Christine Tobin is based between New York City and London. The Irish born vocalist and composer is renowned for her unique rich voice and original compositional style. With eleven highly acclaimed CDs under her own name and four major awards under her belt, Christine is treasured in the UK and beyond as one of the leading lights on the contemporary scene. Her authentic sound was described by The Guardian as ‘Tobin’s 24 carat voice’ while praising her both for the poetry of her compositions and the warmth of her golden voice. Her style, although rooted in jazz, is eclectic and draws on a broad range of influences. The Irish Times called it ‘music that veers from grungy, post-industrial grooves to wispy romanticism to abstracted contemporary classical’. MOJO Music Magazine said of her ‘Christine Tobin really transcends glib genre-fication. Her expressive range acknowledges finely acquired folk, jazz and 20th-century classical influences, which already sets her apart. And everything is shot through with an unmistakable refinement, free-spirited earthiness and giddy romanticism, this singer-songwriter is in a field of one.’ She has led various projects and in 2012 ‘Sailing to Byzantium’, her settings of WB Yeats poems, won a British Composer Award. The following year she won a ‘Herald Angel Award’ at the Edinburgh Festival for her show ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep”, her imaginative versions of Cohen classics. And in 2014 she won ‘Jazz Vocalist of the Year’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Earlier in her career Christine won ‘Best Vocalist’ at the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards.
Her versatility and musical integrity has ensured that she is a much in demand guest with other bands. She has performed and recorded with a list of diverse creative artists, including musicians Kenny Wheeler, Billy Hart, Mark Turner, James Genus, Gary Versace, Leo Genovese, Joe Locke, Harvie S, Mike Gibbs, Nigel Kennedy, Django Bates, Billy Childs, Julian Joseph, BBC Big Band, Carleen Anderson, Tim Garland, Cleveland Watkiss, Gary Husband, actor Gabriel Byrne, film director Mike Figgis and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Paul Muldoon.
Christine works regularly on the international scene. Her 2016 shows in the US included Xerox Rochester Jazz Festival, Edmonton and Vancouver Jazz Festivals and in NYC she played at Symphony Space, The Irish Arts Center, National Sawdust, Kitano, Club Bonafide and Bar Next Door. UK and London performances include Ronnie Scott's, The Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Vortex, The Sage Gateshead and many reputed festivals including the London Jazz Festival, Brecon, Cheltenham and Hull Jazz Festival. Previously she has played at many renowned jazz festivals worldwide. These are Kongsberg, Shanghai, Varna, Kalisz, Berlin, Rainforest Music Festival Borneo, Sons di Hiver Paris, Molde, Baku, Syria, Haarlem, Frankfurt and Cork International Jazz Festival. Club appearances on the international scene include Joe’s Pub NYC, A-Trane Berlin, a week’s residency at the Half Note, Athens and residencies at the Jamboree, Barcelona.
Her vivid interpretations of Bessie Smith were featured in film director Mike Figgis' Red White and Blues docu/film in the Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues series. These films were commissioned by the PSB channel in the U.S. and screened at cinemas worldwide. Christine has also presented special features for BBC Radio 3’s cutting edge programme Jazz On 3 and appeared regularly on Alyn Shipton’s Jazz Library also for BBC Radio 3. She has contributed to programmes about Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Joni Mitchell and Carmen McRae. The special documentary programme she presented for RTE Lyric FM ‘Out with Paganism’, was a Silver Radio Winner at the New York Festivals - 2013 World’s Best Radio Programs.
Musicians in Christine’s UK bands
Phil Robson guitar As well as being one of the leading jazz guitarists in Europe, Phil is also celebrated as an innovative composer. He is the leader of Six Strings and the Beat, Phil Robson Trio and co leader of Partisans. He also has a trio with U.S. drum legend Billy Hart and bassist James Genus and is a longtime member of the BBC Big Band who he has written and arranged for.
Dave Whitford double bass From Cornwall, this superb double bass player has become one of London’s most in demand musicians for U.K. and visiting international bands. He has played and recorded with Steve Lacy, Kenny Wheeler, Hans Koller Big Band, Marc Copland (U.K. rhythm section) Bobby Wellins and John Taylor. He is also a regular guest with the NDR Bigband in Hamburg.
Liam Noble piano, is one of the UK’s most original and versatile young pianists. After graduating from Oxford he attended London’s Guildhall Jazz Course and has been playing with some of Britain’s finest musicians ever since. He writes and arranges for two of his own bands, one with U.K.musicians, Stan Sulzmann, Chris Biscoe, Mick Hutton and Paul Clarvis. He also plays regularly with Bobby Wellins and Harry Beckett. The other band he leads is an international one with US rhythm section Tom Rainey drums, John Hebert double bass and Phil Robson guitar.
Kate Shortt is a cellist, pianist, songwriter and comedian. Since training as a professional musician at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama she has performed at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as the Hackney Vortex Club, the King's Head Islington, Jermyn Street Theatre and the Covent Garden Festival Club. She recently won Performer of the Year award at the London Palladium. Her show has been described as consisting of "unique happenings at the cello and intimate confessions at the piano". She has also worked as part of Last Amendment (formerly Crass Agenda).
Huw Warren accordion & piano Huw continues to prove himself a richly melodic, unpredictably minimalist and infectiously rhythmic composer besides being a thrillingly lyrical improviser whose unique pan-diversity is regarded highly across the often exclusive worlds of jazz, classical, and folk. He has established an international presence in recent years, as a musical director/pianist for contemporary folk diva June Tabor for well over a decade and for his ongoing work with ex-Austrian Musican of the Year bassist Peter Herbert and NY violin virtuosio improviser Mark Feldman.
Adriano Adewale percussion From Sao Paolo, Brazil, Adriano has made a huge impact on the UK music scene. As well as leading his own group he has worked and recorded with such luminaries as pianist Joanna MacGregor, guitarist Antonio Forcione, the Britten Sinfonia, Seu Jorge and many more.