No doubt you’ve seen him behind the ivories at a Music Doing Good concert. Pianist and Assistant Director of Music Doing Good in Schools, Phillip Hall, is a musician whose talents are in high demand. He recently returned from a five-week run of Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Syracuse Stage in Syracuse, NY. Hailed by Broadway World Magazine as an overwhelming success, Natasha Ashley writes, “…the production easily transports the audience back to the Harlem Renaissance with its crazy good singers, skilled musicians, and, of course, swing dancing. It captures the mood of the era. The joint is definitely jumpin’ at Syracuse Stage. Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a non-stop good time and a definite must-see!”
Rewind to a little over two decades prior, Phillip auditioned for a production of “Ain’t Misbehavin’”and got the part. While he had heard Fats Waller’s music growing up, it wasn’t until he joined “Ain’t Misbehavin’” that it really became an indelible musical influence.
The more Phillip learned about Fats Waller and his music, the more apparent the parallels between them became. Much like Phillip, Waller had grown up in the church, but had been fascinated by jazz. They both endured late Saturday nights playing in jazz clubs followed by early Sunday mornings playing in church. Their similar life experiences only deepened Phillip’s connection to the music.
Phillip has returned to Houston and is sharing his experience with the students who participate in Music Doing Good in Schools. They are preparing for the spring concert on May 12th at The Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall entitled “Jazz Is…” Thus, the legacy of love for the only original American art form, Jazz, ensues.