Lance Philip

Lance Philip profile picture

Programme Director, Jazz School of Music


Dip Mus Welllington Conservatory of Music, Dip Mus (Honor Roll) Grove School of Music, LA


  • Programme Director, Jazz
  • Lecturer, Jazz (Rhythm) - Percussion
  • Lecturer, Jazz (Rhythm) - Drums


Lance Philip is the Programme Director of Jazz Performance at the NZSM. He is also head of percussion, specialising in the performance of Jazz drumming, and “Latin” hand percussion.

Lance is known for his versatility, which spans classical performance (NZSO, Orchestra Wellington), musical theatre (Les Miserables, Mamma Mia!) and TV shows (five years on TVNZ's Dancing with the Stars), big bands (Rodger Fox, RNZAF Big Band, NZYJO), contemporary fusion (Paralax, C for Cats, Funkbone Experience), R&B (Soul Estate, Slide) and Latin ensembles (Kevin Clark, Carlos Navae).

Having been with NZSM's Jazz programme staff since 1993, Lance has taught many of New Zealand’s most prominent drummers, including:

  • Darren Mathiassen – Shapeshifter, Holly Smith, Bela Kololo, Iva Lamkum.
  • Chris O'Connor – The Phoenix Foundation, Jonathan Crayford.
  • James MacDonald (“Jimmy Mac”) – Lorde, Ruby Frost.
  • Rick Cranson – The Little Bushman, Warren Maxwell, Tyson Smith group
  • Julian Dyne – Lady 6, Fat Freddies Drop, Open Souls
  • Reuben Bradley – Resonator & Mantis recordings.
  • Myele Manzanza – Electric Wire Hustle, Jonathan Crayford
  • Jonny Wilson – CEO of Goodtime Music Academy”, Jonny & the Dreamboats
  • Jacob Randall – Australasian “Roland V drum” winner, 3rd in the world for Thomas Lang’s “Big drum bonanza” competition drum camp, “ARISE” Church band drummer.

Lance has been involved in six recordings that have resulted in Tui awards for “Best Jazz album of the year": Kevin Clark, Vaughn Roberts, Alan Broadbent/Rodger Fox, John Psathas/Joshua Redman (best Classical CD of the year), and the NZSM Big band.

In recent times, Lance has been involved in recording percussion for Norman Meehan’s collaboration with Bill Manhire and Ann Noble “These Rough Notes”, The Capitol Sessions with Rodger Fox’s Wellington Jazz Orchestra recorded at the famed Capitol Records studios, guitarist Nick Granville’s Home, jazz guitarist and satirical song writer, Andrew London’s Ladies a Plate, adult contemporary country band, Gravel Road’s Heartland, and Nicole Andrews adult contemporary album

Over the last 15 years, Lance has developed the drum and percussion programme at the NZSM to include classes such as Percussion Workshop, Improvisation for Drummers, as well as core subjects such as Big Band Ensemble Reading, Accompaniment, Technical Proficiency, and Contemporary drumming styles.

Lance’s current research is focused on two historical drumming legends, “Philly” Joe Jones, and Steve Gadd and how their soloing vocabulary is linked to the ancient snare drum rudiments found in American snare drum literature. This research is the basis of Lance’s MMA work to be completed in 2015.

Lance is also an endorser of Yamaha drums and Regal Tip sticks.

Jazz research

Lance Philip's research focuses on drums and percussion in both live performance and recording contexts.