Zen & Tonic

Music Consulting

Founded by Nick Phillips—a GRAMMY®-recognized record producer, a music industry veteran with more than 28 years of experience, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and an independent recording artist who managed all aspects of his own nationally-charting and critically-acclaimed album releases—Zen & Tonic is a company that provides expert music production and consulting services to recording artists and labels for every phase of a recording project, from concept development to record production to commercial release.

Services include:


  • Concept Development
  • Recording Project Planning, Budgeting, and Management
  • Direction and Supervision of the Recording and Mixing Sessions by a GRAMMY-recognized Producer
  • Supervision of the Mastering Sessions


  • Album Artwork and Packaging Concept and Development
  • Manufacturing Coordination
  • Distribution Set-up
  • Business Affairs and Administration
  • Marketing and Release Strategy
  • Quarterbacking the Album Marketing Campaign

Clients include Blue Coast Records, Brian Estlin Group, Clairdee, Concord Bicycle Music, Mack Avenue Records, Steven Emerson, and others.

More About Nick Phillips

As a record producer and A&R executive, Nick Phillips has worked on more than 500 album releases—from new recording projects featuring jazz icons Kenny Barron, Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Jon Hendricks, Marian McPartland, Chris Potter, Poncho Sanchez, and Kenny Werner, to collections and reissues spotlighting the timeless recordings of music legends Tony Bennett, Booker T. & the MG's, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Little Richard, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Albert King, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, The Staple Singers, Sarah Vaughan, and countless others. Several Phillips-produced projects have garnered GRAMMY® nominations, including albums by preeminent jazz vocal artists Karrin Allyson and Nnenna Freelon.

As an independent recording artist, Phillips also directed and managed all phases of his own nationally-charting, self-released recording projects—Moment to Moment (with Cava Menzies, 2014) and Haiku (with Jenny Maybee, 2016). Both recordings received accolades for their pristine sonics, while Phillips' lyrical, warm-toned trumpet playing drew laudatory comparisons to the work of jazz trumpet legends Miles Davis ("The Ballads Album Miles Davis Never Recorded"—East Bay Express) and Chet Baker (“…Phillips channels his inner Chet Baker...Haiku is in the same league."—Classicalite). 

As and educator, Phillips has taught courses at University of the Pacific and Los Medanos College, and has been featured as a jazz/recording industry panelist and clinician at numerous workshops and conferences around the country, including Jazz Education Network, Jazz Connect, International Association for Jazz Education, Jazz Composers' Symposium at University of South Florida, JazzTimes, Grammy Career Day, Grammy in the Schools, West Coast Songwriters, NEA Open World Project, University of the Pacific, and Loyola University. He was the subject of the “The Power of Listening” feature story that appeared in the premiere issue of JazzEd magazine (November 2006) and was profiled in the “Careers Off the Bandstand” article in DownBeat magazine (October 2014).

Phillips currently serves on The Recording Academy’s (GRAMMYs®) national Board of Trustees and San Francisco chapter board, as well as on the Music Management/Business program advisory board at University of the Pacific. He was just recently elected to serve on the GRAMMY® Foundation's Board of Directors.