A native of San Francisco, Torbie Phillips has been enamored with singing and listening to music since she was very young. Her parents' collection of LPs, though not extensive, offered her a wide range of artists, from Bach to Brubeck, from Debussy to Duke, from Tchaikovsky to Tjader, from Stravinsky to Satchmo. Early interest in musical theater brought her onstage for a solo performance of a Jule Styne number from "Peter Pan" at age 8 and for numerous (but minor) singing roles as a young girl, but it wasn't until her adult years (after a brief foray into the world of opera singing) that she developed her fervor for vocal jazz.

A former student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (with Faith Winthrop), the Blue Bear School of Music (with Raz Kennedy and Sharman Duran), the Jazz School (with Brenda Boykin and Stephanie Bruce), the University of California Berkeley/San Francisco (with Billy Philadelphia), and the Stanford Jazz Workshop (with Madeline Eastman), Torbie currently performs regularly at a variety of San Francisco Bay Area nightclubs.

She also hosts and performs at several house concerts a year, recording live for her series of CDs mastered by Piano Noir.