Greg Phillinganes

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Greg Phillinganes
Background information
Birth name Gregory Arthur Phillinganes
Born (1956-05-12) May 12, 1956 (age 58)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres Pop rock, progressive rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Keyboards, synthesizer, analog synthesizer, programming, vocals
Associated acts Stevie Wonder, The Jacksons, Michael Jackson, Toto, Eric Clapton
Notable instruments
Korg Kronos
Korg Oasys
Korg Triton
Korg M1
Korg Trinity
Roland V-Synth
Yamaha Motif

Gregory Arthur "Greg" Phillinganes (born May 12, 1956, Detroit, Michigan, United States) is an American session keyboardist, based in Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit.[citation needed] Phillinganes was discovered by Stevie Wonder, who heard a cassette of instrumental renditions of his own songs done by Phillinganes.[citation needed] Wonder recruited Phillinganes for his Wonderlove band, where Phillinganes stayed from 1976 to 1981.

In 1981, he released his first solo album, Significant Gains. While the album itself was not very successful, he did manage to score a minor R&B hit with "Baby, I Do Love You". Three years later, he released his follow-up album Pulse, which featured another minor hit (and perhaps his best-known solo hit), a cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra's song "Behind the Mask" (with additional lyrics written by Michael Jackson). This single was much more successful on the dance music charts. When he later joined Eric Clapton's backing band, Phillinganes introduced the tune to Clapton, who covered it on his 1986 August album. Amidst his solo recordings and touring with Clapton throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s, he became well known as a prominent session musician for a multitude of different artists, performing on many hit albums of the time. His session work has continued into the present.

In addition to Stevie Wonder, Greg Phillinganes has worked and toured with other musicians including the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, Anita Baker, George Benson, Eric Clapton, Donald Fagen, Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle, Michael Jackson, Richard Marx, Paul McCartney, Quincy Jones[1] and Stevie Nicks among others. He was also the musical director for Michael Jackson's Bad and Dangerous concert tours. In 1995 he played on the Joan Armatrading album What's Inside. During 2004, Phillinganes acted as a replacement for David Paich on tour with the band Toto. In 2005, he joined the band and helped Toto with their new album. He continued to tour as a member of Toto until the band broke up in 2008. When Toto reformed in 2010, Phillinganes was not part of the lineup.

He has been recruited as the musical director for Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.



Session work[edit]

(Partial list)

Track 2: "True Colors"

With The Jacksons[edit]

With Michael Jackson[edit]


Track 4: "Countdown to Love" taken from Pulse


  1. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-03-24. 

External links[edit]