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Christine Tobin & Phil Robson

Ireland, Kilkenny Ireland, Kilkenny 39 John Street Lower - Billy Byrnes

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The Sofa Sessions presents Christine Tobin & Phil Robson

9pm / No Cover Charge

Christine Tobin - voice
Phil Robson - guitar

"Streets ahead of the pack… [Christine Tobin] should be on a global stage, rubbing shoulders with fellow troubadours like Cave, Mitchell and Cohen.”

John L Walters, The Guardian

“Phil is a wonderful guitarist and composer, definitely a unique player"

David Liebman, ex-Miles Davis saxophonist

The Sofa Sessions is thrilled to present one of Europe's most acclaimed and original jazz vocalist, Irish-born Christine Tobin, accompanied by the hugely respected British guitarist Phil Robson.

Currently based in New York, Christine Tobin has been feted by critics around the world for her unique vocal abilities and her haunting original compositions - in 2014, she won Jazz Vocalist of the Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards and was described by respected trumpeter and critic Ian Carr as 'one of the most gifted and original singer-songwriters in today's jazz world'.

Originally from Derby, Phil Robson became one of the most in-demand guitarists on the London scene in the 90s and was co-founder of influential quartet The Partisans which toured the US in 2014, including an appearance at Jazz at the Lincoln Centre. He has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music, including Barbara Streisand, Maceo Parker and Django Bates.

"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


About Christine Tobin

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

The Guardian

"One of the most gifted and original singer/songwriters in today’s jazz world."

Ian Carr, BBC Music Magazine

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.

About Phil Robson

Winner of ‘Jazz CD Of The Year’ in the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards for Partisans – ‘Swamp’.
Winner of ‘Best Jazz Musician Of The Year’ in the 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards (plus many others shown in later pages)

“Phil Robson’s music, on a first hearing, always gives me that feeling I haven’t yet heard right the way through it to the other side. Yes, there are moments of beauty, external allure, yes there is variety. But there is also a depth which brings one back wanting to revisit, to hear more and more….. unmissable.”


UK born & now NYC based Phil Robson is internationally regarded as a highly versatile and creative player who appears in all kinds of diverse settings, as well as being a being a renowned bandleader & composer.

“Phil is a wonderful guitarist and composer, definitely a unique player. We had a ball…”

David Liebman (US sax legend).

As a leader, Robson has fronted many innovative projects including:

‘The Phil Robson Quartet featuring Jed Levy.’ With Jed Levy sax, Peter Slavov bass and Clarence Penn drums.
‘The Immeasurable Code Quintet’ with Mark Turner/Julian Arguelles – sax, Gareth Lockrane – flute, Michael Janisch – bass & Ernesto simpson – drums.
‘Six strings & the beat’ – with Peter Herbert – Bass, Gene Calderazzo – drums, Mandy Drummond – violin, Jennymay Logan – violin, Naomi Fairhurst – viola, Kate Shortt – cello.
Phil Robson Trio – with NY drum legend Billy Hart & James Genus, bass.
Phil Robson quartet featuring US sax legend David Liebman & Jeff Williams.
Phil Robson Octet with Jason Yarde, Julian siegel, Christine Tobin, Gene Calderazzo, Thebe Lipere, Karren Street.

His last recorded solo project is an organ trio CD with Ross Stanley & Gene Calderazzo which released their Whirlwind Recordings album, ‘The Cut Off Point’, on May 18, 2015 to great acclaim. http://www.whirlwindrecordings.com/the-cut-off-point/

Co leads the cult band ‘Partisans’ with Julian Siegel which has been a major influence on the European contemporary scene & beyond for over 20 years. They completed a major tour of North America in June 2014 which included appearances at Rochester, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa international festivals as well as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola & many other venues to pre-promote their award winning CD ‘Swamp’, released in Sept ’14 on Whirlwind Records. http://www.partisans.org.uk

Long term band member & sometimes collaborator with Christine Tobin, whose ground breaking approach to singing & songwriting is highly acclaimed. http://www.christine-tobin.com

Played with a diverse cross section artists such as Barbra Streisand, Django Bates, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Brookmeyer, Adam Nussbaum, Donny McCaslin, Maceo Parker, Marc Copland, Jeff Williams, Charles Earland, Steve Lacy, Tim Armacost, Steve Wilson, Ingrid Jensen etc to name just a few (see more on later pages).

Commissioned several times to write music & put projects together by the BBC, Derby Jazz & Birmingham jazz as well as writing music for live theater shows.

A renowned educator, Phil continues to be a visiting professor at Trinity College Of Music, The Guildhall School Of Music & Drama & The Royal Academy Of Music, the latter of which he was elected to be an honorary associate of in 2015 as well as appearing in the past as a tutor at major educational events such as ‘The European Jazz Academy’ in Germany, Dordogne Jazz Summer School, BUJazzO, Graz and Linz universities in Austria etc & is currently a regular mentor at the ‘Jazz For Kids’ program @ ‘The Jazz Standard’, NYC.

Location of event - Get Directions

Venue Information - Billy Byrnes

Billy Byrnes is a family run tradional Irish bar and first opened its doors in 1954. We are centrally located in Kilkenny City, just around the corner from the train and bus station.

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