March / April, 2012 - The group, REVEL has commissioned Barber for a piece based on the Ann Rynd book, "The Fountainhead". It is a chamber piece for saxophone, string quintet (with double bass), harp, piano and percussion and should be making its World Premiere in the later part of March or first of April at Taliesin West's Amphitheater and in Austin, Texas. This concert dates are to be announced at a later time.

November, 2011: Minnesota Orchestra adds layers of emotion to Rosanne Cash's music... more.

November, 2011 - November 17th, 2011  - Roseanne Cash will be performing a Pops Concert Series in Minneapolis, MN with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sarah Hicks. Both Barber and his collaborator, John Mills will arrange the 9 charts for the MSO. They were contacted by both Cash and producer/husband, John Leventhal. Should be a fun night!! 

September, 2011 - Barber will be going to Rio, Brazil to work on his recording project with Arto Lindsay, as well as tracking additional material with Arto. Barber's album will feature 2 tracks in Spanish, 2 in Portugese and the rest in English. Collaborations include Rolling Stones background vocalist, Blondie Chaplin, Jennifer Warnes, Arto Lindsay, Cucu Diamantes, Sahara Smith and more....

Poet Kim Christoff and Barber collborated on 7 poems that will be recorded at the Church House in early September with coloratura, Cara Johnstone and pianist Carla McElhaney.

August, 2011 - Cucu Diamantes and Andres Levin are making a movie in Cuba with actor / director Jorge Perugorria. Barber ask been asked to score some the movie after proper edits are finished.

July, 2011 - Barber has finished producing 10 beautiful folk songs for singer /songwriter /guitarist, Sahara Smith at the Church House with David Boyle at the helm engineering. Sahara had additional musicians on the session: Maurice Chammah and Brad Puckett - both playing every instrument with strings attached, as well as piano and organ. We tracked 10 songs from stem to stern in 3 days. Executive production is handled by Kevin Wommack with Loophole Mgmt. / Playing In Traffic Records.

Barber joined Trixie Whitley and the Band of Gypsies for the Ghent Jazz Festival in Belgium. The band members included Marc Anthony Thompson: keys (aka. Chocolate Genius), Marc Ribot: guitar, Mark Kelley: bass, Yuval Lion: drums and Mark Howard at the desk, mixing the show. Barber arranged 4 tunes for the Kiria String Quartet.

June 18, 2011 - Barber has been asked by Alejandro Escovedo to participate in a production entitled,"United Sounds of America" to be performed at the Chicago Orchestra Hall. This music project is to celebrate the modern musical histories of 5 cities: New York, New Orleans, Memphis, Austin, and Detroit. Alejandro as been asked to be the music director for the Austin night covering 120 years of Austin's history in 2 hours! Barber will be playing keyboards on the event as well as hosting arrangements.

Barber arranged strings and played keyboards for one of Spain's icons, Ana Torroja. Producer, Andres Levin was spearheading the project at Pirate Studio in New York City. Looking forward to the cd hitting the stand in the Fall. Moroccan sintir player and vocalist, Hassan Hakmoun played and sang on a track that was really beautiful.

Barber was tapped to go to Italy and arrange for Brazilian producer/songwriter Arto Lindsay. Concerts were performed by the Arturo Toscanini Orchestra in Parma, Lugo and Modena.

Summer 2011 - Poet, Kim Christoff and Barber collaborated on a composition for soprano and piano entitled, "7 Poems". The 7 poems were recorded at The Church House in Austin, Texas on their beautiful 1913 Steinway Model O. This piano belonged to the great Richard Rogers and she is a beauty. Coloratura Cara Johnston sang the piece and beautifully I might add and pianist extraordinaire, Carla Mc Elhaney accompanied her impeccably. All 7 tracks were produced, engineered and mixed by David Boyle. The recording has been mastered by master engineer, Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC in June, 2011. There will also be a compilation of a book/cd of Christoff's poems, as well as some of Barber's scores intermeshed with the cd. 

May 31, 2011 - Barber's classical recording has been released on Navona Records entitled, "Astral Vinyl", The recording will feature chamber music from brass choir, strings octets to vocal pieces performed by the world renown soprano, Lucy Shaufer. All tracks were recorded at the Church House in Austin, Texas with the exception of Lucy's tracks, which were performed at Chris Goldstone's Chapel of Rock Bath, England. Lucy's recording was a poem by Laura Lush entitled, "Marbles". Most of the recording was engineered, mixed and produced by David Boyle, as well as Carl Thiel's Music Room. 

March, 2011 - Natalie Merchant performed some of Barber's arrangements at Bard College from her last CD entitled, "Leave Your Sleep" on Nonsuch Records. Songs/arrangments include "Equestrienne", "Indian Names", "maggie and milly and molly and may", and others. 

Levin and Barber are composing a soundtrack for the film, Amor Chronico featuring Cuban artist, Cucu Diamantes and directed by Cuban actor/director, Jorge Pellogorria. The score should be completed by the end of August, 2011.

