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WHO IS SONGBIRD?

Tonette Jeanine (a.k.a. T.J.) is the grand-daughter of a Baptist preacher from Houston, TX and as the daughter of a preacher’s kid, gospel music was and is the foundation of her music. Her earliest musical memories began at the age of 5 when attending church every Sunday morning where she would see and hear her mother sing in the church choir. It was always understood that when she was old enough, she, too, would follow in her mother’s footsteps and sing in the choir. Her father, who grew up on the East Coast, would teach her about harmonies from his early years of quartet singing. There was always music being played at home…every thing from Jazz, to Motown to Gospel and R&B. She heard Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Shirley Bassey and, of course, the Supremes, Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight.  

 

Although Tonette Jeanine  knew pretty early that she did not want to be a jazz singer per se, she enjoyed listening to the legendary jazz vocalists for the phrasing of their lyrics, their musicality and their ability to sing soft and sexy one minute and then loudly with control in the next. Another major musical influence for her was the theatre, as she had the joy and honor of seeing Stephanie Mills, Patti LaBelle and Eartha Kitt in live stage performances at a very young age. She saw firsthand how their music and their interpretation of a song could make someone smile, cry, and laugh all at the same time! Theatre encompassed all of the things that she truly loved...singing, dancing, acting —performing. 

 

The combination of various styles of music is what led Tonette Jeanine  to become a professional musician/singer.  For Tonette Jeanine , music is supposed to touch you...your heart, your mind, your soul...something! It is the ability to use song to touch someone that she has never met that inspires her and keeps her involved in the music world.

Tonette Jeanine has been performing since the 3rd grade. Growing up in Richmond, CA, she honed her singing and performing skills at church, and then as a principal singer at Richmond High School in the A Capella choir. Considered a “vocal prodigy,” at the tender age of 13, she began taking singing lessons with Tommie Sue Anderson of the San Francisco Metropolitan Opera Company. 

While attending Richmond High School, she started her first R&B band called "Breezin." She also represented Richmond High School in district functions and yearly commencement ceremonies. Upon graduation from Richmond High, Tonette Jeanine received the Bank of America Award in Music - Outstanding Vocalist. She then went on to attend the University of the Pacific, Conservatory of Music, in Stockton, CA, where she studied Opera and Vocal Performance.

In 2004, while the Director of her church choir (Resurrection A.M.E. in Richmond, CA), Tonette Jeanine, along with a couple of close personal friends, started another group known as The Quadraphonics. From their debut performance at The Baltic in Pt. Richmond, CA, they were a hit!!! During the band’s first and second years, they were asked and headlined the Pt. Richmond Music Series in Pt. Richmond, CA. For the next two years, The Quadraphonics were a mainstay in the Napa Valley area playing at Downtown Joes (Napa), Ana’s Cantina (St. Helena) and The Hydro Bar & Grill (Calistoga). Tonette Jeanine also gives back to the community by volunteering her talents to Bread & Roses which provides musical entertainment to the incarcerated and homeless.

In 2007, Tonette Jeanine decided to “step out on her own” as a solo artist and is currently supported by her 4-piece band called Raw Sugar. Although Tonette Jeanine performs mostly R&B, she also has some outstanding arrangements of well known jazz standards and show tunes.

Considered a “true entertainer,” Tonette Jeanine has a three octave range, and a voice that is mesmerizing, rich and powerful!! One minute she is belting out a tune reminiscent of Chaka Khan, and the next, singing a ballad in the sultry husky tones of Sarah Vaughn. Her voice is a “true” instrument and she takes you on a musical journey, painting a picture with her voice through the interpretation of the lyrics.

 

From 2003 to 2004, "Tonette Jeanine" was a principal performer with J'La Chic Production Company's musical Down Broadway.  During her tenure she performed all over the SF Bay Area where she headlined at the Grand Ballroom at The Claremont Hotel.

“I thank God every day for all of my blessings and feel truly honored to have the ability to touch people on a personal level. The natural high I get from a live performance is unexplainable and absolutely 100% spiritual.” 

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