Phil Ware was born in London, England in 1972, and grew up in rural Lincolnshire where he began playing the piano at the age of 12. He played soul and R&B in his early career, touring extensively with bands in the UK, but in his early 20s, Phil made the transition to jazz and was twice a finalist in the prestigious Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition.
Phil relocated to Dublin in 2000 and rapidly became one of Ireland’s most in-demand pianists, much admired for his fluent, hard-swinging playing in the classic style of his heroes Wynton Kelly and Hampton Hawes. He led his own trio, the Phil Ware Trio, with top Dublin rhythm section of bassist Dave Redmond and drummer Kevin Brady, releasing their acclaimed debut album, In Our Own Time, in 2007. The trio toured extensively, both nationally and internationally, twice representing Ireland at the Eurojazz Festival in Mexico City.
Phil began teaching at Newpark Music Centre in 2002, transferring with the rest of the faculty to Dublin City University in 2017, where he was regarded as an inspirational teacher. In parallel to his teaching career, Phil has continued to perform nationally and internationally, appearing with many of Ireland’s – and the world’s – leading musicians, including Louis Stewart, Peter Bernstein, Perico Sambeat, Anders Bergcrantz, Georgie Fame, Bobby Wellins, John Wadham, Richie Buckley, Honor Heffernan, Ronan Guilfoyle, Cormac Kenevey and Ian Shaw. Phil appeared on Shaw’s critically acclaimed album The Abbey Road Sessions in 2011, as well as providing accompaniment and musical direction on numerous Irish jazz records. In 2016, Phil was the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork, where he curated and appeared in a six month series of concerts featuring some of his favourite music and musicians, including a notable performance with US guitarist Peter Bernstein, a celebration of Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal featuring German vocalist Marie Seférian, and a special gala concert with R&B legend Georgie Fame.