Ethan Philion is an award-winning bassist, composer, and bandleader based in Chicago. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and DePaul University, Philion has been praised by the Washington Post for his "well honed chops and astounding musicality.” His debut album, Meditations on Mingus, was commended as “a labor of conspicuous love and respect for a musical titan” by Downbeat Magazine. He has performed with an extensive list of jazz artists including Greg Ward, Dana Hall, Mark Feldman, Russ Johnson, Howard Levy, Frank Lacy, Ryan Cohan, Gary Bartz, Alfonso Ponticelli, Ernest Dawkins, Geof Bradfield, Dee Alexander, Mark Gross, Alyssa Allgood, Thaddeus Tooks, Ben Lewis, Victor Garcia, Mike Allemana, and more. Philion won the 2019 International Society of Bassists Jazz Competition and was a 2020 Chicago Luminarts Jazz fellowship winner. Philion was selected by the Jazz Institute of Chicago for their 2022 New Works Fresh Voices Fellowship and was a 2015 Betty Carter Fellowship participant.
Philion’s debut album Meditations on Mingus was released in 2022 and garnered praise from publications including the Chicago Tribune, JAZZIZ, WDCB, and more. Neil Tesser lauded the album’s “colorful obbligatos [and] ingenious wrinkles that—along with dazzling and deeply realized performances from all—lift this album above so many of the year’s Mingus centennial tributes.” The 10-piece ensemble was one of the headlining acts of the 2022 Chicago Jazz Festival and has performed across the country including at Dizzy's Jazz Club.
Philion’s original music quartet–featuring Greg Ward, Russ Johnson, and Dana Hall–has performed at the MCA, Constellation, Cliff Bell’s, and more. Their debut album was praised in Downbeat alongside a 4 Star Review and the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called the album "The best form of the coming jazz--euphoric and uplifting."