Toby Lee’s musical journey started at just 4-years-old when his Grandma bought him a yellow and green ukulele. This little instrument went everywhere with him and he played it constantly – mainly tunes by Elvis and Buddy Holly.
When he was eight he got his first electric guitar for Christmas while staying at a hotel in Cornwall. By chance, staying at the same hotel was Mick Box from Uriah Heep! Mick gave Toby some great advice and some picks and from that moment, Toby knew exactly what he wanted to do when he grew up!
Toby’s musical taste evolved from Rock n Roll to Blues and Rock. When he was ten, he heard that BB King was unwell and recorded a jam for him and posted it on Facebook. Sadly BB King passed away but his daughters saw Toby’s video and invited him to play at BB King’s Blues Club in Memphis. Even Toby’s hero Joe Bonamassa shared the video describing Toby as a “future superstar of the Blues” High praise for a ten year old.
The jam hit over 50 million views very quickly and opportunities started flooding in.
At 10-years–old he was associated with Gibson Brands and recorded a series of lessons for Epiphone teaching kids how to play the blues. He performed with Fairport Convention at Cropredy and did a session for legendary broadcaster Bob Harris. He also released his first EP entitled “10” produced by Laurence Jones.
He was then cast as Zack Mooneyham in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End production of School of Rock the Musical for one year – playing live to over 2000 people every show.
Toby won an Olivier Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Music” with School of Rock. He has appeared on numerous TV shows including TFI Friday twice, Little Big Shots USA, Spain and UK, Comic Relief, Michael McIntyre, The X Factor, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, Tonight at the London Palladium and Blue Peter.
He performed with Ronnie Baker Brooks at the Blues Heaven Festival in Denmark and the video went viral with over 115 Million views.
Toby represented the UK at the 2018 international Blues Challenge in Memphis – later that year he was announced as the Young Blues Artist of the Year at the UK Blues Awards. He was also featured in a documentary called Child Prodigies.
In 2019 he was flown to California to appear on the Ellen Degeneres Show and also performed for Gibson at the Anaheim Grove with Peter Frampton and Billy Gibbons. He was presented with his signature Gibson Custom 335, made to his specification.
The highlight of his year was being invited to play with Joe Bonamassa at the Royal Albert Hall – a dream come true for Toby and a night he will never forget.
Toby has also shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Lukas Nelson, Laurence Jones, Walter Trout, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Peter Frampton, Billy Gibbons and Slash.
Toby is about to release his debut album “14” and is working on an upcoming album called Icons, where he is recording with his guitar heroes. Icons the film is also in production telling his story so far aimed at inspiring children to get into music.
Toby and his band are delighted to be a part of Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea.