Christina Holder, known by her performance persona The Leonine Queen, is one of Gainesville’s top jazz singers and known for her range of musical styles. Formerly of popular Gainesville band Savants of Soul, Holder recently broke out on her own to do solo jazz shows all across town. I sat down with her to talk her upbringing in classical music and her solo debut.
Kirsten Chuba: How did you get started as a musician?
Christina Holder: I started very young. I went to Bak Middle School of the Arts for middle school and Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts for high school, singing classically for nine years before I started branching out into other genres. I sang with the Savants of Soul for a couple of years and recorded my first record with them, “Downtown Sound.” Eventually, I wanted to go solo and have more control over my music writing and musical stylings, so I started The Leonine Queen as a way to start establishing myself as a solo artist.
KC: How would you describe your sound?
CH: Jazzfunk. It’s a blend of jazz, funk/soul and reggae.
KC: What has your performance schedule been like?
CH: I’ve been privileged enough to have had the opportunities to perform around the globe. I’ve been to Austria, Italy, and most recently, I’ve performed in Bahia, Brazil, with my bigger band, Maca Reggae Samba.
KC: Have you put out any records as a solo artist, or have anything in the works?
CH: Of course, “Downtown Sound” is the first album I ever recorded, but we are in the process of putting together TLQ’s first album. We will begin recording next month at Medusa Studios. My hope is for it to be released in mid-fall, and we couldn’t be more excited!
You can see The Leonine Queen perform live at The Bull on Aug. 19, and at Satchel’s Pizza on Aug. 20.
Know of any other local artists I should check out? Send Kirsten an email at email@example.com.