Annette Philip

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"I'm teaching Berklee's first contemporary Indian vocal ensemble. It's combining concepts of Indian classical music and the Indian tradition in art, along with Western harmonic and arranging concepts. We have students from all over the world. It's a nice little family. This is starting from scratch, but it's not a beginner's course. We jump straight into it. You learn as you go along. It's about evolving and imbibing a new culture."

"Women of the World was instituted three years ago by Ayumi Ayeda, an alumna of Berklee. The whole idea was to bring together women from different parts of the world on a common platform to try to learn about each other's cultures. It's an everyday work in progress, and it goes much further than just the music. The group has become very close-knit over the last three years. We did Carnegie Hall in March this year. Next year we're planning India, Japan, maybe Israel and Kenya."

"It gives you a different perspective. It's all about tastes and colors, and I think the more that you allow yourself to be exposed to and to experience and to digest, I think it just gives you a much wider worldview. Just yesterday a student in a private lesson brought in a piece that I'm just obsessed with right now, I cannot stop listening to it. It's something from their country and I hadn't ever heard it. It's new vocabulary for me, new ideas, fresh soil for me to play with."

"My first love is working with multiple voices, and in India I have a group, over 250 members now, called Artists Unlimited. The whole concept of circle singing is something that is so very powerful. Circle singing is a concept that as far as I know Bobby McFerrin introduced to the world. It's very organic. He assigns a part to the bass singers, and another interlocking part to the sopranos, and something else for the altos, and something else for the tenors, and maybe he would improvise over it. It's a very dynamic form of composition; it's always improvised. One of the students started a circle singing group at Berklee. You have to really surrender to the moment. I think in all music that's what we're trying to encourage our students to do, to surrender and be totally present in the moment. And I feel that circle singing is a very noncompetitive, nonhostile, supportive, healing, and liberating space to just give yourself to and then see what happens."

Career Highlights


  • B.M., Berklee College of Music
  • B.A., Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, India
  • Vocalist and pianist
  • Leader of the Annette Philip Quintet and Artistes Unlimited
  • Member of Women of the World, the Makanda Project, and the Maxim Lubarsky and Andres Espinoza Duo
  • Performances with Airto Moreira, Buster Williams, Victor Lewis, Lew Soloff, Danny Gottlieb, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Ghatam Giridhar Udupa, Barrie Lee Hall, Jack DeJohnette, and Mark Soskin
  • Recordings include En Route (Artistes Unlimited), Mehfuz (Euphoria), and The Promise (Hudson Gloria)
  • Founder/director of Artistes Unlimited, India's largest performing arts ensemble
  • Voiceover artist for Discovery Channel for 6 years