Patricia Barber

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Patricia Barber
Patricia Barber Nasjonal Jazzscene 2017 (212649).jpg
Background information
Born (1955-11-08) November 8, 1955 (age 63)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Singer, musician
Instruments Vocals, piano
Labels Blue Note

Patricia Barber (born November 8, 1955) is an American jazz and blues singer, pianist, songwriter, and bandleader. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 in the Creative Arts – Music Composition field.[1]


Barber was born in Chicago, Illinois to parents who were both professional musicians. Her father, Floyd "Shim" Barber, was a former member of Glenn Miller's band. Barber was raised in South Sioux City, Nebraska. Her music is centered on her singing, in a fairly low register and a traditional blues-jazz style, and her piano playing, which is technically accomplished. Her repertoire includes original compositions and standards drawn mostly from classic rock, including "Ode to Billie Joe", "A Taste of Honey", and "Black Magic Woman".[citation needed]

Her 2006 album, Mythologies, is a set of songs based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. In 2007, Premonition Records released The Premonition Years: 1994–2002, a three-CD box set of Barber recordings divided into originals, standards, and pop.[2] The set includes unreleased tracks and selected songs previously released on Cafe Blue, Modern Cool, Companion, Nightclub and Verse. Those five albums have been reissued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab on SACD and limited edition 45 rpm half speed mastered, 180 gram audiophile vinyl.[3]

In September 2008, she released The Cole Porter Mix, a collection of her unique takes on the classic Cole Porter songbook, as well as three original compositions.[4]

Barber is a lesbian; interviews with her suggest that she does not try to hide this fact, but that she 'tires' of the public interest in her sexuality and dislikes the fact that it contributes to her fame. In November 2008, she was interviewed by Gregg Shapiro of Gay & Lesbian Times, a San Diego magazine.[5]

She is a resident artist at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge in Chicago.[6][7]


An asterisk (*) indicates that the year is that of release.

Year recorded Title Label Personnel/Notes
1989* Split Floyd Trio, with Michael Arnopol (bass), Mark Walker (drums)
1991 A Distortion of Love Antilles With Wolfgang Muthspiel (guitar), Marc Johnson (bass), Adam Nussbaum (drums, percussion, finger snaps), Carla White and Big Kahuna (finger snaps)
1994 Café Blue Premonition With John McLean (guitar), Michael Arnopol (bass), Mark Walker (drums, percussion)
1998 Modern Cool Premonition With John McLean (guitar), Michael Arnopol (bass), Mark Walker (drums, percussion), Dave Douglas (trumpet), Jeff Stitely (udu), Choral Thunder Vocal Choir
1999 Companion Premonition With John McLean (guitar), Michael Arnopol (bass), Eric Montzka (drums, percussion), Ruben P. Alvarez (percussion); Jason Narducy (vocals) added on one track
2000* Nightclub Premonition/Blue Note With Marc Johnson and Michael Arnopol (bass; separately), Adam Nussbaum and Adam Cruz (drums; separately), Charlie Hunter (guitar)
2002* Verse Premonition/Blue Note Most tracks quartet, with Dave Douglas (trumpet), Neal Alger (guitar), Michael Arnopol (bass), Joey Baron (drums); one track quartet with Eric Montzka (drums) replacing Baron; one track with Cliff Colnot String Ensemble added
2004* Live: A Fortnight in France Blue Note Quartet, with Neal Alger (guitar), Michael Arnapol (bass), Eric Montzka (drums)
2006* Mythologies Blue Note Most tracks quartet, with Neal Alger (guitar), Michael Arnapol (bass), Eric Montzka (drums); some tracks with Jim Gailloreto (sax) added; some tracks with various vocalists added
2008* The Cole Porter Mix Blue Note Most tracks quartet, with Neal Alger (guitar), Michael Arnopol (bass), Eric Montzka (drums, percussion); some tracks quintet, with Chris Potter (tenor sax) added; some tracks quartet with Alger (guitar), Arnopol (bass), Nate Smith (drums, percussion)
2010 Live in Concert Floyd Duo, with Kenny Werner (piano); in concert
2013* Smash Concord Jazz



  1. ^ "Barber Awarded Fellowship by Guggenheim Foundation in 2003". Archived from the original on May 30, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  2. ^ "The Premonition Years: 1994–2002". Retrieved 2010-11-22.
  3. ^ "Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Releases of Barber". Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  4. ^ Schlesinger, Judith. "Patricia Barber: The Cole Porter Mix". All About Jazz. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  5. ^ "In the 'Mix': An Interview With Patricia Barber". Published November 6, 2008, in issue 1089. Archived from the original on December 31, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  6. ^ Reich, Howard (14 July 2015). "Patricia Barber: Ever searching for the new sound". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber". Harris Theater (Chicago). Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  8. ^ "Patricia Barber | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 1 April 2017.

External links

  • Patricia Barber collection at the Internet Archive's live music archive
  • Review of Mythologies by
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