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Diane Roblin

Diane Roblin’s dynamic career in music has placed her among Canada’s venerable women in jazz. Composer, pianist, electric keyboardist, improviser, and band leader, Diane effortlessly harnesses technical agility to center music’s power of connection. She is based in Toronto where she leads her Life Force sextet, a “virtuosic ensemble of Canadian hotshots” (JazzFM 91.1) that features Bruce Cassidy, George Koller, Kevin Turcotte, Tim Shia and Jeff LaRochelle. The group plays Diane’s diverse compositions that blend her broad influences ranging from high-energy jazz-funk to impressionism. Diane released the project’s sophomore album, LIFE FORCE, in 2019. Described as a “genuine, wild ride you wish wouldn’t end” (midwestrecords.com) and “something unique to offer jazz fans,” (JazzFM 91.1), LIFE FORCE was on allaboutjazz.com's top 10 album list in 2019.

In addition to leading her band, Diane regularly performs across Toronto at venues like Hugh’s Room, Jazz Bistro, Lula Lounge, The Pilot Tavern, Alliance Francaise, Toronto Harbourfront Centre, and Array Space. Internationally, she has performed at Goro Merida in Mexico, Antibes in France, Smalls in NYC, Ronnie Scotts in London UK, Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and more. Her festival credits include: Kensington Market Jazz Festival, Toronto 416 Improvisers Festival, Somewhere There Festival, Tennessee Plum Festival, and the 2015 TDJazz-sponsored celebration of women in jazz at Lula Lounge in Toronto.

Throughout the years, Diane has performed alongside Bob Brough, Andrew McAnsh, Richard Underhill, Chris Wallace, Morgan Childs, Michael Stewart, Kieran Overs, Nick Fraser, Brodie West, Rob Clutton, Michael Snow, Russ Boswell, Alexis Baro, Charles Gayle, Ethan Ardelli, Alex Dean, Ben Riley and Glen Hall to name only a few.

Roblin’s career in music has undergone several meaningful evolutions. Training first as a sociologist at Toronto’s York University, she began taking music electives at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design to study an eclectic range of traditions including Indian Classical music (Trichy Shankaran), electronic music for (David Rosenboom) and jazz improvisation. Flourishing in the York music community opened the door to a diverse decade-long career of performing with notable acts from Rough Trade to Charles Gayle and touring with many jazz, blues, R&B groups. She then metamorphosed into a successful solo jazz pianist and film industry consultant, which she enjoyed for 15 years.  Diane next pursued her first passion as a frontline crisis counselor for teenage girls, in addition to her career in music and film, until retiring to travel the world. In 2011, a catastrophic life event reopened the door to music for Diane as a place of refuge, creative energy, and connection.

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“A deeply emotional keyboardist who establishes her musical territory with muscular performance and technical skill.”  (The Whole Note)  

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Life Force

Self Produced
2019

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LIFE FORCE

Self Produced
2019

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Reconnect

Self Produced
2014

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Back On Track

From: LIFE FORCE
By Diane Roblin

Suspend Yourself

From: Life Force
By Diane Roblin

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