Reynold Philipsek

Reynold David Phillipsek, born December 8, 1952, is an American musician and jazz guitarist, singer-songwriter, poet. Since 1989, Philipsek has produced forty CDs with original compositions. Since the age of 14 Philipsek is a member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians labor association. He has explored many musical genres, including rock, jazz, and Gypsy Jazz. Philipsek’s guitar work has been featured in Guitar Player magazine, Acoustic Guitar, Vintage Guitar and Billboard. At the age of 22, Philipsek was awarded a four-star review. Philipsek has been nominated for five Minnesota Music Awards and was a Guitar Player Magazine Jazz Poll nominee six times consecutively (1975-1980). He also received three songs in the iTunes Top 75 Gypsy Jazz Essentials. Philipsek is active as both a performer and composer. He can also be seen performing solo or in many collaborative projects. Philipsek has supported national and international acts like Clint Hoover and Connie Evingson. Dorado Schmitt, a French Gypsy Jazz master, was Philipsek’s opening act during his 2005 U.S. Tour. Philipsek opened for Leo Kottke in Bayfront Festival Park, Duluth (Minnesota) on August 28, 2010. Philipsek is a guitarist instructor who has taught more than 2,700 students both individually and in groups for 25 years. Philipsek started playing guitar when he was nine years old. He joined the American Federation of Musicians labor union at age 14 (1967). Since then, Philipsek is a member in good standing of the AFM. Philipsek recorded and wrote the single Oval Portrait at the age of 16. It was also its B-side Stepping Stone. This song was performed by the Cure of Ares. Oval Portrait was heard enough on mid-west radio stations to earn him an invitation to perform in the band contest on ABC Television’s THE HAPPENING. The episode, Episode 24, aired May 17, 1969. The telecast featured performances by Three Dog Night and The Peppermint Rainbow. As a reward for their participation, each member of Cure of Ares was given a Westclox wristwatch. Cure of Ares performed extensively in the midwest from 1969 to 1971 (North Dakota and South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa), and recorded Sunshine. Cure of Ares was one of 50 semi-finalists for a national music contest, “Iced Tea’s Big Search For the New Sound”,[5] which was hosted by the Tea Council of the U.S.A. and Billboard Magazine. Hal David, an Academy Award-winning lyricist for “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, John Hammond (Columbia Records executive), Al Bell [Vice President and Producer for Stax Records], Vince Calandra (“talent coordinator for The Ed Sullivan Show”), Bob Crewe (President at Crewe Records) and Don Ovens (“Director of reviews for Billboard Magazine”). Philipsek was 18 when he was first exposed to the gypsy jazz music of Jean “Django” Reinhardt through radio broadcast. It was a crucial experience that would be pivotal in his future career. Philipsek was 22 years old in 1975 when he received a private lesson from Joe Pass and two workshops by the jazz guitarist. Philipsek also studied jazz guitar with Mike Elliott, a protégé of Johnny Smith. These experiences sparked Philipsek’s interest in jazz throughout his life. Philipsek played in Cure of Ares for a while, but he continued his involvement in many musical acts throughout the midwest during the 1970s and 1980s. Philipsek recorded three CDs in the early 1990s with Reynold’s RemarkableRhythm Cattle — Uptown and Country (1990), and What’s Inside? (1991), and Memory Lane (922). Philipsek began to be a solo artist in 1989. Philipsek released forty solo CDs between 1989 and present on his Rephi Records label. These include genres such as rock, pop-rock and jazz, and even gypsy music. These CDs include vocal and instrumental tracks. In 1998, Philipsek was a contributor to Grok This/Defacing the Music of Todd Rundgren. He provided the track Invisible Man (Track 3) which is Todd Rundgren’s inspiration. Philipsek has written string arrangements for many songs, including those by Patrick Eckart, Molly Maher and Patrick Eckart. Philipsek was diagnosed in the spring 1980 with testicular carcinoma. Philipsek was extremely scared when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. At the time, there were no treatments available for the disease. Philipsek underwent six months of chemotherapy and has been completely cancer-free ever since. Philipsek was 25 years old and cancer-free when he discovered that he had released 24 CDs. The idea for CD 25 was born. Seven tracks of the 25th album are brand new recordings of Philipsek compositions made over the past twenty-five years. The American Cancer Society (ACS) established a formal partnership with Philipsek. Five dollars ($5.00US), from every 25 CD sold, was donated to the ACS for the first two year after it was released. Philipsek was exposed to Joe Pass, Mike Elliott, and Django Reinhardt early on in his playing and compositions. However, it wasn’t until 2005 when Philipsek started to focus more on jazz and gypsy music in his writing and recording. All of the CDs Philipsek released since 25 reflect a predominately jazz or gypsy-jazz style. Philipsek has released two new CDs, All the Things You Are (2010), and Tales from the North Woods (2011). They include elements of gypsy, Latin, folk, and modal jazz. This is due to Philipsek’s growing interest in folk music from his Czech and Polish heritage. Philipsek is a predominately a jazz/gypsy-jazz guitarist. He has performed at numerous gypsy music festivals, clubs, and concert venues, including the Grand Marais Jazz Festival and Twin Cities Hot Summer Jazz Festival, The Cedar Cultural Center and Dakota Jazz Club and Artists’ Quarter. Philipsek performs solo and collaborates with the groups East Side, Sidewalk Cafe, and others in the recording, performance, and composition of gypsy-jazz music. Philipsek regularly receives press coverage from traditional print and online outlets such as the StarTribune,,Vintage Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, MinnPost and International Musician. Philipsek is a regular performer on radio and television, as well as with his collaborators. Paul, MN), WFMU, New York, NY, and Minnesota Public Radio (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN). Philipsek composed the original music for St. Cloud Sleep. Philipsek published a book of poetry called Journey to the Middle Ages in June 1999. The verse is based on Philipsek’s autobiographical experiences and loosely inspired from Chaucer and Dante. It focuses primarily on Philipsek’s thoughts about death, aging and fear. Philipsek released That’s My Face in July 2003. It featured six promotional videos from the back catalog. Three Piece Suite/Munsinger Gardens was filmed in July 2004 and released February 2005. It features Philipsek, Al Asmus, bassist Jeff Engholm, and eight Philipsek original compositions as well as three classic songs — Days of Wine and Roses (Night and Day), All of Me (Night and Day), and All of Me (DVD). Philipsek was a member the gypsy-jazz ensemble The Twin Cities Hot Club. The DVD Live at The Times released in 2007 and featured concert footage, swing dancers and interviews with fans. From Wikipedia

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