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Once called “a regional treasure,” Phil Lynch has been delighting audiences with his life-affirming songs and positive vibe for over 30 years. With a piano-based style similar to Billy Joel and a voice often compared to Randy Newman, Phil presents songs proven to make audiences laugh . . . and cry. 

These are “songs that hit your heart,” as one festival organizer put it. Commenting on Phil's 2020 Facebook Live sessions to encourage people during the pandemic, news anchor Elizabeth Peterson remarked, "You're bringing happiness into our living rooms."

Both as a solo act, and as leader of the Phil Lynch Quartet (jazz) for 15 years, Phil has presented his songs in historic theaters, concert series, and other venues throughout the Upper Midwest and Chicago. Career highlights include repeat engagements at the Calumet Theatre, where Phil's quartet also premiered original instrumental works; and a well-received performance at Nashville's vaunted Bluebird Café. 

Though most of his songs are not overtly focused on the Northwoods, Phil's "Upper Michigan Christmas" has garnered considerable regional radio airplay during the holiday season since its premier in 2018. He released "U.P. Love Letter" during the height of the pandemic and was twice featured on WLUC-TV6. 

A songwriter and performer all his life, Phil was also an award-winning public school educator for three decades. But a piece of paper found left on a copier proclaimed, “If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance at something, don’t waste it.” So Phil took a leap of faith and retired from a successful teaching career to focus exclusively on music.  

As Phil puts it, "My aim in life is to help people notice and remember the good that's all around us." To complement this mission, a portion of Phil’s income from every appearance goes to support the vital cause of helping people break free from situations of human trafficking and domestic abuse.

 

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You never know how a piece of paper found lying on a copier might change your life. . .

For 30 years, Phil Lynch taught high school social studies. It was enjoyable and rewarding, and by all accounts he was good at it. He was chosen by the students three times to give the commencement address, received his county’s Excellence in Education Award, and was named an Outstanding Person in Education.

But music was always calling to him.

A lifelong musician, Phil wrote and performed his own songs throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the Chicago area. He worked with students after school on songwriting and improvising. He led the Phil Lynch Jazz Quartet for 15 years, touring widely and premiering original works in the historic Calumet Theatre.

All while being a full-time teacher (not to mention husband, and father of four!)

Everything changed in 2016 in his school's copy room. A colleague had left an original on the copier: “If you’re lucky enough to get a second chance at something, don’t waste it.”

Phil made a copy for himself and taped it to his computer monitor. And dreamed. And planned.

And wrote more songs. “Songs that hit your heart,” in the words of one festival organizer. 

Preparation paid off when opportunity knocked: in 2018, a hard-to-get slot at Nashville's vaunted Bluebird Café. Then in September, a festival appearance. Positive reviews and word-of-mouth brought more solo appearances in 2019.

But what was that “second chance” the mysterious piece of paper had spoken of?

Well, in 2020 Phil took a leap of faith and retired from education to focus on music full-time. Yes, 2020: not exactly the best year to be a musician.

Undaunted, Phil pressed on, doing multiple Facebook Live sessions, and releasing recordings direct to social media. "You're bringing happiness into our living rooms!" said regional TV anchor Elizabeth Peterson.

His "Upper Michigan Christmas" has garnered considerable regional radio airplay during the holidays since its premier in 2018. Phil released "U.P. Love Letter" during the height of the pandemic and was featured on WLUC-TV6. 

Perhaps most importantly, his Facebook Live sessions were structured as fundraisers. Viewers donated over $1,000 to the local domestic violence shelter. A portion of Phil’s revenue now always goes to this important cause.  

Now Phil can once again delight live audiences with a song style similar to Billy Joel and a voice often compared to Randy Newman. Phil is known for his happy onstage vibe and the heartfelt stories that accompany his songs, to help make personal connections with audience members.

As Phil puts it, "My aim in life is to help people notice and remember the good that is all around us."

 

QUOTES/ENDORSEMENTS

 
"You're bringing happiness into our living rooms!"
- Elizabeth Peterson, WLUC-TV6 News 
 
"Phil Lynch channels several dimensions of Randy Newman . . . you can't help but sway to his infectious, smiley groove." 
- Steve Goodie, host of Nashville's Bluebird Café
 
"Songs that hit your heart!  You'll find meaning in his lyrics, which are related to everyday things we all experience."
- Nick Nolde, Lake Shore Live festival organizer
 
"With characteristic warmth and sparkle, Phil was the perfect opener for our summer program series." 
- Carolyn Stacey, Escanaba Public Library Director 
 
"WOW!!  Exceeded our expectations -- we couldn't imagine anything more perfect -- great, timeless music."
- Matt R., following his wedding reception 
 
"The thanks goes to you, Phil.  Your music and voice are wonderful and just perfect for last night’s reception."  
- Nancy W., private party client