Theresa Eckstein, a native of Springfield, MA started pursuing her passion for music at 8 years old. She is the granddaughter of the late great Jazz Singer/Musician, Billy Eckstein. Influenced by a variety of music, it was Jazz that captured her heart and soul at a tender age. Her vocal talent started in church and developed in the school choir, and local talent shows.
TC has a unique flavor enriched with multiple genre (Jazz, Neo-Soul /Hip Hop and Inspirational) compositions and a masterminding high quality sound. As an artist she brings a captivating style mixed with zesty blends and tantalizing beats. A lifelong music lover, and singer, TC was born into a musical family, with influences such as Billy Holiday, Teena Marie, Donna Summer, Corey Day Of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, Minnie Riperton, Pat Benatar, Ricky Lee Jones, Heart, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter, Aretha Franklin, etc.
Currently, signed with Studio Rebels/ POZE Records and PozeProductions.com, she is also a VIP Artist / Partner and Ambassador to Black Women In Jazz & the Arts Division (WMASS/ Northeast ); and winner of the MS SHA Awards for March of 2014 for Musical Strides in conjunction with Services. Dedicated to entertainment, she recently, became a Host at Focus Springfield Community TV for TC ECKSTEIN’S 413 Community Cafe.
In 2013-2014 TC received a total of 13 Music Awards via Akademia Music Awards of Beverly Hills Hollywood CA and XPOZING Music Awards of Chicago’s Poze productions.com/pozerecords. Expanding on her music strengthened her knack for poetry and songwriting and now has ventured out on Solo and collaborative projects. Dance Mogul Magazine had a chance to catch up with TC and talk to her about her current work and her journey with music.
Dance Mogul: When did you fall in love with music?
TC Eckstein: I fell in love with music since infancy. My parents told me it was my only soother and as I grew I described very vivid beautiful dreams to music. It became my place of Tranquility and Equilibrium. I have had a love relationship with both God and music my whole life that nothing could ever rise above. No matter what I endure past and present, music is there to give me wholeness, self-esteem and motivation.
Dance Mogul: Tell us about your journey through the music business till this point?
TC Eckstein: My journey for most of my life in the music business has been one of performing and growing with each time, seeking improvement always and implementing how to inspire others. I received direct training from my father Robert Eckstein, a jazz singer, my brother Richard Eckstein, a jazz musician/mentor and 32 year veteran radio personality of WTCC 90.7 fm radio Great Black Music Jazz . I’ve trained at the Dunbar Community Center in dance and music under Souliman and Frank Harchett and many others. I was raised in my church choir and later became youth choir director. I also trained and performed with The Community Music School. Later, I went on to be in top 40 Band Circuits and recorded my first 2 singles with R&B group Physical Attraction. In addition, I did some solo recording freestyle club house music under Ross Cogman. Concert openings include: Mikki Howard, Najee and Trisha Covington, the Big E, New England’s largest state fair, Berkeley Performance Center for a Bobby Jones Gospel cancer benefit show, House Of Blues Boston, Bushnell Theatre/Park of Hartford, CT, Club Savannah Cancer benefit with Avery Sharpe, Robyn Newhouse Hal with Avery Sharpe Trio/ Rick Eckstein Jazz Quintet at Montenia’s, Cabaret’s, Symphony Hall Christmas Pops and I recorded in The Extended Family Choir with Grammy winning jazz bassist Avery Sharpe and in the Kevin Sharpe Group modern gospel choir, The Renaissance Art Space Diva Series: Teena Marie and Phyllis Hyman Tribute shows and many other venues across the eastern coast. My solo jazz movement grew in 2010 with the urgance of my son, Blaksmif, also a singer and rap lyricist to write /record more on my own. Having been led into the music industry via way of top artists who recognized my gifts has helped me to maintain consistency with creating music which in turn strengthened my knack for poetry and songwriting and now I’ve ventured out on solo and collaborative projects.
Dance Mogul: What advice would you have for an up and coming artist?
TC Eckstein: My advice for any up and coming artists is to self-invest, promote and stay motivated no matter what. Never give up on your goals when you know deep down in your gut you will succeed and are the real deal. Utilize social media and the internet professionally. Never get caught up in tabloid like conversations. Be above that and stay classy. Be ready to accept the negative and the positive and know in your soul great attention is what counts and how you carry yourself is and should reflect all good qualities loved in your music.
Dance Mogul: With so many accomplishments how do you stay humble, especially in a male dominated industry?
TC Eckstein: With me having many accomplishments I choose not to operate seeing music as male dominated anymore. Women are making great strides and nothing can compare to a woman’s pouring her heart into song and words of strength that identify with other women. I believe God is changing all of that. A man can’t do it quite like a woman or sing a love song to a man she loves. I stay humbled in that my gift is recognized as just that and when I get feedback from fans that I have blessed them with inspiration and encouragement due to my music. My purpose in pleasing God is my reward. He comes 1st in my life. Without him I would never be able to do all the things that I can. God guides me at all times and I am truly grateful for that and that his will be done.
Dance Mogul: Tell us about your current projects?
TC Eckstein: I recently completed my 3rd LP titled Champagne and Stilettos with the video, which is set to be released soon. I have a new cable access show and I’m working as a radio personality for a Jazz radio show.
Dance Mogul: What would you want your Legacy to be in regards to the music you leave behind?
TC Eckstein: I would love for my legacy to be an inspiration to others to never let anyone ever discourage the pursuit of living a life long dream incorporated into a fulfilling life. I am jazz! And I personify that as a result of my family history with jazz. I hope to be a part of the importance of educating children in jazz and its rich history as it came about. I aim for this to be implemented as a must in school curriculum. I support in the fight to keep music in schools via donations to Fender Corporation. My father always told me, “If you learn jazz, you can branch off and do anything in music. It is a foundation in that once you get it, I mean really get it you’ll know how music operates within the soul.” It is my motto and fact that lay deep within my roots and I am truly blessed to have grasped what I have been given and continue to expand on.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you thus far.
TC Eckstein: I would Like to thank God 1st and foremost for being my light along my life’s pathways; my protector who blesses me with many a gift, that on numerous occasions satan has tried to steer me from and convince me I didn’t have. I thank my children for believing in me and supporting me in the sacrifices we all have made in doing this as a team and in whom I am so proud of. My late father Robert Eckstein and late grandfather The Great Famed Billy Eckstein. May they rest in peace for passing on the inspiration and motivation and love for music. My eldest brother Richard Eckstein for continually teaching me more about jazz once our dad had passed. And of course my beloved supporters and fans of which I am truly blessed with a global outpouring of love and friendship among my listeners. Also the many people backing me and reaching out to me in the spirit of love that keeps me doing what I do as an artist. I truly have much respect, love and adoration for who you are and how wonderful you are and am grateful to be enriched with them in my life.