Gig Seeker Pro


Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Rock




"UM Alum Phil Jacobson Performs at Transit Lounge Tonight"

Alright, Jacory Harris isn't getting any fruit baskets this week. But don't lose faith in the U just yet. And while we're telling you to keep supporting the Canes, how about supporting a Hurricane alum? No, Michael Irvin won't be live at Jazid this weekend. And no, Gino Torretta isn't playing at Churchill's. And most importantly, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson (yes, he played for the U) is not going to throw down a set at Transit tonight. But Phil Jacobson is.

Fine tuning his craft at the University of Miami school of music, where he earned a degree in jazz vocal performance, Jacobson is the real deal -- both Cane and musician. "I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to go and study jazz music at UM," says Jacobson. "It opened up my mind and my ears to new sounds and harmonies that I was unfamiliar with before starting my education."
A quick listen to the singer-songwriter's almost Jason Mraz-like upbeat ditty confirms that he has a firm grasp on a myriad of influences, including not only jazz, but pop and acoustic rock as well. "My background I feel gives me the versatility to experiment with different styles and 'feels' in my writing," he says. "I have always been a very rhythmic person, and my music definitely reflects that."

Furthermore, he goes on to say, "I love the fact that as a songwriter you have the freedom to be ever-changing; constantly picking from your tree of influences to try to create something fresh."

His debut EP Around It Goes, which features five tracks he's been recording and working on since June of 2009, is expected out on iTunes in the coming weeks. But why wait? Check him out tonight and witness this dude's tremendous talent for yourself. - Miami New Times

"Phil Jacobson's Around It Goes-EP Release Party at Bardot Tomorrow"

Phil Jacobson is a young dude, who is still a little wet behind the ears as far as the recording game goes. After all, he literally just dropped his debut EP Around It Goes yesterday.

But you certainly wouldn't know it by listening to the UM School of Music grad's freshman record. Polished and perfectly balanced, his first go-around exhibits the sort of maturity and restraint you might expect from a musician with a good deal more experience.

Jacobson's influences are varied, and you don't need to check his Myspace to make the connection to artists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Jack Johnson, John Mayer to James Taylor, and Maroon 5 to Ray Charles. But he manages the influences masterfully, flattering but never imitating and maintaining a level of restraint that keeps him from dumping too much into one song and throwing off the balance.

His background in vocal jazz makes itself apparent at the album's onset with the touching "Raindrop Serenade," which evokes images of some of Maroon's finer moments. But the track still manages to maintain the steadfast undercurrent of pop rock that spans the EP's five tracks, and the percussive acoustic work at the beginning is a clear tip of a well-worn hat to the aforementioned Hawaiian troubadour Johnson.

From there, the album transitions to "Mount Olympus," a more straight-forward pop rock tune with a Jason Mraz sort of swing to it, aimed at some lovely young lady who needs to find her way back down from the clouds. Then the record slows down with "Not With You," a mournful ballad lamenting a connection that just wasn't meant to be. It's evocative of earlier Inside Wants Out and Room For Squares John Mayer, before his day gig became dating every starlet in Hollywood. The catchy "Hey" picks up the pace again. And the EP closes with "As One," another ballad, this time in the John Lennon/Beatles tradition, with a firm focus on its positive message of unity.

Phil Jacobson's Around It Goes is a very pleasant surprise, an example of quality musicianship and sturdy songwriting, and a promise of tremendous potential to be tapped in the very near future. And the local singer-songwriter just released the thing on iTunes yesterday. He'll be celebrating its release tomorrow night with a performance at Bardot that you won't want to miss. - Miami New Times


Around It Goes- EP (Released in Oct. 2010)
Love Right Now - EP (Release: Fall 2012)



                Phil Jacobson is a singer-songwriter and guitarist hailing from Chicago, IL.   A graduate of the University of Miami’s studio music & jazz program, his style is an eclectic mix of Folk/Rock, Blues and Country.  He grew up enamored the music of Stevie Wonder, the Beatles and John Mayer taking notes on their craft and using that find his own voice.       

                During his time at UM, Jacobson received a Downbeat Award for Best Collegiate Jazz Vocal Ensemble for his work with UM’s renowned, Jazz Vocal 1.  With this group, he had opportunities to work and perform with many world class artists, such as: Kurt Elling, Carmen Lundy and the remarkable, Raul Midon.  

                Upon completion of his degree in 2008, Phil made a residence for himself in Miami, integrating his way into the performing songwriters community by playing at open mics and showcases.   He began to hone his sound, write songs, and work with a band comprised of few fellow Hurricane jazz alumns.  Shortly after, the group was playing live shows and making some noise around the South Florida region.  

                His debut album, the ‘Around It Goes’- EP, was an independent project released in October of 2009.  It was produced and engineered by another former UMiami grad, Jorge Balbi.   The Miami New Times referred to ‘Around If Goes’ as,  “a very pleasant surprise, an example of quality musicianship and sturdy songwriting, and a promise of tremendous potential to be tapped in the very near future.”  The album is darker in nature, touching on topics of heartbreak and betrayal but provides a glimpse of hope at the end with the peace filled ballad, “As One”.  

                In May of 2012, Jacobson had the fortune of working on his second studio project with Grammy Award winning producer and session guitarist, Dan Warner.  The project, entitled ‘Love Right Now’ is a collection of 5 songs, including: the self-reflective, reggae influenced, “Life with the Fool” and the groove-rock title track, “Love Right Now”.  Also included is a re-recorded version of “As One” which features Phil and the band in a classic country feel, along with a soothing ukulele part played by Warner.  The rhythmic acoustic guitar work of Jacobson and guitarist Taylor Byrd gels seamlessly with a tasteful rhythm section(Brian Lange-drums/percussion; Brian Tate-bass; and Pete Wallace-keys/organ), to keep your toes tapping along.  His sophomore release showcases a knack for memorable hooks and uplifting lyrics delivering an honest, “feel good” vibe, beginning to end.  

                In order to get ‘Love Right Now’ into peoples hands and ears, Jacobson with manager, Eric Roberts(Unigruve Mgmt.), launched a successful Kickstarter campaign during the summer of 2012.  At the same time, they were in the midst of making a move from Miami back to Jacobson’s hometown city of Chicago.  While the album was recorded in South Florida, the official release didn’t take place until January 2013, in Chicago.

                Since then, PJ is making a name for himself around the Chicago area performing at famous venues such as:  Schubas Tavern, Evanston Space and the legendary House of Blues.  He’s also been traveling often, touring to play both regional and national shows.  His current group focuses around the tight 3 part harmonies of Jacobson, his brother Mark and their good friend, Andrew DeMuro.  The recently dubbed “PJTrio” will get the chance to hit the road together for a handful of shows this November.   Jacobson also plans to release a live album later this year.