Tobi grew up in Washington State in a musical family, learning guitar from a young age. She started band in 5th grade with her dad’s clarinet. In middle school, she heard a professional saxophonist perform and fell in love with the sound. She went home that day and asked for lessons. She was blessed to have family and community support to study music at University of Washington, graduating with a Bachelors in Music Performance, emphasis in Jazz Studies. Tobi has studied with many teachers including Darren Motamedy, Jordan Ruwe, Don Lanphere, Bert Wilson, Michael Brockman, Bill Smith, Marc Seales, Nancy King, Jay Thomas, Rob Scheps, Randy Halberstadt, Jordan Ruwe, Paul Harshman, Mike Gergich, Ann Reynolds, Cynthia Hughen and Kaija. Tobi is a member of Earshot Jazz. She plays and teaches Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, and beginning Piano and Guitar. Tobi lives in Seattle and enjoys cooking, reading, writing, nature, animals, bicycling, long boarding, paddle boarding and traveling. She supports a greener environment.
Over the last 24 years, Tobi has performed professionally with several bands. She toured and recorded with The Tiptons Saxophone Quartet and Drums across Europe and in the US, from 2002-2007, and with Reptet Jazz Septet in the US, from 2001-2008. She performed as the first woman instrumentalist with The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra from 2012-2015. She has played with The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theatre, Spectrum Dance Studio Theatre. She has also performed on live radio and TV broadcasts for KEXP, KPLU, Seattle Joe TV, and KING 5 TV.
Tobi has appeared with Dave Brubeck, Kristen Chenoweth, Branford Marsalis, Anat Cohen, Meshiya Lake, Don Lanphere, Nancy King, and Bert Wilson. She has performed with The Seattle Symphony Orchestra, The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra. She has performed and recorded with Clave Gringa, Septet of Darkness, Picoso, Choro Loco, Big World Breaks, Zubatto Syndicate, Cataldo, Kissing Potion, Publish The Quest, Thione Diop's Afro Groove, The Jefferson Rose Band, B'shnorkestra, Ann Reynolds Jazz Duo, Susan Palmer Jazz Duo, and Night and Day Jazz Trio.
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Photography by Wendy Dralus