Patricia Barber

Photo: Valerie Booth

Photo: Valerie Booth

“Chicago is fertile ground for music and the arts. What a prize to have the EAR TAXI FESTIVAL based in Chicago! ETF both reflects the rich, diverse musical culture and contributes to it. It is exciting to have all these composers and musicians from Chicago creating, performing and infusing new compositions into the Chicago soundscape. Certainly this will promote musical mingling of types, genres, and I can't wait to feel/hear what that will sound like. How will the composers, musicians and audience members be changed by this? For they will be changed. There's the thrill.”

After graduation from the University of Iowa, Chicago-born Patricia Barber followed in the footsteps of her father (jazz musician "Shim" Barber) back to Chicago. In 1984 she landed the gig that put her on the national jazz map: five nights a week at the intimate Gold Star Sardine Bar.  

Barber’s first two albums for Premonition made her an international star: Barber sold more than 120,000 of the all-original music album Modern Cool. In 2002, Barber signed exclusively with Blue Note for 3 albums, including Mythologies, a genre-crashing song cycle based on the writings of the ancient Roman poet Ovid, a project supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship (2003) in composition (the first ever awarded to a non-classical “songwriter”).  She was also the recipient of a Townsend Resident Fellowship from the U of California Berkeley in 2007.   

Her latest studio release, Smash, on Concord Jazz garnered over-the-top critical reviews -- the critics agree, Patricia is the songwriter for our time, without peer.   

Ms. Barber tours internationally and holds a residency Monday nights at the Green Mill in Chicago when home. Currently Patricia is working on a new song cycle.