Phil Donkin has risen to become one of the premier European bassists of his generation.
Born in Sunderland, North-East England, Phil grew up in a musical family and was surrounded by a vibrant local music scene. Not long after taking up the bass guitar at the age of 12, he was quickly playing with local bands from the area. Phil moved to London in 1998 to deepen his musical studies. After graduating from the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2003, Phil had a fruitful early career as one of the UK’s most in-demand bassists. He performed and recorded with many great British based musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker, Julian Arguelles, Tim Garland, Stan Sulzmann and Gwilym Simcock.
In the following years, Phil’s reputation spread beyond the UK and he regularly toured Europe with the likes of John Abercrombie, Marc Copland, Bill Stewart, Greg Osby, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Speed, Ari Hoenig, Jonathan Kreisberg, Terrell Stafford, David Binney, Tyshawn Sorey, Nils Wogram’s Root 70 and many others. He also performed with jazz legends Quincy Jones, Roger Kellaway and Eddie Henderson.
In 2010 Phil moved to New York City where he furthered these musical relationships and began many new ones, playing with artists Ben Monder, Kevin Hays, Adam Rogers, Mark Turner, Seamus Blake, Steve Cardenas, Bruce Barth, Edward Simon and many others.
He is now based in Europe and is active on both sides of the Atlantic.
Phil has played on over 50 recordings as a sideman both in Europe and the U.S, on various labels. His upcoming album ‘The Gate,’ is being released on Whirlwind Recordings ltd in March 2015 featuring Ben Wendel, Jochen Rückert and Glenn Zaleski.