After an apprenticeship with Quincy Jones, where he attended recording sessions for Jones, Michael Jackson, The Brothers Johnson, James Ingram and Patti Austin, Eckstine’s executive music career began in 1988 at Virgin Music Publishing as Creative Manager. At Virgin Music Eckstine secured songwriter covers for Virgin’s stable of songwriters, placing songs with Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, Kool and the Gang, and Vanessa Williams. Shortly thereafter, he was hired as Staff Producer/Director of A&R, at Columbia Records, where he signed hip-hop artists, Movement Ex, and worked with, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Regina Belle, Philip Bailey, and Shawn Smith.
Including the discovery of trumpet superstar, Chris Botti, from 1991-1997, Eckstine was VP/A&R at Verve Records. In addition to the signing of Botti, Eckstine’s productions won four Grammy Awards and he signed and produced/executive produced recordings by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Art Porter, Roy Hargrove, Mark Whitfield, Jeff Lorber, Incognito, Peter Delano, Evan Marks, Pete Belasco, and Gino Vannelli, among others.
Highlighted by producing the Grammy winning projects, “The New Standard” by Herbie Hancock, “Highlife” by Wayne Shorter, and the Frank Zappa Tribute, “Zappa’s Universe" Eckstine's signing of Herbie Hancock culminated in 2007 with an "Album of the Year" Grammy win for "River- the Joni Mitchell Letters," which Eckstine conceptualized years earlier. During Eckstine’s entire tenure as VP, A&R at Verve, his creative vision helped guide Verve to 7 consecutive years as Billboard Magazine's premiere Jazz label in the world.
At MP3.com, Guy provided artist and business development expertise on the MP3.com "Music and Technology Tour" featuring, Alanis Morissette, Tori Amos, Christina Aguilera, and TLC. Eckstine’s team also initiated corporate sponsorships, including affiliations with brands Best Buy and Sephora Cosmetics. Guy was also responsible for all facets of genre management and development for Jazz, World and Classical Music, including duties as, Content and Community Moderator, and Ezine-Editor-in-Chief. The visionary MP3.com eventually sold to Vivendi Universal for $360 million.
Post MP3.com, for Warner Brothers, Guy Produced/Executive Produced the Billboard Jazz chart-topping album by Brian Culbertson, “Nice and Slow,” and for Atlantic Records, signed Julia Fordham and produced an all-star remake of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Vanessa Williams, The Manhattan Transfer, and Brian McKnight. Guy also produced a #1 CMJ Alternative Rock album, “Styrofoam,” by Alexandra Scott, as well as signing vocalist Carol Welsman, and producing the album “Moondance,” for jazz flautist Hubert Laws, for Savoy.
Eckstine generously offers up his expertise to the next generation of artists and executives by giving back to the community as a two time elected member of The Recording Academy (NARAS) Board of Governors, NY Chapter. Eckstine has been a speaker, panelist and moderator at entertainment industry events including, the 2015 CalArts Alumni Family Weekend, Digital Hollywood- Urban Summit 2012, AMCON 2010, IBS 2009, CMJ 2008, Digital Hollywood 2007, IAJE, (International Association Of Jazz Educators), the Radio and Records Convention, the Urban Network Convention, the Gavin Convention, and the L.A.S.S,- Los Angeles Songwriter Showcase. Eckstine has also been a guest lecturer at the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, Tisch School Of The Arts, at New York University, and lectured on the creative process, A&R, Record Production and Music Publishing at the UCLA Music Business Program, the CalArts Alumni Entertainment Group, and the University of Pittsburgh, Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences.
Founded in 2007, Eckstine is President of Iconique Music Group, an artist management, A&R, recording contract solicitation, and career development company based in New York City. With frequent travel to Los Angeles and Nashville Eckstine maintains a ubiquitous presence in the ivory towers of the music business, as well as, recording studios, nightclubs, and festivals, networking with music industry professionals.
Since its inception Iconique Music Group has represented many artists including, House of Waters, (Ground Up/Verve Label Group/UMG), Twin Danger, (Universal Music Classics), Tiempo Libre (Universal Music Latino Entertainment), Unity: The Latin Tribute To Michael Jackson, (Universal Music Classics), Grant Davis, (Manhattan Records/Capitol Music Group), Nailah Porter, (Universal Music Group International), Incognito, (Concord Music Group), and independent artists, Lizzy Loeb, Ellis Ashbrook, Danielle Johnson, Ryan Arklin Band, Danielle Alexa, Shane Gamble, Tess Henley, Sasha Dobson, The Pimps of Joytime, Eilidh McKellar, and Svetlana and the Delancey Five.
