Tina Bridgman – A Life In Music
For as long as I can remember, I have always played music… playing in 20/30 piece orchestras at school, brass bands, choirs and making up the odd tune on the keyboards at home.
My “career” as a guitarist started at 13, teaching myself and jamming with friends. I joined my first band, Catch 22, at 17 as a backing vocalist and keyboard player performing in the south-west of UK every weekend for two years. The years that followed saw me playing guitar, songwriting and performing with another songwriter, David Hill.
In 1990 I travelled around Australia and New Zealand, songwriting all the way with my guitar as a constant companion. Here, I had my first busking experience and performed my own material to sit-down audiences. In 1993, I had my first solo gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London—a famous jazz venue and well-known for showcasing. Following that, I then joined a 13-piece group as one of the main songwriters and playing guitar, percussion and vocals. We performed for the next three years at festivals all over UK and performed live with Billy Bragg on the Acoustic Stage of Glastonbury Festival. Later, I teamed up with a well known contemporary folk group called Seize the Day as a backing vocalist, drummer and percussionist. Again, we performed at festivals all over UK plus Europe and Ireland including Cambridge Folk Festival and Glastonbury.
In 1999, I recorded my first album titled “Hearth” with two gifted musicians, Richard Osborne and Matt Tweed. The release of this was successful and established me as a singer/songwriter in my own right.
The track ‘You Have No Right’ is an advocacy song against GMO. The lyrics have been included in a book published by the University of Minnesota, ‘Fighting for the Future of Food’ which has been widely distributed to university libraries throughout the USA.
DEEP SUN INSIDE
The three of us became known as Hearth and in 2002 a 2nd album was released titled “Deep Sun Inside“. We performed at many festivals and events around the UK including Cambridge Folk Festival, Jersey Festival of World Music, Lewes Guitar Festival and again, Glastonbury.
My return to playing led me to learning many classic songs from artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Eva Cassidy to name but a few. I built my repertoire up to about 100 songs… music for all occasions and ages. I felt just so happy and grateful that I had found a way to play.
IN THE COMPANY OF YOU
This saw my return to performing at events in New Zealand such as the Festival of Opportunities in Nelson, Luminate, Visions and Heartart in Golden Bay.
With a completely new wave of inspiration I released a 3rd album titled “In the Company of You” which gets played on FreshFM.
In 2007, I toured the UK for seven months to perform solo and promote the album which was successful and I appeared at many events/festivals—again, Glastonbury being one of them.
In the New Zealand springtime of 2009 I recorded and produced my 4th album ‘Matariki Morning’.
A track from this album, ‘Lovers of Life’ was used to support a video presentation by a non-profit organisation at the United Nations in Geneva.
The songwriter in me has always remained and in 2016, I released my 5th album, ‘Halcyon Breeze’.
“Tina’s voice and music is both uplifting and hauntingly beautiful. Just listen to the title song Halcyon Breeze to see what I mean.” Andrew Sampson – Vale Designs
In addition to playing in wine bars, restaurants, teahouses, coffee lounges, beer gardens, hotels, at weddings and local festivals, I also stepped into street performance as a way to network, promote and reach people from all walks of life. This has taken me to many interesting towns and markets and I am constantly amazed at the great connections that are made.
I established myself as a Community Musician and basically see it as my responsibility as a musician to make music accessible to my community. To this end, it has found me performing and sharing music in carehomes, community centres, centres for young people with learning disabilities, performing for the AGM of the UK charity ‘Within Reach’, in addition to the other places mentioned above.
WORKSHOPS AND TEACHING
I am currently involved also with two Singing Groups in a project that was initiated by the Royal Voluntary Service as part of the government’s ‘Drink Wise Age Well’ scheme.
My teaching of guitar also developed over recent years and this saw me working with pupils in a primary school in New Zealand. In addition to the guitar, I developed a deeper understanding of the voice and techniques to help people overcome the obstacles that stop them from singing to help them reclaim their voice.