Barber accompanied the South African group, "The Flames" to play the Cape Town Jazz Festival as well as the Durban World Music Festival. Such bands as Wayne Shorter, Earth Wind and Fire to the great South African artists such as Johnny Clegg,  the Burundi Drummers and Madala Kunene.

February, 2011 - The New York group, "Skollie" played the Music Shop in Brooklyn on 2/13 as well as the Bitter End on NYC on 2/14. The band is comprised of Rolling Stones backup vocalist, Blondie Chaplin, David Letterman's drummer, Anton Fig, Keith Lentin hittin' those low tones on the bass and joined by Barber on keyboards. Chaplin hails from Durban and both Fig and Lentin are from Cape Town.

Barber and producer, Andres Levin co wrote a song with John Legend that is going to be featured on Red Hot Records entitled, REDHOT + RIO 2 and the song is entitled,"Love I Have Never Known". Legend recorded the tracks with "Dre" and Barber at Pirate Studios in New York City.

February 12 - Parkside Community School had a benefit and auction to raise funds for their music program. Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys as well as Tosca Strings play for the benefit at Austin Music Hall. Barber arranged the 2 songs for string trio for the evening. The benefit raised over $60,000.00 that evening.

SAVE THE DATE: February 12th, 2011 the Parkside Community School will be kicking off a fundraiser at the Austin Music Hall. Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys will headline the event. There will be other performers on the bill that will be disclosed at a later time. Certainly, Barber will be participant.


November 2010 - Los Lonely Boys with manager Kevin Womack has commissioned  2 string arrangements for Los Lonely Boys' new recording project. The Tosca String Quartet will take the reigns  and both arrangements will be recorded at the Church House the first of November.  It should be big fun!

October 2010 - Barber is leaving mid month for Nashville to work with brilliant singer / song writer, Jim Lauderdale and then on to Manhattan to collaborate on a recording project with woodwind virtuoso, Bob Malach. Bob has worked with such greats as Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Horace Silver, Josef  Zawinul, Mavis Stapes, The Yellow Jackets, Michel Stern, Mose Allison to name a few....the list of artists is virtually endless.
September 2010 - Singer and pianist, Cara Johnston and Carla Mc Elhaney went into David Boyle's Church House Studio and recorded a Barber composition for coloratura and piano entitled, "7 Poems".  The poems were written by Kim Christoff. Both Christofff and Barber are now in the process of packaging an illustrated book of the poems / CD compilation that will be on the stand in early 2011.
June 2010 - Barber arranged strings and played keyboards for one of Spain's icons, Ana Torroja. Producer, Andres Levin was spearheading the project at Pirate Studio in New York City. Looking forward to the cd hitting the stand in the Fall. Moroccan sintir player and vocalist, Hassan Hakmoun played and sang on a track that was really beautiful.

Barber was tapped to go to Italy and arrange for Brazilian producer/songwriter Arto Lindsay. Concerts were performed by the Arturo Toscanini Orchestra in Parma, Lugo and Modena.

July 2010 - Barber joined Trixie Whitley and the Band of Gypsies for the Ghent Jazz Festival in Belgium. The band members included Marc Anthony Thompson: keys (aka. Chocolate Genius), Marc Ribot: guitar, Mark Kelley: bass, Yuval Lion: drums and Mark Howard at the desk, mixing the show. Barber arranged 4 tunes for the Kiria String Quartet.

August 2010 - Cucu Diamantes and Andres Levin are making a movie in Cuba with actor / director Jorge Perugorria. Barber ask been asked to score some the movie after proper edits are finished.

September 2010 - Barber will be going to Rio, Brazil to work on his recording project with Arto Lindsay, as well as tracking additional material with Arto. Barber's album will feature 2 tracks in Spanish, 2 in Portugese and the rest in English. Collaborations include Rolling Stones background vocalist, Blondie Chaplin, Jennifer Warnes, Arto Lindsay, Cucu Diamantes, Sahara Smith and more....

Poet Kim Christoff and Barber collborated on 7 poems that will be recorded at the Church House in early September with coloratura, Cara Johnstone and pianist Carla McElhaney.

May 2010 - Pianist for the duo REVEL, Carla McElhaney has an e-zine called "Passion in Action" on her website dedicated to music lovers. She can be found at carlamcelhaney.com that conducts interviews with a wide range of  musicians. Barber was picked for the May issue. More to come on that front as it happens.

May 2010 - Singer /songwriter Matt Morris has released a wonderful cd entitled, "When Everything Breaks Open" on Justin Timberlake's new label, TENNMAN RECORDS. The recording is produced by Charlie Sexton and Justin Timberlake is Executive Producer. Barber arranged the strings for the Tosca Strings and also with the Austin Symphony principal cellist, Douglas Harvey. This cd will NOT disappoint!

April 2010 - The solo project "Fractals" has been completed and mastered at Sterling Sound early this month and is starting into the visual luge now with the graphics. New York's visonary artist, Rafael Vargas Suarez Universal will take the reign and shine his light on the cover art. If you want to see something fresh and profound, please GOOGLE him and go to his website. Bron in Mexico City his work renders beautiful murals, paintins and installation art from Aztec to high tech.

