Born in 1977, Phil grew up with his three older sisters in the New South Wales city of Dubbo. In his early years Phil relocated to Sydney to study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 1997, he received an Associate Diploma of Jazz Studies after studying double bass for two years with Craig Scott, Mike Nock and Judy Bailley. Already a very present musician on the local scene, Phil won the prestigious James Morrison Scholarship in his graduating year, at the age of 19. He began touring with the legendary Morrison that same year, and among other projects, has continued to do so constantly since then. Stack has completed five European tours with Morrison, performing at some of the top festivals including the Espoo International Jazz Festival (Finland 2002) and the Ardria Festival in South Italy. James and Phil joined the Munich Symphony Orchestra for a recorded concert in Munich in April 2002, and also toured with the Salzburg Classical Brass Ensemble three times, performing both duo and with the ensemble in concert halls across Slovenia, Switzerland, northern Italy and Austria, including the famed Motzarteum in Salzburg.
Phil is a founding member of multi-platinum rock/pop group, Thirsty Merc, who were signed to Warner Music in 2003 and subsequently recorded three albums together. Thirsty Merc continues to tour extensively in Australia and abroad.
Stack’s other performance credits include The Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, a soloist role with the legendary Lalo Shifrin and Jazz Meets the Symphony as well as performances with Dale Barlow, Tommy Emmanuel, The James Muller Trio, Lior, Katie Noonan, You Am I, Mark Murphy and Branford Marsalis.
Phil took out first place in the 2008 National Jazz Awards, winning an ABC recording as well as a cash prize.
He is currently in demand as both a live and studio musician performing and recording with a wide range of artists all over the world.
“Phil Stack proved to be one of the revelations of the Festival. He is well known for his work with James Morrison, but the bassist’s performance in the competition revealed another side of his brilliant artistry. His solo piece was full of drama, surprise, invention and wit, and as mesmerising as anything I heard in the weekend’s concerts.”
– The Melbourne Age, 5 Nov 2008, from a report on The Wangaratta International Jazz Festival