Irish-born singer-songwriter Christine Tobin is based in the UK and spends her time between London and the beautiful Kent coast. Her style, although rooted in jazz, is steeped in the singer-songwriter tradition and draws on a broad range of influences from West Africa to Brazil (Oumou Sangare, Fela Kuti, Elis Regina etc) Her sound is rich, authentic and deeply expressive and was described by the Guardian as “Tobin’s 24 carat voice” while praising her both for the poetry of her compositions and her golden voice. Much of her repertoire is self-penned and Tobin has received many accolades for her skills as a writer and arranger. Romantic and radical, Christine is a musical free spirit who blurs the lines to create her own unique style that is streetwise and eclectic. In 2008 she was named Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards.
Her versatility and musical integrity has ensured that she is a much in demand guest with other bands. She has been invited to record and work with a long list that includes: Billy Childs, BBC Big Band, Mike Gibbs, Django Bates, Kenny Wheeler, Nigel Kennedy, Billy Hart, Julian Arguelles, Tim Garland, Gary Husband, Phil Robson, Liam Noble, Hans Koller and a performance of a Bessie Smith song in the Mike Figgis directed film, ‘Red, White & Blues’, produced by Martin Scorsese.
She has recorded seven albums for Babel, one of the UK 's most dynamic and creative indie labels. In a 4 star ****review of her 2008 album Secret Life Of A Girl the Guardian wrote “Dublin-born singer Christine Tobin is a jewel of the London jazz scene, streets ahead of the pack... She should be on a global stage, rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen. [Her] eloquent songs are framed by masterful arrangements...There's no self-indulgence: it's all about the songs”. Jazzwise hail her as "probably the most adventurous jazz singer of her generation in this country, with the ideas and willingness to push back the boundaries and explore new territory with each new album."
Christine works regularly on the UK jazz scene, appearing at Ronnie Scott's, The Pizza Express Jazz Club Soho, Vortex, Jazz Cafe and many reputed festivals including the London Jazz Festival, Cheltenham and Brecon. She has worked extensively on the international scene appearing at some of the most renowned jazz festivals including Monterey U.S., Kongsberg, Shanghai, Varna, Kalisz, Berlin, Rainforest Music Festival Borneo, Sons di Hiver Paris, Molde, Baku, Syria, Haarlem, Frankfurt and Cork. Club appearances on the international scene include Joe’s Pub, the 55 Bar and Nublu in New York, a weeks residency at the Half Note, Athens and residencies at the Jamboree, Barcelona.
Previously in 2004 Christine was nominated for Best Vocalist at the BBC Jazz Awards, and also in that year 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 is a regular 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.
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Ian Carr, BBC Music Magazine“One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today's jazz world. ”