Elizabeth Tomboulian
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Elizabeth Tomboulian

Cliffside Park, New Jersey, United States | INDIE

Cliffside Park, New Jersey, United States | INDIE
Band Jazz World


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Lee Tomboulian and Circo - Return to Whenever
Circo - North South Convergence
ET Singer - Texas Recordings
Elijah - Denton Bach Choir
Mass in B Minor - Denton Bach Choir
Bill Haymes - Out into the Light
Whatever it Takes - It's all Done with Mirrors



Elizabeth Tomboulian is now happily living near NYC and is digging the scene! Check her out at Sugar Bar, University of the Streets, Smalls Jazz, Perks, Cleopatra's Needle, and other jazz venues in the city. She's teaching in her home studio in Cliffside Park, NJ as well as at a location in UWS of Manhattan.

She has been a pro all of her life. A Southerner, she cut her teeth in Texas bars singing Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Phoebe Snow, and Carol King along with her folk and R&B compositions while gigging on guitar.

Her repertoire took a turn toward jazz in Houston where she studied vocal jazz, jazz piano and jazz improv. She sang for a couple of years atop the Shell building in the Plaza Club with Kip Galbraith, who called her Betty Bop, a name she used professionally for a number of years. Some of her vocal heroes discovered at that time were: Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Torme, Tony Bennett, and the group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.

She found her way to Lucky Pierre's (piano bar) on Bourbon Street New Orleans, where she met Charles Neville of the Neville Brothers, and played piano with The Charles Neville House Band and sang with New Orleans Ladies at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

On a lark, she moved to Boulder, Colorado, where she was a local opener at The Blue Note, sharing the stage with Tom Scott and the LA Express, Charlie Musselwhite, and Richie Cole. Tom Scott dug her opening act and took her with him to Fort Collinsto open his show there. She enjoyed beating him at his favorite dice game after the show. Richie Cole was so impressed by her vocal scat that for his encore, he sent the band offstage and finished the night with a duet with Betty singing and comping on guitar. Charlie Musselwhite wanted to take her on the road with him, but she was afraid to be trapped in a car with that much gin, so she held back. She's happy to see Charlie doing so well now. Way to go, Charlie!

She spent seven years in Nashville doing studio work and trying to get a record deal for her groups, The Lost Renes and Whatever It Takes.

She met Lee Tomboulian, her husband, in Arkansas on a Monday jazz gig at the AfterThought. Lee introduced her to the music of Eddie Harris, and the soloists of the cool jazz era as well as the music of South America (Brazil and Uruguay). This piqued her interest in studying the music of Milton Nascimento, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hugo Fattoruso and Toninho Horta. When she met Milton after a show in Albuquerque, he asked what her name was so he could sign her program. When she said it was Betty, he smiled a quizzical smile and asked if she had another name. He didn't want to sign it to Betty, because in Portuguese, it's slang for bitch!

She is featured on two cds by Circo - North/South Convergence and newly released Return to Whenever. North/South Convergence is a collaboration with her husband and a six-piece group, produced by Hugo Fattoruso. See www.circomusic.com or www.sonicbids.com/circo or click the Audio link above and then Viver de Amor or Garota de Ipanema to hear Elizabeth sing with Circo. She and Lee had the time of their lives visiting Hugo in Montevideo, Uruguay and gigging at Medio y Medio in Punto del Este.

While in Arkansas, she met and sang with Sheila Jordan at a concert in Fayetteville. Sheila dug her sound and recognized her talent so much that she gave her some tunes from her book. When Elizabeth ran into Sheila at her 75th birthday party at the Jazz Standard in NYC, Sheila thought back and said, "Yes, I remember you! You were hanging with the piano player and I gave you my book! I don't give anybody my book! You wanna sing with me tomorrow night?"

She had to board a flight the next day for Denton, where she was working in desktop publishing at UNT. She's now in process of developing producers for a "Tribute to Sheila" recording featuring interpretations by singers who have been blessed to hear and love Sheila's singing.

In Denton sh