Born in 1965 in Baltimore, Maryland, started playing trumpet when he was ten years old under tutorage of his brother. Later he studied at Hartt School of Music with Jackie McLean.
At the age of 18 Philip moved to New York, where he started working and recording extensively, with such musicians as "Little" Jimmy Scott, Jimmy McGriff, Betty Carter, Etta Jones, Harry "Sweets" Edison and Cedar Walton.
Between the years 1986 and 1988 he was a member of Art Blakey´s Jazz Messengers, with whom he made several live recordings.
After leaving the Messengers he formed a group with his brother, drummer Winard Harper. The Harper Brothers toured throughout the world and made several successful albums for Polygram/Verve. Philip Harper has made over 50 recordings, both as leader - his solo albums "Soulful Sin" and "The Thirteenth Moon" on Muse Records - and as a sideman, which has earned him number one position on numerous jazz play lists and critic polls. In the past years Philip has been living in Europe as well as in the USA, playing with Benny Golson, Cedar Walton and the Mingus Bigband. With the latter he is currently touring the globe.
PH5 : The PHILIP HARPER QUARTET with : Dave Kikowski - piano, Gerald Cannon - Bass, Montez Coleman - Drims, Philip Harper - Trumpet, Bandleader, Wayne Escoffery - Tenor Sax
Philip Harper is running a JAM SESSION every other week, at SMALLS JAZZ CLUB in New York.
Philip is also performing with the MINGUS BIG BAND on Mondays at the JAZZ STANDARD Club in New York and is touring Europe with the BIG BAND.