Inspirational Jazz & Soul/Christian and Gospel – Bold. Unapologetically impassioned. These words are mere descriptors for the spirited powerhouse vocalist that is Tina Jenkins Crawley. With a sweet soprano voice and a sincerity that shines through her music, Tina has been gifted with something truly special. Influenced by multiple genres with a skill to execute any one of them flawlessly, she has been hitting the ground running since her breakout in 2000. Offering jazz-inspired and undeniably gospel messages through her indomitable voice, stirring lyrics and remarkable music, Tina is staking her claim in the Inspirational Music world. Her debut release, The Longest Journey, not only introduces her as vocalist extraordinaire, but an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with in the Gospel music world.“
“It has been a lifelong prayer of mine to use my God-given gifts to serve Him and encourage as many as possible with His message, sharing about the incredible blessings He has provided in my life,” says Tina. Growing up in Springfield IL, Tina used her God-given gifts in church. With a singing mother, music was always a part of her home. It wasn’t until the age of 11, however, that she realized singing was what she wanted to do. It was then that Tina began putting pen to paper and started writing songs. Shortly after, piano lessons started, further solidifying her love for music. In 6th and 7th grade, she took on roles in school musicals and in high school, she entered music competitions. After graduating, she attended Eastern Illinois University and majored in music.
The experience was a challenging one for Tina, especially music theory. She felt like a failure and ultimately put down the microphone for 5 years. During that tough season, Tina had lost confidence in herself and her singing ability. “It wasn’t until I acceptedJesus Christ as my Lord and Savior (during my senior year in college), that I started singing again,” recounts Tina. At her home church, she relegated herself to the last pew in the choir stand and didn’t mention her musical background to anyone. Eventually, she was pushed to the mic and a transformation had begun. She realized that singing was her calling. Tina says, “I realized that God’s purpose in me was greater than my voice. His purpose for me covered my limitations and the confidence that I lost.”
Always a lover of gospel music, she was drawn to other styles and singers as well including jazz and Neo-soul artists such as Jill Scott, Natalie Cole, and Esperanza Spaulding and was attracted to the improvisational style of the genre. Those sounds are front and center on Tina’s debut record, The Longest Journey. Released in January 2012 (after taking 12 years to complete), The Longest Journey is a testament to Tina’s perseverance and God’s faithfulness. The album combines poignant lyrics with the feel good sounds of soul and jazz— all with a touch of Sunday morning church. Each noticeable piece is confirmation of her rare and extraordinary gift.
One of Tina’s greatest honors has been to sing in other countries and in multiple languages (English, German and Spanish). Her songs are now played in Switzerland,Germany, Sweden and France. Additionally, she has been included in several recording sessions with internationally acclaimed musicians and performers. These occasions have also fulfilled a dream of hers to see the gospel shared worldwide
Tina’s has had the privilege of sharing the stage with many gifted artists, both sacred and secular, including Mavis Staples, Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Anthony David and violinist, Roddy Chong. She has lent her voice to music videos (with artists R. Kelly and Celine Dion), commercials and a myriad of special features. In 2000, she won the Gospel Music Association’s Music In The Rockies Award for songwriting. For several years, she has also had the pleasure of the role as Vocal Director for both the Global Leadership Summit and International Global Leadership Summit for Willow Creek Association. Most recently, she was thrilled to be included as a featured vocalist for the 2012 World Discipleship Summit of the International Churches of Christ where she devoted her gift to help lead worship for nearly 18,000 people.