Lucas Phillips is an upright and electric bassist, composer, and writer from Boston whose work fuses Black American and classical music with journalism and poetry. As a composer, his influences range from Charles Mingus to Olivier Messaien, and he draws from the rich traditions of jazz, blues, funk, the Great American songbook, and European art music. He has performed in the US and abroad playing his original music, as a sideman, and in musical theatre.
He earned a Master's degree from the Berklee College of Music, where he was mentored by Danilo Perez and studied bass with John Patitucci, Linda May Han Oh, and Susan Hagen and composition with Tamar Diesendruck. He also studied with bassist-composer Michael Woods at Hamilton College, where Phillips ran the student newspaper and won the Nelson Clark Dale, Jr. Prize in Music.
Phillips began playing cello at a young age and picked up bass and composing at the age of 13. Through his father, he discovered Motown, Atlantic Records, P-Funk, early hip hop, and jazz, and he developed an enduring love of big band through his high school jazz ensemble, which ran like a '40s swing band.
His current project, Lifesongs, is a merging of journalism and music, using the unique tools of music to share stories from the survivors of homicide victims.
As a writer, Phillips has worked as a general assignment reporter for the Boston Globe, and has written about music for the Globe and other periodicals. His literary influences include Toni Morrison, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Theodore Roethke, and his poetry has been performed by singer Kurt Elling.