Kristina Train (born January 17, 1982 in New York City) is an American pop singer-songwriter and musician who has lived in London, United Kingdom since 2011. Her music blends influences from country, soul, gospel, blues, folk, and jazz.
Kristina was born in New York City and raised in Savannah, Georgia. She is of Norwegian, Italian, and Irish heritage. At the age of four, Kristina started studying classical violin and ballet. She taught herself to play piano and guitar at an early age. Kristina was a dancer in the Garden State Ballet, Savannah Danse Theatre, and Ballet South where she studied under Karena Brock-Carlyle (Principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre sharing roles with such stars as Natalia Makarova, Cynthia Gregory and Carla Fracci; and partnering with stars such as Rudolph Nureyev, Ivan Nagy, Fernando Bujones, and Mikhail Baryshnikov).
Kristina spent her youth volunteering at the Savannah Music Festival where she eventually returned to perform. She sang in school and church gospel choirs and played in community orchestras and jazz bands. Kristina was a member of the Garden State Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Savannah Civic Orchestra. She was a selected member of The American Children of SCORE (String, Choral, Orff and Recorder Ensemble). At 12 years old, Kristina's uncle began sneaking her in the back entrance of Kevin Barry's pub to sing and fiddle traditional Celtic music with performers such as Mary Black and members of Cherish The Ladies, and other Irish greats. At 13 years old, Kristina was the youngest member accepted to play in the Beaufort Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Fred Devyatkin. She was a recurring guest soloist with the Savannah Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Philip Greenberg, starting at age 16.
While growing up in downtown Savannah, Kristina also immersed herself in the jazz and blues scene by hanging around local clubs. She performed regularly with the legendary Ben Tucker who performed and recorded with Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Dexter Gordon, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Buddy Rich, Billy Taylor, and hundreds of other jazz greats. Tucker co-wrote the song Comin' Home Baby released by Mel Torme, Herbie Mann and Michael Bublé. Tucker was a great influence in fostering Train's interest in jazz music which led to her performing in the Savannah Jazz Festival with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra led by trombonist, Teddy Adams (Cab Calloway, Art Blakey, and Irene Reid among others). Kristina continues to play jazz shows upon returning to Savannah with friend and jazz guitarist, Howard Paul (Bucky Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Joe Beck and Jimmy Bruno among others). While in high school, she received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Kristina was also influenced by the strong ties to blues music in Savannah. She performed regularly with Eric Culberson at Savannah Blues which attracted musicians such as Dick Dale, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and the North Mississippi Allstars. This led to Kristina's friendship and collaboration with Mike Mattison and Paul Olsen of Scrapomatic, Derek Trucks, and Susan Tedeschi.
Train began singing and playing violin with The Looters in 1999, who also backed European musicians Rosa King and Saskia Laroo on tours of the US until 2001 and became Dr.Dan Matrazzo and The Looters in 2011.
Although originally planning to attend Trinity College, Dublin, Train resisted family pressure and decided to stay closer to her budding musical career in the South. While attending college in Athens, Georgia, she was a member of The Park Bench Blues Band. In 2001 Train played a showcase in New York City for Blue Note Records EMI. Executives Bruce Lundvall and Arif Mardin subsequently invited Train to sign to Blue Note. Train left school to pursue music full-time, moving to New York and signing with Blue Note. Kristina continued to maintain a friendship with mentor, Bruce Lundvall.Continue reading at Wikipedia... Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license