In 2017, Iconique Music Group signed NYC based hip hop artists, Zone 4 Mafia, and New Orleans based future funk band, Sexy Dex & The Fresh for exclusive management representation, and began the creative development for 17 year old singer/songwriter, Chloe Borthwick. House of Waters performed a sold-out tour of Europe supporting Snarky Puppy. In 2016, Iconique Music Group management clients, House of Waters, signed to GroundUp Music/Verve Label Group, with Eckstine serving as Executive Producer. Eckstine produced high desert rockers, The Ryan Arklin Band, began the creative development and production of future/soul/pop singer songwriter, Danielle Alexa, and produced and mixed Brooklyn based indie prog/funk rockers, Ellis Ashbrook. In 2015, Iconique Music Group management and creative development signings included singer/songwriter, Lizzy Loeb, world fusion classical jazz pioneers, House of Waters, and 15 year old country singer/songwriter, Danielle Johnson. Eckstine also produced the debut recording, "Night At The Speakeasy," for NYC based jazz/swing ensemble, Svetlana and the Delancey 5, released on Origin Records.
In 2014, Eckstine signed jazz pop duo, Twin Danger, to Decca Records/Universal Music Classics, and Executive Produced their eponymous debut recording. He also signed three time Grammy nominated Cuban ensemble, Tiempo Libre, to Universal Music Group Latin Entertainment. In 2013, Eckstine managed and produced Scottish singer and guitarist, Eilidh McKellar. He guided country rocker, Shane Gamble, to a Top 10 hit single, and added Brooklyn based psychedelic funk prog rockers, Ellis Ashbrook to the Iconique Music Group management roster.
In its first 5 years, after securing a recording contract for UK Jazz Funk icons, Incognito, to Concord Music Group, Iconique Music Group was instrumental in the development of funk jam band, The Pimps of Joytime, and singer songwriter, Sasha Dobson, (Norah Jones/Puss 'n Boots). Eckstine also produced country pop singer, Justyna Kelley, Southern California modern rock band, The Bolts, (aka, Island Apollo), and signed and Executive Produced soul/jazz vocalist, Nailah Porter to Emarcy/Universal Music Group International.
Throughout his career Guy Eckstine has distinguished himself as an A&R executive, artist manager, record producer, new media maven, Grammy board member, corporate consultant and musician, with a keen eye for finding and developing new talent. Eckstine has Produced and Executive Produced over 45 records, four of which have won Grammy Awards, including, "The New Standard," by Herbie Hancock. Eckstine has held senior A&R positions as Creative Manager, Virgin Music; Director A&R, Columbia Records; VP A&R, Verve Records; and he was also a digital music pioneer, as SVP/Creative Development, at the groundbreaking original MP3.com. Guy has worked with a stellar array of artists including Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Chris Botti, Vanessa Williams, Whitney Houston, Wayne Shorter, Allan Holdsworth, Brian McKnight, Terrence Trent D'arby, Gino Vannelli, and Frank Zappa, among many others.
Jennifer Phelps is Vice President, Business & Tour Development at Iconique Music Group, where her job responsibilities include tour servicing and advancing. Over the course of her executive career Jennifer has implemented strategic marketing, promotion and creative plans with a diverse and broad based range of clientele, including HBO, TNT, CNN, Verve Records, Columbia House, MTV Networks, and 20th Television, among many others. Jennifer has held National Promotion and Marketing responsibilities at Denon and Verve Records, working with Grammy winning artists, Shirley Horn, Charlie Haden, Joe Henderson and Abbey Lincoln. Jennifer's initial foray into television was at 20th Television (Fox), working as Supervisor of Creative Services at "A Current Affair," followed by Product Manager at Columbia House, where she supervised editorial content for Columbia House's direct marketing campaigns. Expanding upon her marketing expertise in the music business, as Director of Operations at Barasch Music and Sound, and as Managing Director at Sound Image, NY, Jennifer was responsible for all aspects of client services, staffing and music licensing for a wide variety of clients including major campaigns in the television commercial realm including, HBO, Nat Geo, Cartoon Network, CNN, Turner Classic Movies, Spike, Lifetime and MTV Networks. Jennifer is based in New York City.