Keyboardist Phil Bennett is a San Francisco Bay Area musician and performer, who blends a mixture of music styles and professional talent. His extensive knowledge of MIDI, sampling, computers, and synthesis allows him to create from a huge palate of sound technology. His musical experience and wide versatility make him shine as both a performer and a musician. Since 1995, he has been a keyboardist and vocalist for Starship (formally Jefferson Starship), featuring the incomparable singer Mickey Thomas. The band performs over 100 shows a year, nationally and internationally. Starship is a group well-known for their keyboard and synthesizer arrangements.
Coming from a large musical family, Phil was raised with a love for all types of music and started playing multiple instruments at an early age. He always had an intense desire to emulate and absorb the many different artists and styles in the San Francisco Bay Area. Phil started playing piano and because it happened to be next to a record player/radio in the living room, he also discovered jazz, classical music, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.
As a teenager, Phil performed around the San Francisco Bay Area, where he was able to gain extensive experience working with established bands and players. In his early 20s, Phil caught the attention of renowned Testament guitarist and Guitar Player columnist Alex Skolnick and recorded and toured with Alex for three years. It was an extraordinary experience that enhanced Phil's playing style, allowing him to incorporate the chops and musicality needed for instrumental and progressive music.
Phil's technical expertise allows him to comfortably perform on all the various types of keyboard instruments, from modern electronica to vintage electric pianos and Hammond organs. His technical expertise with MIDI and computers allows him to bridge the gap between both platforms and to utilize digital recording, software, and hardware as an integral part of his studio and playing.
His passion and love for music and his joy for the art of performance have been a key element in his playing. Phil's extensive touring experience also makes him realize that being a musician encompasses more than just the music. Aside from Starship, Phil also performs as keyboardist and vocalist with the concert series Super Singers of Rock and Voices of Classic Rock.
Phil lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Sabine and Cosmo, the cat.
Among many others, Phil has performed and toured with the following artists:
- Bobby Kimball, singer of Toto
- Steve Lukather, guitar player of Toto
- Alex Skolnick, guitarist
- Brad Gillis and Jack Blades of Night Ranger
- Chuck Negron, singer of Three Dog Night
- Dave Jenkins, singer of Pablo Cruise
- Eddie Money
- Christopher Cross
- Mary Wilson of the Supremes
- Fee Waybill, singer of The Tubes
- Mike Reno, Loverboy
- Gary U.S. Bonds
- Jimi Jamison, singer of Survivor
- Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow,
- Yngwie Malmsteen
- John Cafferty, Beaver Brown band
- Jeff Campitelli drummer/Joe Satriani
- Jimmy Hall, Wet Willie
- Jeff skunk Baxter
- Michael Manring, Windham Hill recording artist
- Leslie West of Mountain
- Ben Orr The Cars
- Chris Kirkpatrick of NSYNC
- Peter Rivera, singer of Rare Earth
- Southside Johnny
- Spencer Davis
- Cliff Williams, AC/DC
- Steve Walsh, Kansas
- Pat Travers
- Kevin DuBrow, Quiet Riot
- Leif Garrett
- Skip Martin, Dazz Band