A virtual jazz supper club with Tonina

Singer, songwriter and bassist to play the Sheldon on Facebook Live June 30


by Mariah L. Richardson, The St. Louis American

We’ve been locked in since March and Covid-19 cases are still rising in the state of Missouri.  But summer has officially started and guidelines to protect our health have put a squash to the type of gatherings that were a natural part of hot St. Louis summer days.

But don’t let that stop you from having your own 10 people or less, 6-foot social distancing concert in your backyard or on your patio from a local artist with a global presence. Fill your kiddie pool, put your favorite drinks on ice, light that grill, grab your chair, and put the speakers on your laptop or device via Bluetooth and tune in to Facebook on Tuesday, June 30 at 8:30 for an hour of Tonina.

She will be live from the acoustically exquisite Sheldon Concert Hall for the RSVP Jazz Supper Club presentation hosted by jazz radio personality Your Lady Edie Bee. Bassist, songwriter, poet, and singer, Tonina’s smooth sounds will fill your soul and prove to you that summer is not lost.

Born in San Diego, California of African American and Sicilian heritage, Tonina was raised in St. Louis as a member of a musical family. She has created her own style that captures her unique background. Whether it is R&B, Jazz, Blues, Latin, or Calypso Tonina brings a sound that could be referred to as almost otherworldly.  She can bring a song to life, whether she is singing in English or Spanish. Her lyrics nest in the back of her throat as to meter out her trembling vibrato. I feel that the words are incidental; sitting like flowy garments atop of the notes that lightly brush and tickle our skin as well as ears. Her sound reminds me of Corrine Bailey Rae or Andra Day. That kind of feminine, neo-soul, smooth R&B that has a message about love and life.

A classically trained musician, Tonina began learning her craft at 9 years old. She was mentored by several bassists from the St. Louis Symphony, and later became a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra – and performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln center among other prestigious historic classical music venues.  At 17, she was admitted to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. During a year abroad at Berklee’s Valencia, Spain campus, she met producer Javier Limon, who cultivated her singing style and produced her first album “Black Angels.” She also met Heather Rivas at that time, and along with Mario Taddeo Jr., formed the band Her Say and released the album, So It Goes in 2017.

Tonina’s skill and talent as a musician, singer and songwriter led to a name drop by President Barack Obama.

Obama, who is known for releasing lists of books and music he’’s enjoyed at the end of the year, named Saputo’s song “Historia De un Amor” one of his favorites of 2018.

“My forever president put my song ‘Historia De un Amor’ on his Best songs of 2018 list! I fell down the stairs. Come back Barack,” Tonina said via Facebook upon learning the news.

Familiarize yourself by watching some of her videos on your favorite music platform. One of my favorites is Black Angels, a song imploring artists to paint black angels so that people know there are good black people in Heaven. A thought that is quite relevant in these current times. Another is the love song titled Time, a collaboration with Kevin Bedford. Her latest release Papaya is an upbeat Latin dance song that will have you wishing for a tropical get-away. Maybe when we feel safe to fly again. Tonina is a delight to listen to and will definitely create an evening of summer magic by way of Facebook.

RSVP Jazz Supper Club will present Tonina at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 via Facebook Live from the Sheldon Concert Hall. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/488078585313401/.

For more information, on Tonina, visit www.iamtonina.com.



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