Jazz Vocalist Barbara Rosene


Nice and Naughty- Excerpts from Michael Steinman’s Liner Notes

Barbara brings so much deeply-felt music to a record date that it’s a wonder it can all be captured on a little silver disc.  But it can.  She has a beautiful voice, an understated delivery, and a fine dramatic sense, which enables her to bring more out of a song than the lyrics and notes would suggest.  When the material requires it, she can be warmly affectionate, coy, witty, low-down, heartbreakingly wistful, and a thousand shadings in between.  Unlike some singers who attempt to go boldly back into the past, Barbara doesn’t approach her songs at an ironic distance.  Rather, she has worked hard to become one with her material.  Every song she chooses has an emotional connection to her life, and each one becomes a finely-crafted playlet.

Barbara’s romantic hopefulness is balanced by a clear-eyed view of modern life, so IF YOU WANT THE RAINBOW is a statement of belief to her.  She can also enact deep sadness without overacting.  When she begins, the room becomes quiet, as audiences feel the deep yearning she creates.  To me, her understanding of musical pathos is as deep as Connee Boswell’s — and I do not write those words casually.

For these sessions, Barbara chose four multi-talented musicians who are long-time friends, and their pleasure comes through.  Their collective associations include work with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, with Woody Allen, Eddy Davis, Kevin Dorn, the EarRegulars, Meredith Axelrod, and the ferry to Alcatraz. The result is both polished and informal, as if we are eavesdropping on the musicians having a good time in someone’s living room — Sister Barbara has brought home a new song from the music store and gathered Brothers Pete, Andy, Conal, and Craig around to try it out.  There might be cookies later.  Or perhaps some home brew.

 Michael Steinman

It Had To Be You

My Blackbirds are Bluebirds Now

Say It Isn’t So

Barbara Rosene featured on Jazz Inspired

Listen to Barbara interviewed by Judy Carmichael on NPR’s Jazz Inspired program.

Recent Barbara Rosene News

Barbara Rosene is a passionate interpreter of American popular music. Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal critic, author of Jazz Singing has written: ”No one evokes more vividly the music of the great singers of the 1920s than Barbara Rosene.”

Barbara’s New album Nice and Naughty, was released on The Stomp Off label in February, and it marks her return to the 1920s.  Aptly named, it contains lovely sweet tunes from that era, as well as double entendre, and sometimes single entendre gems. The release  of this new album will be celebrated at Blues Alley in Georgetown this fall.  Other release parties will be forthcoming. Look for more dates!

There is more to celebrate as pianist Conal Fowkes just recently won a Grammy Award for his singing and piano playing as Cole Porter on Woody Allen’s “Midnight In Paris” soundtrack. Conal and Barbara have done 5 CDs together, and many many performances.

Barbara also continues to tour with The Harry James Orchestra,  led by Fred Radke. They have been performing all over America and Canada including  The Montreal Jazz Festival, and on the lovely riverboat The American Queen. Check Barbara’s schedule for upcoming dates in June, July and October 2013,  on The American Queen.



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