Barbara Higbie

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Barbara Higbie (born 1958) is an American Grammy nominated, Bammy award winning pianist, composer, violinist, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She has played on over 65 CDs including three tunes on a Carlos Santana album. A longtime Windham Hill recording artist, she has also recorded for Olivia/Second Wave records and Slowbaby Records. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family. She is a folk, jazz, pop, and fusion singer-songwriter, noted for her highly melodic, jazz/folk piano performances. She has toured nationally and internationally since the early 1980s. An early recording artist on the Windham Hill record label, she formed and played with the group Montreux along with Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Todd Phillips, and Michael Manring. She recorded a critically acclaimed album titled Unexpected with singer Teresa Trull in 1983, which was included in The Boston Globe's Guide to Best Albums of 1983.[1] Higbie and Trull teamed up again in 1997 to record an album titled Playtime. Since 1990, Barbara Higbie has released a number of solo albums on the Windham Hill and Slowbaby labels. She is known as a versatile and soulful musician.

Born in Michigan and raised in Indiana, she spent several years as a teenager in Ghana with her family. She went to Mills College, attended the Sorbonne in Paris, and collected traditional music in West Africa on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.[2] It was in Paris that she met Darol Anger and began a fruitful musical collaboration. Together they recorded the record Tideline (1982), one of the early successful records of Windham Hill. Two years later they led a group with three other musicians (Mike Marshall, Todd Phillips, and Andy Narrel) for the Montreux Jazz Festival. The concert was considered so successful that a recording made at the concert was released as a Windham Hill record (Live at Montreux–Darol Anger/Barbara Higbie Quintet) and a new group was formed. However, after two studio releases, Sign Language and Let Them Say, the group disbanded. Barbara occasionally collaborates with her Montreux colleagues. She has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Terry Riley, The Kronos Quartet, Jaron Lanier, Cris Williamson, Holly Near, Teresa Trull and Ferron.

Barbara Higbie has an active performing schedule. In August 2006, she participated in the Windham Hill 30th Anniversary Concert. She spent 18 months living in Hawaii with her family and moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area in June 2009. She is married to husband Wayne, and they have one daughter, Lena.

Partial discography[edit]


  • 1990 Signs of Life
  • 1996 I Surrender
  • 2001 Variations on a Happy Ending
  • 2003 Barbara Higbie's Interpretation of Carole King
  • 2005 Best of (1982–2000)
  • 2007 Alive in Berkeley

With Darol Anger

  • 1982 Tideline
  • 1984 Live at Montreux

With Teresa Trull

  • 1983 Unexpected
  • 1998 Playtime


  1. ^ Wilson, Susan (December 22, 1983). "Guide to Best Albums of '83". Boston Globe. Boston, MA. p. A12.
  2. ^ "Bio | Barbara Higbie Music". Retrieved March 19, 2020.

External links[edit]