Barbara Higbie

Photo © Irene Young

One of the most exciting musicians I have heard.
—Phil Elwood, SF Chronicle

At the time that I wrote this, I had just photographed Barbara for her stellar 2014 CD release, Scenes From Life, (cover artfully designed by longtime friend, Carol Ehrlich).  barbara-higbie-scences-from-life-cover-by-irene-young

I cannot tell you how many times throughout 30 years I have looked through the lens and seen this gleeful woman’s smile – or heard her laugh.  (She even has a song called Glee!) But, then, everyone who has heard her perform live has seen this side of this amazing artist. However,  what you may not know, is that her genius has a very deep side. She has an understanding of the human heart along with a strength to get through it’s challenges. If you listen carefully, you can hear it as the bass line under her laughter.

Photo by Irene Young

There are certain musicians who move us to the point of our saying, “How is it possible to do what she does?” Barbara is one of those truly gifted humans who channel music from another world to who make this one better. She was the beautiful person who helped plant the seed of this CD. She inspired other friends to help me during my year of treatment. I deeply thank her. 

Another obscure fact is that Barbara is an excellent astrologer and a trained energy intuitive. We both studied with a renown teacher in the SF Bay area for many years. So, it stands to reason that there is a healing quality to her music. Her song entitled, Line of Gold, is on Glass Half Full.
—Irene Young

“Lilfe goes by so damn fast.
And we are only here to love.”

Photo: Barbara Higbie © Irene Young, the first photo shoot.

From Barbara’s Website:

BARBARA HIGBIE,  a Grammy nominated, Bammy award winning composer, pianist singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist,  has performed on more than 65 albums, including Carlos Santana’s 2007 release.

She has 11 recordings to her credit as well as contributions to 10 compilations that have sold in the millions.

As a cofounder, with Darol Anger, of the acoustic super group, “Montreux”, she recorded “ Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival” for Windham Hill Records in 1984, a landmark genre defining album. She continued to tour world-wide with Montreux, until leaving to pursue a solo career.

Her 2 CD’s with singer-songwriter Teresa Trull on Olivia/Second Wave and Slowbaby Records have won critical acclaim and a large nationwide following.

As a solo artist, Barbara’s first solo CD, Signs of Life was named a Washington Post “Top Ten of the Year”. Three other solo releases, “I Surrender”, “Variations on a Happy Ending” and ‘Alive in Berkeley” followed to critical acclaim.

Raised in Indiana, at age 13 her family moved to Ghana, West Africa where she studied with master drummer Mustafa Tetty Addy. After musical studies at Mills College, studies at the Sorbonne and a sojourn performing in Paris, she returned to West Africa with a Watson Fellowship to collect traditional music. A professional musician since age 17, Barbara has played everything from Traditional Jazz, Bluegrass and Irish to New Classical Music and African Pop. She is known for her ability to compose both instrumental music and songs in a style that is both genre bending and accessible.

Barbara  resides in Berkeley, CA with her husband and 8 year old daughter. She is a board member of the non-profit Freight and Salvage, Society for the Preservation of Traditional music. Her 2007 solo release  Alive in Berkeley followed a 40 city national tour. She is currently working on a fall 2010 recording of original songs.

Barbara has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Terry Riley, the Kronos Quartet, Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Cris Williamson, Bobby McFerrin, Milton Nascimento, Spyro Gyra, Michael Hedges, Greg Brown, Ferron, Vinnie Colaiuta, Teresa Trull, Vicki Randle, Amy Ray, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Rosalee Sorrels, Terry Garthwaite, Laurie Lewis, Liz Story, Will Ackerman, Benny Rietveld, Alex Di Grassi and Peppino D’Agostino among others.

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