Nina Tolins Resume
| NINA (R) (registered trademark of Nina Tolins)
* Winner 2009 BILLBOARD World Song Contest - r&b/blues category! (Billboard judges were the first to review her new album REBEL WITH A CAUSE calling all the songs hits!) ......... With powerhouse vocals and a 4-octave range, a sultry r&b / jazz-tinged voice immersed in old & new school rock stylings, dynamic, emotional & electric delivery, songwriting beyond the original and the exciting REBEL BAND- MY Space Top Artist NY & Japan, Billboard Contest Winner and ASCAP showcased songwriter, NINA, has created an unprecedented buzz with the NYC music scene as fans & club owners alike nickname NINA "THE VOICE". The news has spread quickly to new fans & sales from places as diverse as Europe & Nashville to Seattle & Japan !!
Nina brought down the house at Caesar's, Atlantic City when Patti LaBelle called her on-stage to sing "At Last" a' cappella and had "the joint jumpin'" as a vocalist for jazz legend Marion McPartland & her trio. Singing since the age of 3, NINA has worked with some of the top names in rock, jazz & r&b : Steve Holley, Harry Whitaker, Myron Walden, Chico Hamilton, Junior Mance, John Reilly, Joe Magnarelli, Gene Paul, and Alan St. Jon; to name just a few. She has performed at some of music's top venues ï¿½ from large concert halls such as the Eastman Kodak Theater, Tillis Center, and Disney World, to the more intimate, famous clubs of NYC ï¿½ Sweet Rhythm, The Bitter End, Kenny's Castaways, The Cutting Room etc.
At the age of 17, NINA was chosen from hundreds of singers state-wide as one of only 12 members of the prestigious NY All-State Jazz Ensemble ï¿½ performing for the State Legislature and Governor. Counted among her accomplishments are headlining the 25th Anniversary Party for Ronald MacDonald House Children's Charities, the nationally televised International Festival of Music and Dance for Cablevision, Carrib-Beat for the New York Daily News, and starring roles in Funny Girl, Hair, Chicago, Cabaret, West Side Story, and Into The Woods at the Landmark Center in Long Island.
She and her song "Gabriel" were chosen for inclusion in the Time/Warner off Broadway play Sex Is More Than A Three Letter Word which ran at The Producer's Club in NYC. Her Lion's Den, NYC gig was also featured by Time/Warner in an interview broadcast on their show What's the T.
The release of NINA's first album, NEW SCHOOL ROCK, RHYTHM & GROOVES, was met with wide acclaim for its synergetic merge of both old school and new school rock. Lauded as an eclectic blend of classic rock, jazz, r&b and pop, NINA worked on the album with some of the best in the business: Elisa Hale producing with Bob Stander at the board, legendary drummers Steve Holley & John O. Reilly, famed jazz artists Harry Whitaker, Joe Magnarelli & Myron Walden and mastering legend Gene Paul.
Her 2nd album - REBEL WITH A CAUSE - was released Feb 2010 and features radio-friendly songs written by Nina and Elisa Hale which continue her journey of combining Rock, R&B, Pop and Jazz into an eclectic mix of stunning vocal performances. The R&B Ballad, Nobody's Gonna Own Me, from the album was picked as a winner of the 16th Annual Billboard Songwriting Contest - written and performed by Nina. The remaining songs on the album all received glowing reviews by the Billboard judges as well !
Nina received her Bachelor's degree in Jazz & Contemporary Voice from the Mannes Conservatory Program at The New School University. She is a voice student of the famous Katie Agresta (teacher of Bon Jovi, Steven Tyler, Annie Lenox, Cyndi Lauper, etc.). Among her other famous teachers are Chico Hamilton, Junior Mance, Janet Lawson, Amy London, and Richard Harper. Her renowned mentor, Harry Whitaker (music director for Roberta Flack & Roy Ayers Umbiquity) debuted NINA's career by having her sing with his trios in some of Greenwich Village's top jazz venues while only a young teen. A consummate improviser as well as accomplished sight-reader, Nina is also well-experienced in traditional, operatic, & classical voice, performing in both traditional and woman's choirs for which she chosen as a member of both the New York All-State and Long Island All-County choirs. Here her 5-octave range served her well as she was the only member switched song to song from alto,to tenor, to second and first soprano! (..and chosen out of 100 as soloist.) NINA has studied classic and roots rock, r&b, jazz, blues, country, classical, electronic, art, gospel, fusion and world music, along with acting, dance, and tae kwon do. Her musical influences are as varied as her studies and include Etta James, Led Zepplin, Heart, Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Steven Tyler, Bessie Smith, Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, AC/DC, E.L.O, Sublime, Prince, Steve Marriot (Humble Pie), Pink Floyd, Yes, Chicago, Chaka Khan, & the great Ella Fitzgerald.
Updated: August 25, 2010
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