Confrey Phillips was as close to jazz royalty that one could get. Known as the swinging bandleader of English high society, he shared his talent with all in the Palm Beach area.
His 60 plus career was fueled by his love of music and his won outgoing personality.
Phillips was born in 1928 in Goa, India. Not exactly a place that you would think would produce a jazz musician that loved American music. His boogie-woogie version of Humoresque won him a piano contest.
After moving to England, he paid his dues like any other musician. But talent will always prevail. One night Ava Gardner to tapped him on his should, loved his style and the Confrey Phillips Trio took off. For many years Phillips was the main attraction at the Lanesborough Hotel in Hyde Park Corner in their exclusive cabaret room. He was to London what Bobby Short was to New York and became to Palm Beach one of the most beloved entertainers.
Success doesn’t not come easy and when Rock n’ Roll took off, the trio was doomed. But Phillips had the smarts and tenacity to reinvent him self again.
He builds himself as England’s society bandleader and courtesy of Princess Margaret, received an invitation to Clarence House where he and Danny Kaye entertained the Queen Mother.
After that he was a shooting star. His talent catapulted him into playing private parties for the queen at Buckingham Palace.
In 1996 he relocated to Palm Beach, FL and his joy of music and infectious love of entertaining made him an instant success. He was a constant at the Sailfish Club, the Everglades Club and The Breakers Hotel.
Edwina Sandys, Palm Beach reconnected with Phillips some years go and remained a special friend throughout his life.
Phillips lived his life with a joie de vivre. His elegance and decorum was known through out Palm Beach.
Sadly the Institute lost a dear friend and supporter on June 18th, 2015 while visiting London. This is a man we will not say farewell to, but remember affectionately for many years to come.
His love of music will see us through.