Radka Toneff

Radka Toneff, a Norwegian jazz singer of legend, made her award-winning album debut back in 1977. She only recorded three albums in her life, and her tragic death in 1982 cut her short. She was born in Oslo, Norway on June 25, 1952. Her parents were a Bulgarian folkinger. She studied at Oslo Musikkonservatorium between 1971 and 1975. She founded the Radka Toneff Quintet with Jon Balke (piano) and Arild Andersen, respectively. In 1977, her solo album, Winter Poem was released. It was an English-language effort. The album was highly acclaimed and won a Spellemannprisen (i.e. Norwegian Grammy) in 1977 for Vocal Album Of the Year. It also reached the Top 20 on the Norwegian albums charts. It Don’t Come Easy (1979), her follow-up album, featured the Radka Toff Quintet, while Fairy Tales (1982), was a collaboration between Steve Dobrogosz and Toneff. Toneff, who was tragically killed in a suicide attempt, died October 21, 1982. However, some believe that she was actually accidental. In the years that followed Toneff rose in stature to legend. Posthumous albums such as Some Time Ago : A Collection of Her Finest Moments 2003 and Butterfly (2008) were incredibly popular and reached the Top Five and Top Ten respectively. Live in Hamburg (1992), a posthumous recording, features Toneff alongside Arild Andersen (bass), Steve Dobrogosz (“piano”) and Alex Riel (“drums”). Allmusic

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