After a career in linguistics and language teaching, Christine became involved in hot air ballooning gaining her professional pilot’s licence and instructor rating. In 1988, with the law about to change, she founded one of the first UK businesses offering balloon rides to the public.
In 1994 she sold the business to Richard Branson and set up Virgin Balloon Flights with operations in Europe, Egypt, Oman and the UK. Leaving Virgin in 1997 she worked for a year as a business consultant to the activities specialist Red Letter Days.
Convinced by the possibilities of the internet, she founded JazzCDs offering musicians a way of reaching a broader market. She also set up Basho Music working for jazz musicians as an agent and revived Basho Records which had been founded in 1992 by her husband Max Steuer.
Christine works on projects with a number of artists and manages young piano star Gwilym Simcock, The International Supergroup “The Impossible Gentlemen” and BBC New Generation Artist saxophonist Trish Clowes. She has produced a number of major tours including Kenny Wheeler’s 75th and Mike Gibbs’ 70th birthday big band tours, and a touring project with children’s Laureate Michael Rosen with the Homemade Orchestra.
Basho Records is about to release its 55th album.
For seven years Christine Allen was trustee of Jazz Services until April 2014, and Chair of the Jazz Services International Advisory Group.