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Artist Bio and Info
Pianist/Vocalist/Composer Tabitha Elkins was born in Camden, New Jersey and grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. Raised by music-loving parents, Tabitha started out playing the violin in her school orchestra, but as a teen she gravitated towards Rock and Blues, teaching herself drums, guitar and keyboards. After moving to New York City, she was involved in New York's indie rock scene, writing and performing her own music.
Her love for Classical music continued, however, and she studied Classical Composition at New York University(with Ruth Schontal) and at the College of Staten Island, with Edward McIrvine.
While at CSI, Tabitha expanded her musical horizons, studying jazz with Michael Morreale and performing her original compositions with the CSI Jazz Ensemble, and with a smaller group at student performances. Tabitha also became assistant News Director of WSIA, Staten Island's independent college radio station, hosting her own weekly radio show, "Friday Morning Jazz".
After finishing her BA in June of 2000, Tabitha moved back to Manhattan, where she started attending Barry Harris' jazz piano workshops, and became a fixture at jam sessions all over town. As a vocalist, she has studied voice with Howard Roberts, David Legg and Priscilla Owens. She performed vocally with TC the Third, the Jon Weiss Trio and the Paul Kendall Quartet. She also played with David Hines and the Freeform Orchestra and began a partnership with well-known NY area tenor Saxophonist Paul Kendall, who played with her newly-formed Quartet in various venues in the New York Region, including Cleopatra's Needle, Downtime and Tagine. During this time, she became actively involved in the Worldwide Jazz Conspiracy's "NYCJazz" newsletter, contributing articles, reviews and her own column.
Tabitha has impressed her listeners with her sense of rhythm, phrasing and inventiveness, and she continues to grow musically, drawing upon both her Classical upbringing, experimental and modernistic influences and the hardbop and blues tradition which has captured her heart. Among her biggest influences are Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner and Oscar Peterson, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday. Her singing has been compared to Katie Mehlua and Norah Jones. The gospel and blues influences are readily apparent, as are the quirky, witty tendencies of a fertile spirit. In the Summer of 2002, Tabitha wrapped up her debut CD, "Snowing in July". The CD features classic standards such as "Mood Indigo" and "Lover Man", as well as originals.
After moving to Germany in the Summer of 2003, Tabitha started singing with the Heddesheimer Jazz Projekt, and singing with Rev. Lee Brown and the Freedom Family Choir, as well as doing various solo projects. Her rock group, Blue Spiral, composed and recorded a song for the "Cool Sounds for Krimhild & Co" Contest in Worms, and Tabitha performed as a soloist at Cantus Novus' "Jazz Gottesdienst" during the Worms "Jazz and Joy" Jazz Festival. A new collaboration, with Werner Freckmann (from the Heddesheimer Jazz Projekt) is planned, with a mix of jazz, blues and soul music. She is currently composing a string quartet, and performs regularly in local venues throughout Germany. A new album, featuring local musicians, is in the planning, among other projects.