Christine Tobin is an Irish vocalist and composer. She grew up in Dublin before moving to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, for which she was awarded a full scholarship. She was an integral part of the London contemporary scene for many years before relocating to New York City for 5 years in 2015. She is now based in the beautiful countryside of Northwest Roscommon.
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. 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 featuring actor Gabriel Byrne, 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 Leonard Cohen classics. 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 last album PELT was Tobin’s musical interpretations of Pulitzer Prize winning Paul Muldoon’s lyrics and poems. Tobin was also a regular guest in his hit series ‘Muldoon’s Picnic’ in NYC.
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’ PBS series. Christine has also presented special features for BBC Radio 3’s cutting edge program Jazz On 3 and appeared regularly on Jazz Library also for BBC Radio 3. She has contributed to programs about Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Abbey Lincoln, Betty Carter, Joni Mitchell and Carmen McRae. The special documentary program 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.
In New York City she created, co-curated and performed in the highly successful series “Tobin’s Run On 51” at the Irish Arts Center with guitarist partner Phil Robson. These were themed, mixed media shows which featured slideshows, film clips, storytelling and invited guests who comprise of some of the greatest musicians on the NY scene today including Ingrid Jensen, Steve Wilson, James Genus, Billy Drummond, Craig Handy, Janis Siegel to name just a few as well as renowned authors such as Ashley Kahn.
Tobin has played at the most important venues in NYC such as Birdland, The Jazz Standard, Mezzrow, National Sawdust etc as well as in concert halls, clubs and international festivals around the world. www.christine-tobin.com
“…the Voice is a killer”. fROOTS
“There’s a thrilling, dark timbre to Tobin’s voice that moves you like no other singer.” The Guardian
“Christine Tobin is as revelatory an interpreter of Yeats as Richard Ellmann or, indeed, Louis MacNeice. She has an uncanny ability to become a vehicle for the text of a poem in a way that would have sent a shiver of recognition through the great man himself.” Paul Muldoon
“…Tobin, has carried off that rare feat of setting poems, in this case those of William Butler Yeats, to music and making the results sound like natural songs with emotional impact, melodic hooks and ecstatic refrains. …. by turns yearning, bucolic, elegiac, apocalyptic and deliciously romantic, and draws on the folk and European art song traditions as much as Tobin’s jazz background.”
Herald Scotland, Sunday Herald, Rob Adams
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