Christine Tobin

Christine Tobin (Here with long time collaborator Phil Robson)

Christine Tobin is an Irish born vocalist and songwriter.. She grew up in Dublin and moved to London at the end of the 1980’s 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 and in 2015 she moved to New York where she made a considerable impact on the city’s creative music world. She returned home to Ireland in 2020 and now lives in the 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, 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. 

In New York City she created, co-curates and performs in the highly successful series “Tobin’s Run On 51” at the Irish Arts Center with guitarist partner Phil Robson. These are themed, mixed media shows which feature 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, Janis Siegel to name just a few as well as renowned authors such as Ashley Kahn.

.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. 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.

Tobin was a regular in 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.

“…a masterclass in songcraft.”  

BBC Music Magazine 

“There’s a thrilling, dark timbre to Tobin’s voice that moves you like no other singer.”

The Guardian

“Pelt strikes that most elusive of balances between familiarity and strangeness, by turns recalling Tom Waits, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, without being beholden to any particular genre or influence… music that veers from grungy, post-industrial grooves to wispy romanticism to abstracted contemporary classical, all played with punkish attitude..”

Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times about Christine’s 2016 release, Pelt