Patricia Barber

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Patricia Barber
Born (1955-11-08) November 8, 1955 (age 60)
Origin Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, bandleader
Instruments Vocals, piano
Labels Blue Note Records[1]

Patricia Barber (born November 8, 1955) is an American jazz and blues singer, pianist, songwriter, and bandleader. She was awarded Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 in Creative Arts – Music Composition field.[2]


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 presented The Premonition Years: 1994–2002, a three-CD box set of Barber recordings divided into originals, standards, and pop.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]


  • Verse by Patricia Barber (Blue Note Records) (2002), reviewed by Baul West, Allaboutjazz:[7]

    In addition to the assured performing of virtually everyone on board, Verse is a prime showcase for Barber's writing – all work on the album is original – and the lyrics themselves have a dreamy, open quality. The first track, "Lost in This Love," consists solely of questions, indeed allowing us to get lost in Barber's love. Love of fine jazz, that is, in an album of unquestionable passion and power that would be foolish for any jazz fan to pass up.


  • Split Premonition Records (1989)
  • A Distortion of Love Antilles (1992)
  • Cafe Blue (Two versions) Blue Note, Premonition Records (1994)
  • Modern Cool (Three versions) Blue Note, Premonition Records (1998)
  • Companion Blue Note, Premonition Records (1999)
  • Nightclub Blue Note, Premonition Records (2000)
  • Verse Blue Note, Premonition Records (2002)
  • Live: A Fortnight In France Blue Note (2004)
  • Live: France 2004 DVD Blue Note (2005)
  • Mythologies (Two versions) Blue Note (2006)
  • The Premonition Years: 1994–2002 (Three versions:Originals, Standards, Pop songs) Blue Note (2007)
  • The Cole Porter Mix Blue Note (2008)
  • Smash Concord Records (2013)


She is a resident artist at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge in Chicago.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Patricia Barber". Artists: Blue Note Records. Blue Note Records. Retrieved 10 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Barber Awarded Fellowship by Guggenheim Foundation in 2003". Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  3. ^ "The Premonition Years: 1994–2002". Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  4. ^ "Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Releases of Barber". Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  5. ^ Schlesinger, Judith. "Patricia Barber: The Cole Porter Mix". All About Jazz. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "In the 'Mix': An Interview With Patricia Barber". Published November 6, 2008, in issue 1089. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  7. ^ "Verse". Published August 8, 2002. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  8. ^ Reich, Howard (14 July 2015). "Patricia Barber: Ever searching for the new sound". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber". Harris Theater (Chicago). Retrieved 28 June 2016. 

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