Chris Phillips is an award-winning guitarist who has recorded and played live with such notables as John Denver, Jeff Bridges and Danny Elfman. A journeyman who has lived everywhere from Paris to LA, Chris has played and taught music in the Aspen area for decades. He now specializes in playing solo Spanish and Classical guitar for parties, weddings and corporate events. The sound of his custom electric flamenco guitar is unique, warm and inviting. His repertoire spans a variety of guitar styles, including Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Classical, Jazz, Blues, Bluegrass, and Celtic. He is also known for his striking arrangements of standards and show tunes from The Great American Songbook. Chris Phillips was raised in the music-rich ski town of Aspen, Colorado. Born into a musical family spanning five generations, it was hardly surprising that music became his passion from an early age. Chris received intensive coaching in Bluegrass music as a teenager, and won three awards in Bluegrass guitar before graduating from Aspen High School. After stints touring with John Denver and writing and recording with renowned film composer and Oingo Boingo founder Danny Elfman in LA, Chris studied guitar for five years at the USC School of Music. He went on to become a successful session guitarist, and scored a string of television commercials before leaving LA for Aspen in 1988. For the past 25 years, Chris has played with several favorite local bands, including: Scratch and Biff, Sommers and Biff, the Strange Rangers, the Zen Ramblers, and the Three Blind Rats. In 1999, he co-founded the Basalt Battle of the Bands, an annual contest for regional High School and Middle School musicians that Chris produced for ten years. Chris’s passion for fostering young talent led him to become a sought-after musical instructor, and he has been teaching his patented “Biff Method” for guitar and piano in the Aspen area for over two decades. Recent years have seen Chris focus on mastering the standard Classical Guitar catalog. This includes works for Spanish Guitar by Tarrega, Albeniz, Sor, and Rodrigo, as well as Classical pieces by Bach, Mozart, Debussy, and Ravel. South American works from: Lauro, Villa-Lobos, Jobim, and Bonfa.American classics from: Gershwin, Bernstein, Herzog, and more. Included in Chris’ set are unique works from outside of the classical guitar box. These include: Flamenco, Irish, Cajun and Bluegrass pieces, Blues and Jazz standards, Movie themes, Traditional and Anonymous tunes, Show tunes, Rock n roll tunes, and Pop arrangements. All together this music is an elegant, eclectic, mellow, mix of styles and textures. Over the last several years, Chris has perfected the buttery sound of the Spanish acoustic guitar, through a small amplification system, and a custom made electric flamenco guitar – made by his Son, Miles. The sound that is produced by this guitar and amp combination is unusual, soothing, gentle, relaxing, and moving. Chris’ Website: Chris Phillips Guitar Audio Only Sampler
Chris also teaches guitar! He calls it The Biff Method! The Biff Method is learning how to play horizontally on the guitar neck. It involves learning bass note locations up and down the neck, then placing chords over them that are easy to move. You learn the minor pentatonic scale and its friend, the minor Blues scale – but with a horizontal orientation. Then you learn the notes to wiggle and bend. With a little research, development and practice on your part, boom! The Blues is your paintbrush. And once you know how to play the Blues, you’ll know how to play the entire American classic rock catalog. Chris also teaches Classical, Jazz, Bluegrass, and Celtic guitar, along with other instruments like piano, bass and drums. He is committed to fostering an ongoing interest in music, and has placed many of his best students in performance-ready ensembles with great success.