Studio musicians are the unsung heroes of the music and recording world. Also known as session players, studio musicians are the musicians who work with singers or recording artists who need a musician for a specific. Due to the nature of their work, session players are typically well-versed in multiple instruments across various genres. Session players perform locally and internationally, likely with artists you already know and love. While you may not know any session players by name, you’ve undoubtedly listened to a session player working alongside one of your favorite bands or recording artists. Here are some of the best session players you can find in Philadelphia.
The wildly talented Brian “Fitzy” Fitzgerald got his degree in classical instrument performance from West Chester University, and started his post-college career with performing with The Foo Fighters at the Grammy Awards as a Top 3 finalist in the “My Grammy Moment” competition. Since that fateful day, Fitzy has worked with Philly favorites such as The Roots and Rusted Root, playing anywhere from The Madison Square Garden to your favorite local live music venue. While Fitzy’s A-list collaborations are impressive, the list of instruments he’s mastered is even more so. Having been raised by a musician mother and learning an instrument every year since the age of 9, Fitzy can play violin, viola, guitar, bass, saxophone, the drums, and even dabbles in the accordion. Fitzy’s broad talent allows him to play just about any instrument a recording artist or potential gig may require, making him one of the most versatile session players you can find in Philadelphia. While the world of session playing is fast paced, Fitzy always rises to the challenge. Fitzy says, “Very often when I arrive, they want me to write the parts and arrange on the fly. I do it in my head as I go.” Fitzy continues, “The variety that comes has been the coolest thing; it keeps you on your toes and makes you better. Sometimes it’s trying to get a whole orchestra’s worth of work in an hour and a half! But it’s worth it.”
His most recent album, Hard Times for Dreamers, features Fitzy creating songs as a one-man-band in one unbelievable collection. His first track, “Your Hero Never Dies” plays as a loving homage to Philadelphia with a “1970s Philly soul with lush orchestral soundscapes, rugged hip-hop beats, touches of electro-pop, and invigorating modern R&B hooks”. You can find Fitzy playing live in the Movember Gala for Philadelphia’s Alternative Rock Station 104.5 radio on December 12, 2018.