Linette Tobin’s Pangaea hits the #1 slot on the NACC Top Adds Chart

Percussionist Linette Tobin is based in the Washington DC area. By day, she is a successful immigration lawyer, and she brings that same passion to her music. Her primary instrument is the congas. Tobin has traveled extensively in Cuba and Africa to experience different rhythms and learn the authenticity of their origins. Her approach to playing is based on applying traditional or folkloric themes to other more contemporary styles, including jazz and fusion (combining genres). She is lauded for using her congas as melodic instruments, for her musicality and versatility, and for boldly combining diverse influences to create unique sounds and music.

During 2014-15, she organized the former Afro-Cuban group Sin Frontera, which played on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Atlas Theater, and Exit Zero Jazz Fesitval (Cape May, NJ)
in 2015.

Most recently, she formed the group Pangaea which is heavily pinned in the World Music genre, relying on the individual backgrounds and influences of musicians from various countries for the overall sound of the group collaboration. Tobin has also played with other Afro-Cuban groups (Havana Select, Latin American Folk Institute), Latin groups (Patrick Albans & Sus Noches Latinas, Coral Cantigas), West African groups (Cheick Hamala Diabate & Griot Street Band, BeleBele Rhythm Collective, Akoma Drummers), and various jazz & funk groups. She has just released her debut CD, The New Shape of the World.

Linette Tobin’s Pangaea was formed out of the concept that diversity is a strength. Having practiced Immigration Law and advocated for immigrants for more than 20 years, Linette firmly believes that the “melting pot” that is the U.S. is at the root of American innovation, creativity, and vitality. In founding Pangaea, she looked for talented musicians with varying personal and musical backgrounds. Rather than replicating any specific genre of music, she wanted each individual to be free to bring their full knowledge and experiences on-board to make music that breaks through ethnic and cultural barriers.


The result is a variety of songs with influences from the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Pangaea’s sound is at times World (Cuban, African, Brazilian, Jazz) and at times Americana (a merge of folk, R&B, gospel, jazz, and bluegrass roots). Every performance feature songs in at least four languages, and musicians from different parts of the world. Pangaea is derived from the Greek pangaia, meaning “all the Earth.” The groups debut release features seven original tunes and is aptly titled The New Shape of the World reflecting the beautiful diversity of each tune comprised of this delightful debut recording.

1. The New Shape of the World. (4:13)
lead vocal & percussion Linette Tobin
bass Etu Dieng (Ee-too’ Dee-ayng’)
guitar Nathan Okite (Oh-kee’-tay)
backup vocal AnaMer Castrello
saxophone Antonio Orta
Song about change/empowerment through unity — particularly for women
Style: Folk/Roots, Jazz, West African percussion

2. What You Don’t Know (4:19)
lead vocal & percussion Linette Tobin
bass Etu Dieng
guitar Dokun Oke (Doh’-koon O’Kay)
saxophone Antonio Orta
backup vocals AnaMer Castrello & Laura Costas
auxiliary percussion Laura Costas
Song about not knowing how to have healthy relationships/intimacy
Style: World Jazz, Afro-Cuban & West African percussion

3. A Love Letter to my Mom (4:17)
vocals & percussion Linette Tobin
flute Antonio Orta
bass Etu Dieng
guitar Nathan Okite
Song I wrote when I found out my mom was dying
Style: World Jazz

4. Beauty in the Air (5:05)
vocals & percussion Linette Tobin
bass Etu Dieng
guitar Dan Young
Song about letting go and seeing where the wind takes you
Style: World Jazz, Folk/Roots, Afro-Cuban Percussion

5. Tossed at Sea (4:37)
vocals & percussion Linette Tobin
bata drums Rafael Monteagudo. (Mon-tay-uh-goo’-doh)
bass Leonardo Lucini (Loo-chee’-nee)
piano Carlos Cesar Rodriguez
flute Antonio Orta
Song about refugees fleeing home and the dangers they face (all true stories from years of practicing immigration law). The bata drumming patterns and the flute lines are the folkloric chants (melodies and rhythms) played for the Saint/Orisha of the Seas,Yemaya during traditional Afro-Cuban religious (Santeria) ceremonies.
Style: World Jazz, Afro-Cuban Percussion

6. True Gratitude (4:48)
vocal & congas Linette Tobin
keys Didier Prossaird (Dee’-dee-ay Pro-saird’)
bass Steven Sachse
saxophone Antonio Orta
auxiliary percussion Laura Costas
Song about the freedom/relief that comes with getting out of a bad relationship
Style: World Jazz

7. Make Way for the Ladies (4:10)
congas Linette Tobin
djembe & dununs Monette Marino & Kristen Arant
auxiliary percussion Laura Costas
Percussion only number by 4 women
Style: Afro-Cuban & West African Percussion

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