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Barbara Rosene

Barbara Rosene has built an unequalled reputation for interpreting the great music of the 1920s and 30s. She is a passionate vocalist whose interpretations uncover the richness of jazz classics through the subtle, skilled delivery of one truly in love with the genre she sings.

Barbara gives voice to songs in ways that are both gracefully provocative and warmly welcoming. Few singers have her feel for classic material, from all eras of Jazz, interpreting the music with not only a full understanding and love of the original time period but with the rare ability to make the material sound fresh and emotionally relevant today.

In her established career she has shared stages with jazz icons, performing internationally with The Harry James Orchestra, performing with the late Les Paul at New York's Iridium Jazz Club, with the Woody Allen Band at The Carlisle Hotel, as well as directing her own New Yorkers, and as guest artist with orchestras and in festivals across the world. She has played such venues as The Iridium (New York), Lincoln Center's Rose Hall (New York), The Montreal Jazz Festival, and Night Town (Cleveland).

"Do what thrills you. Do what has meaning," says Rosene, genuinely. "One thing I know is that it really is a privilege to perform. When someone is touched or broadened by something you have given them it is a gift to be able to give back to the world in that way."

Barbara's album On The Brink, includes contemporary jazz giants, Howard Alden, James Chirillo, Wycliffe Gordon, Joe Ascione and Randy Sandke It is a natural progression from her earlier work, but quite different, and much more in the vein of straight-ahead jazz.

Barbara's album, On the Brink, includes contemporary jazz giants, Howard Alden, James Chirillo, Wycliffe Gordon, Joe Ascione and Randy Sandke It is a natural progression from her earlier work, but quite different, and much more in the vein of straight-ahead jazz.


How am I to Know?
Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?


Barbara Rosene - On the Brink    Barbara Rosene - On the Brink   Barbara Rosene - On the Brink



Barbara Rosene taps an all-star line up of musicians and arrangers for this treasure trove of tunes. The focus, of course, is Barbara Rosene’s singing, which more than capitalizes on the fine arrangements. All in all, musicians, arrangements, vocals, tune selection – this is a AAA winner!

— Bob Gish, Jazz Inside —

Jazz was always part of Barbara Rosene's life. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, into a jazz family. She grew up hearing jazz and big band music from her father's record collection and followed in her grandfather's footsteps, a popular Cleveland-based singer in the 1920s and '30s who frequently performed on radio. Barbara majored in English at John Carroll University, but her love was singing with the school choir. While in college, she started performing with a big band and at a jazz bar.

Early on, she was influenced by Annette Hanshaw and Mildred Bailey. Her love for 1920s music has been with her much of her life. After moving to New York in 1997, Rosene auditioned successfully for Vince Giordano's Nighthawks over the phone. She performed regularly with Giordano for a couple of years (and occasionally up to the present), and he assisted her on her first CD, Deep Night. She has recorded six CDs as a leader, ranging from the Annette Hanshaw tribute CD Deep Night and 1920s tunes on Ev'rything's Made For Love, Moon Song and It Was Only A Sun Shower to swing era songs on All My Life and a more modern repertoire on On The Brink. She also made guest appearances on the Bix Beiderbecke tribute album Celebrating Bix.

Barbara Rosene has been featured on Judy Carmichael's NPR program entitled "Jazz Inspired," and on NPR's "Hot Jazz Saturday Night." She was recognized by Backstage Magazine (Bistro Award, 2006), "Jazz Improv Magazine", and is featured in Scott Yanow's "Great Jazz Singers." Since 2007, she has been the regular singer with the Harry James Orchestra directed by Fred Radke, touring the United States.

Rosene is personally committed to the significance of jazz music in American Popular Song and in America's roots and spirit. Finding the soul of a song and linking its heart and expression with her own story brings this seductive blonde singer the satisfaction of a career well-spent. Recently she has begun lecturing on The Tin Pan Alley composers and early women jazz singers.

Barbara's CDs include 4 on the Stomp Off label, all of which pay homage to the great composers and vocalists of the 1920s and 30s.Will Friedwald, author of Jazz Singing and Sinatra! wrote: "No one evokes more vividly the music of the great singers of the 1920s than Barbara Rosene."

In February 2013, Stomp Off Records  released another CD for Barbara entitled “Nice and Naughty. It features Conal Fowkes, whose voice and piano stylings as Cole Porter were featured in "Midnight In Paris, Andy Stein on Violin; known for his work on “A Prairie Home Companion,” New York Clarinetist and Arranger, Pete Martinez and Craig Ventresco ( Ghost World, Crumb) on Guitar and Banjo. It is a collection of double entendre songs coupled with some very sweet tunes from the 1920s and 30s.

Barbara's CDs also include releases on The Blues Back, Arbor's and Azica labels.

Barbara Rosene

"Barbara Rosene has an ideal voice for singing the popular songs of the 1920s and '30s (in my opinion, better than Annette Hanshaw or Ruth Etting), and her laid-back, mellow voice does just as well with these light jazz/romantic songs of the '30s and '40s. Her rendition of "You Are Too Beautiful" is plain awesome. She has no intonation, phrases her songs meaningfully, and never over-exaggerates. She's just the best."

— Barry McCanna —

"You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby": Barbara Rosene/ Ehud Asherie at Mezzrow (April 14, 2015)



Barbara Rosene @ The Iridium



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"Barbara's voice reflects a winsome page from the past. Often it coos with a perky and insinuating sexy edge. She reveals the truth of a lyric in a clear vision and frames both joy and sorrow with a knowing perception."