Phillip Namanworth Bio


Bronx born musician, Phillip Namanworth, began his music career singing with an a capella doo wop group, The Rondell’s, whose lead singer was Chuck Negron, later of Three Dog Night fame.

In college, he appeared in  concerts with a  vocal jazz trio and other bands  before graduating with honors in music from CUNY, winner of The Mark Brunswick award for composing the first movement of a chamber symphony. He took the prize money, bought an electric organ and went on the road as keyboard player with folk legend, Dave Von Ronk traveling at that time with a Farfisa Organ; then recording the album Dave Van Ronk and the Hudson Dusters for Mercury Records. Dave was a seminal folk blues influence who forever changed Phillip’s musical outlook and direction when he gave him a record by the great blues pianist and singer, Otis Spahn.

In LA he met composer Joseph Byrd, who had started the group USofA in L.A. and wound up playing in piano and conducting on Joe’s innovative synthesizer rock album, The American Metaphysical Circus. on Columbia records.

Phillip composed music for the first rock ballet, Caviar for renowned dancer Louis Falco and his dance company. Caviar was performed in NY at the Delacorte theater in central park and CIty Center, NY with his live rock band, Napanaw’s Pottery Shop, playing and doing narrative on stage.

He later joined Randall’s Island rock band as keyboard player. Led by well known rock guitarist, Elliott Randall recording for Polydor Records they recorded the  album, Rock and Roll City which featured his blues song, Oil On The Water.

He has played piano on tour for such artists as Roberta Flack, Ry Cooder, and Kenny Vance and has performed with Kenny’s Doo Wop group, The Planotones. He was the  piano player for the original productions of the  Broadway shows; Superstar  and The  Rocky Horror Show.

With Kenny Vance he scored the music cues for the original John Water’s film, Hairspray.They have also written the scores  for a number of movies including Heart of Dixie, Long Gone, Looking For an Echo, and the TV movie. The Caroline Warmus Story.

Phillip also sang background vocals on the song, Animal House, from the movie of the same name.

He has appeared in concert with Peter Yarrow and Tom Chapin, and spent many years performing solo in New York Cabarets, with many cabaret artists doing his material. Among them Marilyn Sokol and Andrea Marcovicci who recorded his song, Avoid, on her album entitled, New Words. Other songs of his have been recorded by George Benson and Melba Moore.

Phillip Namanworth’s  music and lyrics have appeared on Sesame Street, Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, and Saturday Night Live. He’s written for movies, recordings, children’s theater. He was the lyricist for the Off Broadway  production of FInkel’s Follies, starring Fyvush Finkel and contributed songs to the 2011 production of Fyvush Finkel Live which received a 2011 drama desk nomination. He contributed songs to the off broadway production of Too Jewish starring Avi Hoffman. He was musical director for the off broadway production of Angel Levine.

He has made four CDs. "Live From Different Places" is a collection of his serious-tongue in cheek cabaret songs about life.  His second CD  “Love. Loss and the Search for a Higher Realty”, combines songs about his spiritual journey with  songs about relationships

Released in 2007, Waitin’ on a Train; is a mix of  blues, jazz and ballads played with his seven piece band, Always Somethin’. featuring Phillip’s gritty vocals, bluesy piano  and unique personal lyric style and the band’s incredible musicianship.

His new CD Boogie Woogie Mystic - Jam notes from spiritual exile, continues the rockin’ with a soulful,  bluesy funky tracks: also with his band Always Somethin’.

Waitin’ On a Train and Boogie Woogie Mystic are available on itunes.

He has composed music for the musical, “The Secret of our Souls; A Kabbalistic Love Story”, about the Baal Shem Tov and the spiritual roots of the Chassidic movement in the  midst of eighteenth century European politics. The show ran as part of the prestigious NY Fringe Festival in 2009. Together with his collaborator,Ben Goldstein, they are writing a sequel, entitled, The Storyteller , based on the stories of the Baal Shem Tov. This work had it’s premier in a reading this year at Chabad of the Upper West Side.

He is also working on a show  about a famous- infamous female writer.

Phillip works with Rabbi Simon Jacobson and his organization, The Meaningful Life Center.

He has been a student of R. Simon Jacobson for twenty six years and has hosted a weekly Torah study group of is own teaching Jewish mysticism, for those along the spiritual path, for the past twenty five years.


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