Tonina Saputo is a singer/songwriter, bassist, music journalist and poet from St. Louis, Missouri who performs her original music along with her arrangements of covers in Spanish, Italian, and English.
Tonina comes from a a family of music lovers that exposed her to many music styles, from funk, soul, and jazz to classical music. She was born in San Diego, California but raised in St. Louis, Missouri from black and Sicilian backgrounds. All these components have given her an unparalleled musical scope playing many different genres yet making each her own. Her sense of rhythm, melody, and her extraordinary voice and song interpretation, make her performances a thrilling experience for all listeners.
Saputo began her musical journey when she was nine years old and was trained classically for 11 years, studying with multiple bassists from the St. Louis Symphony and attending various master classes with Grammy Award-winning bassist, John Clayton. She grew up participating in multiple music programs in the St. Louis area, eventually leading the bass sections of both the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra and The Missouri All State Orchestra. Tonina performed at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and Lincoln Center in 2012 as a member of her high school Symphonic Orchestra. At the age of 17, she was admitted to Berklee College of Music and went on to study bass performance, songwriting, and Africana Studies. In 2014, she was accepted to study bass performance at the Berklee Valencia campus in Spain, where she met Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter, Javier Limon.
In October of 2016, Tonina travelled to Spain to perform at the National Auditorium of Madrid. She also performed her first showcase on March 30th, 2017 at the Ellas Crean music festival in Madrid and shortly graduated from Berklee College of Music earning two degrees. In January of 2018, Tonina opened for Grammy-Award winning artist, Lalah Hathaway in St. Louis. In April of 2018, Tonina released her debut multi-lingual album, “Black Angel” under Javier Limon’s label Casa Limon. In April 2018 she performed at the Catania Jazz Festival in Sicily touring Italy and Spain. She now performs solo and with her quartet at local venues in St. Louis.
“With Markbass amps and effects pedals, I can get any tone I want.” —says Tonina— “It enables me to achieve the appropriate sound for whatever genre I’m playing. They offer light weight cabs that still produce that great bass boom that all listeners are attracted to.”