Meet the 'Saxthem' musician who captivated football fans - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Meet the 'Saxthem' musician who captivated football fans

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 Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons aren’t the only ones who put in winning performances during Saturday’s NFL playoff game at the Georgia Dome.

Before the Falcons and the Seattle Seahawks took the field, musician Mike Phillips captivated the 70,000-plus crowd and audiences around the nation with his saxophone rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.

According to, Phillips is a native of Mount Vernon, NY. He became interested in music at a young age, eventually settling on the saxophone and playing professionally by age 16.

Philips made his New York debut at Wilson's nightclub in 1993, and that led to a series of session and sideman jobs in jazz, R&B, and even rap.

He signed with Hidden Beach Recordings in 2001 and his debut album, “You Have Reached Mike Phillips,” was published in May 2002.

Phillips' rendition of the national anthem set social media on fire as word of the "saxthem" wafted through the web on the mellow notes of this alto sax player.

11Alive contributed to this story

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