This week’s “Inspired By You” story, comes from Jazz sensation Theresa (TC) Eckstein a native of Springfield, MA. She is also the granddaughter of the late great Jazz Mogul (Singer/Musician) Billy Eckstein.
IBY: At what age did you discover your love for music?
TC: At 8 years old, I realized it was all I cared about. Some people thought it was odd because I had a love for Jazz at such a young age.
Back ground: Influenced by a variety of music, it was Jazz that captured her heart and soul at a tender age. Her vocal talents started in church and developed in the school choir, and local talent shows and events.
IBY: I’m sure Jazz is built into your DNA, but is there other music or instruments that you do/play?
TC: My Voice is my instrument, and I’m blessed with it’s versatility. Hence (Vocalese) ability to use my voice to make instrument sounds. In my twenties, I began to dabble into other genre’s but remained passionate about jazz.
IBY: What was growing up like with a Grammy Hall of Fame Grandfather? Did you feel added pressure to succeed?
TC: Because I was so young, I never really understood all the hoopla; until I started performing and gaining notoriety. Then I realized, I had to own my craft twice as hard. Because people expected me to land under the same Eckstein Legacy which my grandfather, created in Jazz. So I worked hard to become confident in my own abilities and to stand out as an individual. A dear family friend, Brother Rick Grant a Jazz DJ/mentor from WTCC Radio Springfield, MA 90.7 fm (Show Great Black Music); always supported me. He gave me the motivation to push forward and ignore the fears, pressures and expectations, others held of me being from a jazz family.
IBY: Who has been some of your musical influences?
TC: My family members, mainly, my oldest brother Richard. After my dad passed, he continued training and educating me about Jazz. Also, celebrity mentors, like Teena Marie (Jazz), Cory Daye, Nancy Wilson and Billy Holiday. However, Gloria Lynne trained my ear, professionally.
IBY: What’s been your greatest accomplishment(s) thus far?
TC: Wow, so many great things has transpired, over the past few years. Well, my upcoming CD release “Joy In The Seed”. My POZE Award(s) and the connection with Gospel affiliates such as Grammy Award Winner Jazz Bassist, Avery Sharpe and his brother Kevin Sharpe.
IBY: What inspires you to keep moving forward?
TC: : God — receiving the achievements of multi-music awards for my solo songwriting and vocal arranging as well as for my humanitarian and community efforts with health awareness and supporting nutritional food programs.
IBY: What are you currently doing? Is there any new music or projects we should be on the lookout for?
TC: I’m traveling and performing to promote my upcoming CD- “JOY IN THE SEED”. Collaborating with other musicians/ artists on multiple projects. As well as hosting my local TV show, titled TC ECKSTEIN’S 413 COMMUNITY CAFE on Focus TV @ Comcast TV in Springfield MA. The show is doing great. I enjoy interviewing people doing amazing things; similar to your upcoming, Inspired By You- Web Series.