Dingwall-bound Christine Tobin is Vocalist of the Year – by order of Parliament
Singer Tobin, who appears at the Greenhouse in Dingwall on Saturday, May 24, won the Vocalist of the Year title at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in a ceremony held in Westminster last week.
The Parlys, as they are affectionately known, are widely regarded as the UK’s most prestigious jazz awards and are organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, whose 100-plus members serve in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and work together to raise the profile of jazz in the UK.
Speaking from the Terrace Pavilion at the House of Commons immediately after the ceremony, the Dublin-born Tobin said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
"It’s always great to get recognition for your work and while I love performing for an audience, once the applause has died down, it’s gone until, hopefully, next time. An award like this trophy – it’s a shield with a portcullis, the parliamentary coat of arms, on it – is a permanent reminder and something physical to cherish.”
For Tobin, who also won the Best Vocalist title at the 2008 BBC Jazz Awards and a British Composer Award for her 2012 album Sailing to Byzantium, the past twelve months have been eventful. Last August she won a Herald Angel at the Edinburgh Fringe for her A Thousand Kisses Deep show, a salute to Canadian singer-songwriter-poet Leonard Cohen.
She then took the show to New York and launched the album of the show at a sold-out concert at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London, and she has been overwhelmed by the unanimous critical approval the album has received since its release in March.
“I’ve been a fan of Leonard Cohen’s since I was ten,” says Tobin, who brings A Thousand Kisses Deep to Dingwall on Saturday afternoon and at Lyth Arts Centre the following evening as part of an eight-date Scottish tour.
“And I see A Thousand Kisses Deep as my small contribution to this, his 80th birthday year, a thank you to him for giving me and lots of other singers these wonderful songs to sing. I’m looking forward to singing them in Dingwall and Lyth because although I’ve been to Scotland a few times, I’ve never been that far north and I’ll be really interested to see the countryside in between playing our concerts.”