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Christina Courtin

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When Christina Courtin first met revered studio musician Greg Cohen, the former Tom Waits sideman and top-tier jazz bassist asked her where she was from.

“Buffalo,” Courtin replied. “Of course,” smiled Cohen. “That makes perfect sense. So many of the greatest musicians I know are from Buffalo.”

Courtin, who grew up in Williamsville (near Buffalo) and cut her musical teeth playing in various garage and high school bands in the area, was a little taken aback, but not particularly surprised. Cohen, one of her musical idols, and a musician who would have an indelible impact on her recently released self-titled Nonesuch Records debut, had simply reinforced a long-held belief. “Musicians know that Buffalo is a happening place, musically speaking,” she says. “Everyone else might not. But musicians always know.”

That sense of musical “knowing” is something Courtin has actively courted for “pretty much entire life.”

A recent graduate of the prestigious Julliard School of Music, Courtin began playing violin at the age of 3. She was concert-mistress of the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra her final years of high school and played the third movement of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra her senior year. While a student at Juilliard, she had earned gigs performing as a sideman with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, soprano Dawn Upshaw and Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov.

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