Egyptian Jazz Coalition

The Egyptian Jazz Coalition (EJC) is a collective of southern Illinois jazz professionals from which groups are formed as needed, to play for area events. Sizes of the groups are flexible, from solo piano or guitar to a 9-piece jazz ensemble with vocalist.

The following jazz performers, supplemented on occasion, are active members of the EJC:


Bob Allison, trumpet
Phil Brown, bass
Jimmy Beers, drums
Mel Goot, keyboards
Tom Hensold, drums


Dick Kelley, saxophones
Isaac Lausell, guitar

Buddy Rogers, saxophones

Jim Wall, bass

The Egyptian Jazz Coalition derives its name from the area of the country where it is based — southern Illinois, also known as "Little Egypt" — not, as a newspaper reporter once wrote, because it plays Egyptian jazz.




FourOnSix is the jazz duo of guitarist, Steve Jacobson and bassist, Phil Brown.  The group was formed between the two good friends over a decade ago, and has enjoyed performances ever since at venues and events throughout Illinois — from Chicago to Carbondale.

FourOnSix performs a variety of jazz standards, as well as a number of originals, on both acoustic and electric instruments. On occasion, the group augments itself with a percussionist or drummer.  In 1998, FourOnSix was a finalist for the Kennedy Center/U. S. State Department Jazz Ambassadors Program. The duo, along with the New Arts Jazz Quartet, is also featured on the album, Darkness Into Light, a 2006 release by Phil Brown. The group's name is borrowed from the popular Wes Montgomery tune, "Four On Six," but also alludes to the number of strings on the bass and the guitar, respectively.



New Arts Jazztet

The New Arts Jazztet has long been regarded as southern Illinois' premier jazz group, regularly presenting a select repertoire — engaging original works as well as choice standards — forged in the energy of hard bop and the eclecticism of contemporary jazz. With its hip, approachable character and sound, the cross-generational group — saxophone, trumpet, guitar, piano, bass and drums — convincingly helps to sustain jazz into the 21st Century.

The NAJ’s club dates have included Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp, Chicago’s Pops for Champagne, and other nightspots around the Midwest. Its concert, clinic and festival engagements have comprised a number of number of universities and other performance venues throughout the Heartland. The group has opened twice for Stanley Jordan, and has shared the stage with numerous other jazz artists. In 2010, the NAJ was invited to perform at the inaugural Jazz Education Network Conference in St. Louis. The group has also performed as part of a live statewide television broadcast, Arts Across Illinois: CenterStage at PBS affiliate, WTTW/Channel 11, Chicago. And it is regularly included on the Illinois Arts Council Artstour Roster.



Arkadia (a caldera productions, 2014), a new release by NAJ bassist, Phil Brown, features the New Arts Jazztet. The group enjoyed considerable nationwide radio airplay and attention on Brown's previous recording, Bright Side (a caldera productions, 2009). And the New Arts Jazztet, along with the duo, FourOnSix, was also featured on Brown's Darkness Into Light (a caldera productions, 2006).

The NAJ is in residence at Southern Illinois University, where all but one of its members are School of Music faculty. Its current line-up is Dick Kelley, reeds; Bob Allison, trumpet/flugelhorn; Isaac Lausell, guitar; Mel Goot, piano; Phil Brown, bass, and Jimmy Beers, drums. Annually, for one week in June, New Arts Jazztet members staff a jazz improvisation camp at SIU. Each fall, the group presents a formal concert of jazz standards, and each spring, a formal concert of original music. The NAJ is also a headline ensemble at the Southern Illinois Music Festival each summer.


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Phil Brown Quartet

The Phil Brown Quartet (PBQ) came together as a studio group in Chicago in 2001 and is recorded on the compact disc, Hope Street Saunter. A stunning sold-out concert in Carbondale kicked off the release in 2003, and the CD enjoyed substantial airplay across the country. The PBQ is comprised of Fareed Haque on guitars, Bradley Williams on piano, Phil Brown on bass, and Tom Hipskind on drums. All but Hipskind were once students together at North Texas State University.