Derrek C. Phillips
Adjunct Professor, Jazz drum set
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
By the age of six, his parents deemed it necessary to introduce their youngest son to formal music training. Over the years, he has been involved with several youth and community orchestras and drum corps including the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. He received his bachelor's degree in jazz studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, in 1998. He took private lessons with Horace Arnold, Yoron Israel, and John Riley. He was also able to spend a focused amount of time with the late, great 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.
Phillips continues to make appearances and recordings with such artists like Vanessa Williams, Michael McDonald, Tommy Sims, Delbert McClinton, Gary Nicholson, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, the McCrary Sisters, Erin Bode, Greg Osby, Mike Farris, Alexa Carter, Charlie Peacock, Seth Walker, DJ Logic, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Michael Brecker, Christian McBride, and Joshua Redman. 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.
Phillips has his own solo project entitled Derrek Phillips' Manufactory, blending hip-hop, rock, electronica, drum-n-bass, jazz, and spoken word. Manufactory's first outing, Offering, is currently available on Rope-a-dope Records. His product endorsements include Spaun Drums, Istanbul Cymbals and Vater Sticks.
Phillips is married to Mariah and has four children, Zoë Indiya, Zavior Imani, Sienna Dajia-Nicole, and Isaiah Sanele.