IMC's Creative About Music Podcast

Poetry in music, international careers and returning to Ireland with Christine Tobin & Phil Robson

December 24, 2021 Improvised Music Company Season 3 Episode 2
IMC's Creative About Music Podcast
Poetry in music, international careers and returning to Ireland with Christine Tobin & Phil Robson
Show Notes Chapter Markers

At the Sin É before a beautiful performance, IMC’s Kenneth Killeen caught up with singer Christine Tobin and guitarist Phil Robson in a long chat about returning to Ireland, approaches to creating music from poetry, working together and influence on each other’s work, jazz scenes in NY and the UK, and some words of advice for young musicians. 

Christine Tobin

Renowned for her kaleidoscopic musical palette, she can be a junkyard blues philosopher, snappy beat seductress, a conduit for exquisite zen-like harmonies or reflective Americana. Dublin native Christine has been an integral part of both the New York City and London scenes for many years, has recently returned to Ireland and now resides in 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. 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.’

 Find more about Christine on her website:

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Watch a beautiful performance from with Christine and Phil from this year’s Limerick Jazz: 


Phil Robson

Christine’s partner – in life and on stage is respected London guitarist Phil Robson. As well as being one of the leading jazz guitarists in Europe, Phil is also celebrated as an innovative composer. As a band leader Robson has fronted many innovative projects including ‘The Immeasurable Code Quintet,’ ‘Six strings & the beat,’ Phil Robson Trio, Quartet, Octet. His latest solo project is an organ trio with the incredible Ross Stanley & Gene Calderazzo which toured the UK in 2014/15 & released their new album, ‘The Cut Off Point’, on May 18, 2015 to great acclaim.

Robeson also co-leads the cult band Partisans with Julian Siegel which has been a major influence on the European contemporary scene & beyond. 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.

Find out more about Phil on his website: 

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Tempo: 120.0