Born into a multilingual artistic family, Toby was bathed in Classical music throughout his childhood. He picked up the cello at 7, and completed 20 years of study –first in his native Burgundy, then Paris, and finally Montreal– which culminated in a Bachelor’s degree in both Cello and Music Theory from McGill University.
Feeling somewhat unsatisfied by all that his education had left out, he proceeded to travel the roads of Europe, busking and discovering a new world of improvised music, freely exploring all the possibilities and techniques the cello has to offer, without limitations and with a deeper connection to the people and places he encountered along the way.
Soon he established himself in Ljubljana where he met and worked with musicians of all kinds; he developed a fascination for the folk music(s) of the Balkans and their intense, raw emotion. Through regular participation and mentoring in Etno histEria and the attendant Floating Castle festival, he has come to live and work in the wider European folk scene, playing Old-Timey Americana one night and Balkan-Ethno-Jazz the next, while making time for British folk songs, French dances and heartwrenching Anatolian ballads.
He now has no fixed base, bouncing between Slovenia, Belgium, France, the UK and even further afield to Uzbekistan and China, Iran and Canada, Sweden, Turkey and the US, wherever the road takes him and the music leads him.
Toby’s cello | the loong bio | the short bio | the silly bio