For more than three decades, Nick Phillips has been an ever-present, creative force in the world of jazz: a GRAMMY®-recognized record producer; a jazz consultant to artists, record labels, and the music industry; an educator, panelist, and workshop leader; a hands-on coach of award-winning artists; a playlist curator for major online music distributors; a critically acclaimed, Billboard-charting, jazz recording artist; and now, President of the California Jazz Conservatory, the only accredited, independent music conservatory in the country solely devoted to jazz.
Phillips has worked on hundreds of commercially released, internationally-distributed jazz projects. His discography reads like a who’s who of jazz, with multiple deluxe compilations and reissue projects to his credit, including his work on behalf of an encyclopedia of jazz greats: Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker, Art Blakey, Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Duke Ellington, Vince Guaraldi, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Hall, Joe Henderson, Charles Mingus, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Tito Puente, Art Tatum, McCoy Tyner, Sarah Vaughan, Ben Webster, and Lester Young, to name but a few.
As the producer of numerous newly-recorded projects, Phillips has overseen recording studio or live recording projects featuring jazz luminaries Karrin Allyson, Kenny Barron, Gary Burton, Joanne Brackeen, Randy Brecker, Alan Broadbent, Bill Charlap, Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham, John Clayton, Fred Hersch, Nnenna Freelon, Jeff Hamilton, Jon Hendricks, Julian Lage, Marian McPartland, Brad Mehldau, John Patitucci, Chris Potter, Poncho Sanchez, Mongo Santamaria, Kenny Werner, Frank Wess, James Williams, Jessica Williams, and Snooky Young, among many other artists.
Several Nick Phillips-produced projects have garnered GRAMMY® nominations, including five nominations for albums by critically-acclaimed jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson alone, while Tito Puente’s “Lambada Timbales,” Poncho Sanchez’s Latin Soul, Terence Blanchard’s Be-Bop, and John Coltrane’s Afro Blue Impressions each won the coveted GRAMMY® award, with each featuring Phillips behind-the-scenes production efforts.
Nick Phillips has been featured as a jazz and recording industry panelist and workshop leader at numerous conferences and events around the country, including NEA Open World Project, Jazz Education Network, Jazz Connect, the International Association for Jazz Education, the Jazz Composers’ Symposium (University of South Florida), JazzTimes, GRAMMY® Career Day, GRAMMY® in the Schools, West Coast Songwriters, the California Jazz Conservatory, Loyola University, and the University of the Pacific.
He has developed and taught several courses and workshops at the University of the Pacific, and, through Nick’s board service with the Recording Academy and the University of the Pacific, he has mentored numerous students over his many years of educational service.
Jazz Consultant & Artist Coach
After nearly three decades as a full-time employee at Concord Music Group, Nick left his post as a staff producer and Vice President of Jazz and Catalog A&R in 2016 to focus on his own music production and jazz consulting company, Nick Phillips Music (also DBA Zen & Tonic Music Consulting). As a jazz consultant and producer, Phillips continues to produce deluxe historical reissue projects for Concord’s catalog division, Craft Recordings, and has also provided production and/or jazz consulting services for such companies as Mack Avenue Records, Blue Coast Records, Empress Music Group, and iHeartRadio/iHeartMedia.
As an artist coach, Nick counts GRAMMY®-nominated jazz vocalists Karrin Allyson and Nnenna Freelon, as well as Juno Award-winner Emilie-Claire Barlow, among his individual recording artist clients.
Playlist Curator & Music Editor
Nick has published more than 200 expertly-curated jazz playlists for iHeartRadio, including curating more than 40 dynamic, regularly-updated playlists; more than 90 artist-specific playlists for iHeartRadio’s Thumbs Up playlist series; and facilitating more than 80 artist-curated playlists for iHeartRadio’s Curated By playlist series.
Jazz Trumpet Player & Recording Artist
A critically acclaimed jazz trumpet player and Billboard-charting recording artist in his own right, Nick has released two of his own albums—Moment to Moment (co-led with pianist Cava Menzies, 2014) and Haiku (co-led with vocalist/pianist Jenny Maybee, 2016). Both albums landed on the Billboard Jazz and Billboard Traditional Jazz charts.
Nick’s volunteer board service includes the Recording Academy’s (GRAMMYs®) National Board of Trustees (2004-2009, 2015-2019), the Recording Academy San Francisco chapter Board of Governors (1998-2009, 2011-2019), the GRAMMY® Foundation’s Board of Directors (2016), and the University of the Pacific’s Music Industry Studies program Advisory Board (2009 – 2023). He currently serves on the Recording Academy’s national jazz membership committee.
The California Jazz Conservatory
In October 2023, Nick Phillips became only the second president of the pioneering California Jazz Conservatory, succeeding Founding President Susan Muscarella. In that position, Phillips will guide the iconic, Berkeley-based jazz education institution in its ongoing efforts to teach jazz to players of all abilities and all ages, from middle schoolers just picking up an instrument to candidates for Bachelor, Associate, and Master of Music degrees in Jazz Studies.