A beautiful brunette with a jazz and musical theater background, Tokeli is "it", the whole package, an extraordinary talent with outstanding performance style and heartfelt interpretation of her music. The singer is a native of San Diego, CA, who has recently & happily returned home to the little island off San Diego of Coronado, from a decade in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. With a B.A. in Theater from UCSD and a Masters in Drama from Tufts University, Tokeli fondly remembers her musical theater roots playing roles of Julie Jordan in "Carousel," Hodel in "Fiddler on the Roof," Faye Templeton in "Yankee Doodle Boy," Evie in "Stop the World! I Want to Get Off!" and Marian the Librarian in "The Music Man." Blending her theater and acting training with her lifelong love of the standard jazz repertoire, Tokeli instills her live and recorded music with intense dramatic interpretation, a technique of textual interpretation and vocal phrasing which she also teaches in workshop settings.
Tokeli says the depth of her music today comes directly from personal struggle: "I think I’ve learned my life’s lessons through a kind of muscle-tearing transformation and emerged a more true version of myself at the other end of the journey. It’s that kind of spiritual transformation that makes the music and singing so much more poignant at this stage of my life. I had to go through all that to LOVE it as much as I do now, and be my authentic self," she states. Her performance style is, thus, both technically skilled and dramatically emotive.
Tokeli primarily concertizes in San Diego and Los Angeles, performing dramatic interpretations and outside-the-box arrangements of jazz standards as well as original selections like "If Everyday Was Like Today" (Kornhauser/Tritel), "There Are Clouds" (Hammond), and "I’m So Relieved" (Tritel). She works regularly with the Ed Kornhauser Trio (composer Ed Kornhauser on piano, Mack Leighton on bass, Chris Orozco on drums), with saxophone solos by Christopher Lehnig, as well as composer/arranger Carl Hammond and composer/lyricist Lori Tritel. Tokeli is also the singer for the 17-piece Legacy Big Band (www.legacybigband.com).
Tokeli will debut "If Everyday Was Like Today" (Kornhauser/Tritel), "There Are Clouds" (Hammond) and new arrangements of "Where Do You Start?" (Alan & Marilyn Bergman), "What’ll I Do?" (I. Berlin), "Teach Me Tonight" (DePaul/Cahn), and "Bye Bye Blackbird" (Henderson/Dixon) on www.xradio.biz/lasvegas on the "Woman of Jazz" program on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 8:00pm PST. The full CD, "Where Do You Start?" will be released in the fall of 2005.
More information, go to www.tokeli.com or call (619) 437-0470.