Joanne "J-Bird" Phillips: My Legal Name Is "J-Bird"
Photo Credit: Shefik
In 2012, Joanne "J-Bird" Phillips founded J-Bird Music for the Arts, with the vision of reviving arts programs by providing much needed equipment, instruments, and resources in order to enrich the lives of youths through arts education.
Hi, my name is Joanne "J-Bird" Phillips. I'm a Hartke-endorsed rock base musician. So I am the face, the voice, the sound, and sometimes a little bit of a technical advisor to people who reach out to me on social media of the Hartke brand, as my background as being an audio bench technician. Hartke brand is probably the world's leader in base guitar amplification and so I'm very happy to know that Larry Hartke puts his faith and trust in me and that I get to represent his brand. I'm also a journalist with the US Press Association, a sports journalist with New York Sportscene, and I'm the Founding Director of 501 nonprofit, J-Bird Music for the Arts, that's supporting performing arts and music in New York education. I'm told the topic right here now is bird, so what can I say about birds? I'm not ornithologist, but my legal name is J-Bird. That story came about 25 years ago or so. I used to have a lot of music parties in my house over the course of a weekend. In fact, I had to have the rock people on one day and the blues people on another day because they would just not get along. But I was playing one day, I guess exceptionally well in my music career, and there was one gentleman by the name of Turnpike Joe, actually, he's been a longtime person in the New York music scene as a guitar player, singer, songwriter, and of course, managing his own band since 1977, who turned to me and said, "Go, J-Bird, go." The next month I actually incorporated my music booking agency at that time, and decided to use that as the name of J-Bird Entertainment. Quick story is I went further on to trademark that name. There was another person who, I just will not say, I don't want any legal ramifications, whose an executive at a major recording label, who actually had the same name. I had to go through a process of seeing if I could use my name, and it comes down to who has more money to pay for legal expenses. But on the advice of my attorneys, my regular attorney and I have a patents and trademark attorney, I actually had my name changed. And that was a little difficult going through US Patent and Trade Office as well because it came back to legally that the said changing my name to J-Bird was frivolous. And so my attorney quickly went out and was able to cite a case that took place in California of a man who changed his name to ".com" and this was certainly allowed, where I was showing, of course, I had J-Bird Entertainment, I was doing things with business and with this name and all my documentation to back it up, and of course, the New York State Supreme Court granted me the name change. So that's my little story today about birds.
Last Updated: September 24, 2021