with Tony Williams
Working with Charlie Hunter
Touring with country legend Hank Williams Jr