Flip Oakes knew from the time that he could walk and talk that he wanted to make music and play trumpet. He made his professional debut at the age of twelve with his father’s six piece Dixieland band in western New York.
Phil Oakes, Sr. moved his family from western New York to Southern California during 1964, formed another Dixieland group and played at various venues including local military bases to entertain the troops and their families during the Vietnam War
In 1970 the family returned to Western New York and Flip continued to work with his father as well as freelance with other groups. He opened his own music store in 1972 in Olean, New York while playing throughout Western New York with his own group and others. It was during this time that Flip expanded his repertoire to include: Classic, Traditional, New Orleans / Dixieland and earlier jazz styling, but also including Swing, Bebop, Hard bop, Cool, and West Coast, Modern Mainstream, Modal, Fusion, and other related styles.
Phil Oakes ’70sDuring the fall of 1977 Flip returned to Southern California with his wife, Joyce and their daughter. In 1978 Flip had the pleasure of playing La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California with Murray Arnold and with his own group in 1979 while playing many other hotels, lounges, and venues around the Los Angeles / San Diego area.
Flip Oakes todayThe Flip Oakes Trio signed on with the Princess Cruises in 1981 featuring a Hammond B3 organ – piano, and drums with Flip playing trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, tenor sax, clarinet and flute. While cruising on the Pacific Princess, the Sun Princess and the Island Princess they pulled into ports in Mexico, Trans Canal, Caribbean, Alaska, the South Pacific and the Orient.
Since returning to land in 1983 Flip has continued playing jazz festivals, concerts, lounges, parties, wedding, political conventions, corporate parties and other affairs with his own group, The Flip Oakes Jazz Party Quartet as well as being a member of South Market Street Jazz Band (1987-present), Conrad Janis and The Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band (1996 – present), Clive Collins Dixieland Band (1991) Shep Meyers Jazz Quartet (1987 -present), Prime Time with Jan Sutherland (1998-2001) The Uptown Jazz Quartet (2002- present), and Titan Hot Seven 2006 – present.
Flip has enjoyed freelancing at festivals with Misbehavin Jazz Band (clarinet and/or trumpet), 20th. Century Jazz Band (trumpet), Night Blooming Jazzmen (trumpet), New Reformation Jazz Band (trumpet), Titan Hot Seven (trumpet), High Society Jazz Band (clarinet and/or trumpet), and the Temple of Folly (trumpet/ flugelhorn and tenor sax).
Flip has recorded with South Market Street Jazz Band, Prime Time with Jan Sutherland, Evan Christopher and the Uptown Jazz Quartet.
In 1994 Flip designed and manufactured his own line of brass instruments ‘Flip Oakes Wild Thing Trumpet’ (www.flipoakes.com) and since that time has continued to expand his line of exceptional instruments.