Brigham has been a professional musician since 1975, and has been based in Toronto since 1981. During this time he has had the opportunity to work in most areas of the music business, as a performer, band leader, musical director, contractor, arranger, composer, and teacher/clinician.
Brigham’s strength is his versatility. He plays piano, keyboards, trumpet, valve trombone and euphonium, sings, and plays many styles of music -jazz/blues, big band/dance band, solo/cocktail piano, pop, light orchestral, dixieland, musical theatre, some ethnic, and sequenced computerized music, as well as composing and arranging in these styles.
Brigham was musical director for EMI recording artist John McDermott for 15 years, arranging and recording and playing keyboards. In 2006 he performed with John with The Irish Tenors in addition to John’s own shows. In March of 2009 he became musical director for David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat and Tears fame.and in February of 2010 he conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra with Clayton at Massey Hall in Toronto. He is also busy promoting his EMI (Bluenote) CD AND IT REALLY WAS (2002), featuring The Brigham Phillips Big Band. Brigham received a National Jazz Award as Producer of the Year for his work on this CD, which also garnered a 2002 Juno nomination.
Bachelor of Education (music and science), University of Toronto 1983 Bachelor of Science (biology), Dalhousie University 1980 Teaching has also been part of Brigham’s career. Because touring with John McDermott had not
allowed for a regular teaching commitment, teaching over the last several years has been limited to substitutting, mostly at Humber College. Brigham taught arranging at Humber in 2005-06 and worked for the musical theatre program at Sheridan College 2009-2011.
Other teaching positions have included:
– Trebas Institute of Recording Arts (1992)
– Acadia University Music Camp (1995)
– Crescent School (1987-92) (private boys school)
– MacMaster University Jazz Band (1988-89)
– National Music Camp of Canada (1987-89). From 1983-88
– Toronto District School Board as a supply (substitute) teacher.
COMPOSER / ARRANGER
Brigham is obviously well versed in the jazz area (both big and small bands), but has composed and
arranged in other formats as well.
– In 2011 Brigham arranged and produced Holiday, a Christmas double cd for singer Eleanor McCain.
– In 2012 he re-arranged most of the cd for orchestra and performed with Eleanor with the
Victoria Symphony, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick
– In 2010 Brigham arranged five big band tunes for Matt Dusk for the TV series Call Me Fitz
– In May/06 and again in August/06 Brigham went to Moscow to play and record his arrangements with
the Moscow Festival Orchestra for Somerset Entertainment, which resulted in two CDs, Celtic Isles
(celtic classics with full orchestra) and Napa Valley (classics of the American songbook).
Most recently he produced Celtic Roses for Somerset, a cd of celtic songs featuring four different singers.
– From 2006 -2011 Brigham arranged many CDs for Somerset Entertainment, mostly of a Celtic nature –
Celtic Wedding – When Irish Eyes Are Smiling – Celtic Serenity – A Pint of Ale – Celtic Christmas – Heart
of Ireland and others.
– He has arranged dozens of songs for John McDermott for full orchestra, heard on John’s PBS TV special A Time to Remember (2002) and on John’s CD Remembrance featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
– His production and arrangements on the debut CD by the Cape Breton traditional group The Cottars
led to their receiving the Best New Artist award at the 2003 East Coast Music Awards.
– He has arranged and composed for concert band (The U.S. Military Academy Band), chamber orchestra and many other ensembles for various industrial shows around Toronto over the years, most recently in February 2009, where he arranged and led the band for the Investor Relations Magazine Awards event in Toronto and The Alliance For Children and Television event in June/09.
As Musical Director
– Musical Director for David Clayton-Thomas since 2009
– Musical Director and arranger for EMI recording artist John McDermott since 1995
– Formed The Brigham Phillips Big Band in 1983, which has performed at Roy Thompson Hall,
Ontario Place, the C.N.E., and the DuMaurier Ltd. Downtown Jazz Festival (opening the festival in 1995 and 2002)
– Was bandleader for the Moscow Circus’ 1987 Canadian tour
– Musical Director for many local industrial shows and singers
– Assistant Musical Director for the DanCap production of “The Toxic Avenger” (fall 2009)
– Played keyboards in the Dancap production of “Miss Saigon” (summer 2010)
– Regular keyboard sub (Keyboard I and II) in the Mirvish production of “The Lion King” and “Mamma Mia”
– played keyboards in the Mirvish production of “The Needfire” (1998, 2000)
– Played piano and trumpet in Limelight Theatre’s production of “Sophisticated Ladies”
– Played keyboards in the Mirvish’s production of “Tommy” (1995)
– Pianist in Stagewest’s 1993 production of “Grease”
– Pianist for Stagedoor’s “Mrs. Jones Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” in Amsterdam (1989)
– Pianist/vocalist in Another Theatre’s “Billy Bishop Goes to War” (1985)
– Currently playing auxilliary keyboards, accordion and trumpet with the (Canadian) Tenors
– David Clayton-Thomas since 2009
– Bandleader/Contractor for Natalie Cole at the Rose Theatre in Brampton, ON (2009)
– John McDermott from 1994 -2009
– The Irish Tenors 2005-2006 (contracted the Toronto and London, ON shows)
– Entertained Canadian troops in Alert, N.W.T. in April/94 and in Cypress and Israel in
– Played trumpet with The Drifters in Japan (1990), Bob Hope (1986) and Leslie Gore (1991)
– Played keyboards for shows by Phyllis Diller, John Byner, Lucy Arnez, Howie Mandel, David Brenner,
The Spinners, The Garden Brothers’ Circus, et al.
– Has performed in one capacity or another for local artists such as Carol Welsman, Colm Wilkinson, Bobby Herriott, Guido Basso, The Canadian Tribute to Glen Miller, Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band, George Kash, The Jive Bombers, Bob DeAngelis, Dinah Christie, George Oliver and Gangbuster, et al.
– Has contracted musicians for many events, including orchestras (The Irish Tenors, John McDermott) and big band for (Natalie Cole)