Tree Top

South Florida Blues, Soul and R&B veteran Tree Top has been performing for over 50 years.  Tree Top cut his musical teeth at age 16 in Tampa playing guitar in various clubs.  He began touring with jazz/big band great, Erskine Hawkins.  In the 60’s he made his way to Miami and played all of the historic Overtown night clubs.  Tree spent many years in the house band at the Sir John Night Beat Club, where he shared the stage with many of the greats who came through Miami – Aretha Franklin, The Drifters, Patti LaBelle, the Four Tops, BB King and many more.  Tree Top became close friends with and performed with Stax Label stars, Sam and Dave and Eddie Floyd and has recorded with Sam and Dave. 

Tree was a regular at all of the hotels on Miami Beach during the 70’s even getting local youngsters in on the act to dance and sing at poolside performances at the Eden Roc, Castaways,   the Thunderbird and Fontainebleau.  Tree Top played guitar for several touring acts including the Five Royales, Dyzzy Jones, Frank Desbordes and Sammy and the Vikings and has played tours in the U.S. including the famous Apollo Theater and has also toured in Europe.  In 1970, Tree Top and the Soul Branches recorded the funk instrumental hit “Inside Out” (B side: “Don’t Go Away”) which received tremendous airplay behind the support of popular AM disc jockeys Butterball and King Coleman.  Tree Top has been a major player in the Miami music scene for over four decades and even lived next door to Grammy winning soul singer Betty Wright.  Tree also worked with soul singer-turned-producer/TV host, Steve Alaimo and many of the other acts from Henry Stone’s TK Records label.

Today, Tree Top continues sharing his talent and love for music as a “one-man-band” and DJ around Miami, and also fronts a local band performing his originals and a wide variety of R&B, soul and blues hits from the 60’s and 70’s.


Who is Dr. Phillip Leno Wright Sr?


Dr. Phillip Leno Wright Sr. born September 28,1945 on 5th Avenue and 10th Street in Overtown Miami, Florida. He is the third eldest son of the Late Milton Wright Sr. and his Mother, the Late Rosa Akins Braddy-Wright in Miami , Florida . In 1971 he was united with Suzanne Janice Garfield and through their union they had 3 children, Lino Felipe Wright, Lee Wright Garfield, Kyle Tour Wright, and his Late adopted son Richard Maldonado Wright. Dr. Wright has 3 loving Grand-daughters, Sheila Lewis, Kaliyah Wright, Ariel Wright, a Grandson, Kyle Wright Jr, and a Great Grandson Jahbar Carr, who all are of Miami .

At age 7, Dr. Wright began singing Gospel Music with his siblings accompanied by his Mother Rosa who played the guitar. Following his parents, he began playing guitar at age 9. In 1963, after graduating from High School with Honors in Foreign Languages, He received the Silver Knight Honorable Mention Award for Foreign Languages, sponsored by the Miami Herald Newspaper.  Dr. Wright became Bi-Lingual at age 8, and begun to speak Spanish fluently. In Miami , Dr. Wright attended schools at Liberty City Primary, Holmes Elementary, dorsey Junior High, and Miami Northwestern Senior High School where he graduated.

He also continued to have a long successful career in the Music Industry. He studied his Artistic Craft to become a more skilled Songwriter-Guitarist-Singer-performer and Music Publisher. He got the opportunity to record music with many other Artists and Bands, and toured around the world with King Curtis and the Kingpins accompanied by Cissy Houston and the Sweet Inspirations, and later he joined Junior Walker and the All Stars, and continued as Band Director with his sister Ms. Betty Wright, as well as many other known Recording Legends.

Some of the artists he performed with are, Sam Cooke, Patti Labelle, Chubby Checker, Hank Ballard, the Chiffons, Jerry Butler, Jimmy Ruffin, Erma Franklin, Jimmi Hendrix, and he had the experience of sitting in with the Grateful Dead at the Filmore West 1969. Taking a short break from his music, he later graduated from Lindsay Hopkins Vocational and Technical School for Computer Business Equipment and Typing skills. While continuing his education, he studied at United Business Institute in Accounting and Business Administration. He graduated from the New England Merchants Bank School of Business in 1970-71 in Boston , Mass where he acquired his computer and Accounting skills in business.

Dr. Wright was diagnosed with a genetic eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa and considered Legally Blind. He was given information by a childhood friend Dr. Rene Christian about the Division of Blind Services and the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. He made up his mind to attend, and graduate from the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Rehab School , and Miami-Dade College Computer Technology Access course for the Blind. after 2001, He continued to function quite well with his newly acquired knowledge of how to function as a Legally Blind person with a Customized Computer for the Blind through the support and assistance of the Division of Blind Services of South Florida.

Since 2001 Dr. Wright has been continuing to develop his writing skill as a Free-lance Writer with many published Editorials in Newspapers across the country while continuing his Higher Education with support of another great friend Ms. S. W. Lee who guided him through a plan to continue studying for his Degrees. He received his Masters Degree in Music Theory and composition in 2005, and he earned his Doctorate in the Arts, with a concentration in Creative Writing in 2008 from Rochville University.

During 2004, while still completing his Higher Education, assisted by his cousin retired Music Teacher Ossie Wright Jr. Dr., Wright went on to record and complete his first contemporary Gospel Jazz Music CD by 2006, and continued performing in churches, and other events  singing and playing his music. Dr. Wright had a short career teaching guitar in the 1960’s and 70’s with such students as Tito Jackson of the Jackson Family, while instructing Bootsie Collins and Ernest Isley of the Isley Brothers on a few Guitar Licks and Fingering, with Guitar chord progressions that he developed from his personal creative technique as a guitarist, and Richard Gallon, son of the Late Commedian Wild Man Steve.

After many years of touring around the world on entertainment tours, and playing guitar and singing on many recordings, Dr. Wright gave his life to Christ in 1985 at Miracle Temple No. 1 Church in Miami under the pastoralship of the Late Mother Stevens, while he was delivered in Christ in 2005 during the recording of a Music CD at his cousin’s Recording Studio in Fort Pierce , Florida.  Dr. Wright prefers to be remembered as “Simply Phillip”, a man who loved life and his music, and simply as a son, brother, Father and Grand-Father who cared for and loved his family, friends and people, and most of all for his love of God.

Save the Date – January 22, 2011

OMP invites you to join us on January 22nd in the bespoke graffiti garden behind Wynwyood Kitchen for an Afro Cuban orchestra, old school hip hop, liquor a-flowin’ and some Langston Hughes. 8:00 p.m to 12:00 a.m. More details to follow. Stay tuned!