April 2010 - Look out, Natalie Merchant has a new project out!! Stephen's arrangements will be found on the new Natalie Merchant's upcoming CD, "Leave Your Sleep" on the Nonsuch label. The release date is scheduled for mid April. This gorgeous cd will host 28 tracks with an enormous range of musical dialects. Merchant set her music to children's poetry that she has curated from all over the world.The artist(s) are from Wynton Marsalis to Irelands brilliant folk group, Lunasa. From Native American folk to Chinese Opera, klezmer, gypsy music to "jump and jive". This massive project is exquisite. Don't miss this one. It will brighten big folks and little folks alike.

April 2010 - Amy Cook's new CD, "Let The Light In" on Root House Records was released this month. Barber had string 2 arrangements with the Tosca String Quartet on the tracks "Mescaline" and "Hotel Lights". The Austin Chronicle did a wonderful expose and review on Amy's recording this month. It was spearheaded by producer,  Alejandro Escovedo and was brilliantly recorded and mixed by David Boyle at East Austin's Church House.

April 2010 - Barber has been in NYC the later part of March and April working with arrangements on Spain's female icon, Ana Torroja. Producer and Yerba Buena's master cylinder, Andres Levin is the helmsman of the project. Ana wnet back to Spain to work with Miguel Bose on the project and soming back to NYC to finish th project with Levin and Barber. Partners in fun, Levin and Barber have forged a new band called, "LOS HANKY PANKYS" and just completed a track with Hassan Hakmoun. Look out for Los Hanky Pankys!!....it's hippy time!! They wil be playing at Prospect Park this summer. Look out!

April 2010 - John Legend, Levin and Barber co-wrote a song for Barber's solo project -  a Bosso Nova - Mr. Legnd, of course, played piano, sang and blew it out of the water. There are very few voices around with that kind of range..and soul. JL is something else!

April 2010 - Brazilian producer, curator and songwriter, Arto Lindsay has an orchestral project in motion and scheduled in Italy for May 2010. Barber contributes 3 arrangements from Arto's inventory. The tracks: "Prize"  "Illuminated" and "Into Shade". One of Barber's favorites, John Mills is busy working on the orchestrations with Barber. Rehearsals will be starting early May for Barber in Itlay with Lindsay.

March 2010 - Barber will be playing with songwriter extraordinaire, Jim Lauderdale at Maria's Taco Express and Antones. Lauderdal and Barber have been collaborating on a song for Barber's solo project that will include 3 tracks in Spanish, 2 tracks in Portugese and the rest in English. Singers will include John Legend, Yerba Buena's Cucu Diamantes, Jennifer Warnes, Rolling Stones background vocalist, Blondie Chaplin, Sahara Smith and of course, Jim Lauderdale. The saga continues.
January 2010 - Barber's solo classical project has been wrapping up with percussion sessions with American Repertory Ensemble's Graeme Francis and Austin percussionist John Bush at David Boyle's CHurch House. The project is going to be released under PARMA RECORDING on the Navona label in late Summer or early Fall of 2010. The working title is called, "Fractals". The 12 tracks range from large chamber ensemble to string quartets, string octets, brass quintet, brass choir for 15 players, electronica and a vocal piece for soprano, piano and steel drum. Fractals will be mastered in April by audio guru, Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound (NYC).


December 12, 2009 - Barber will be handling the keyboards at the Continental Club with Rolling Stone's background vocalist, Blondie Chaplin. Blondie's sidemen will include Derek O'Brien on guitar, Chris Maresh on bass and J.J. Johnson on drums. Downbeat should be starting around 10:00 p.m. and after Blondie set, Bill Carter and The Blame will take the stage. Don't be late for this one!!

December 2009 - Barber has been finishing his classical recording for Navona Records and should be pushing the air around early 2010. His project will feature 2 chamber works. One for the American Repertory Ensemble and the second work for saxophonist soloist, Todd Oxford. Also, a brass quintet - Theme and Variations from a Gesualdo madrigal for the Meridian Arts Ensemble and 3 string quartets featuring the Tosca String Quartet.
November 2009 - The new Laura Veirs CD is now available. The CD is entitled, "July Flame" on Raven Marching Band Records. It is produced by one of Seattle's finest, Tucker Martine. Barber arranged 3 tracks on the record for the Tosca String Quartet. It is beatifully recorded, curated and the material is stellar. Go to lauraveirs.com and grab one!
October 29, 2009 - Cuban singer, Cucu Diamantes plays the Highline Ballroom in New York City for a pre-Hallowe'en concert. Downdown theater, THE BOX will host some X-treme talent. Also, warming up the evening for Cucu and Yerba Buena will be Raven-O. Barber will be holding down the keyboard front with Cucu, her producer, Andres Levin and YB. Barber just finished a string quartet arrangement for Cucu - a firey song called, "Mas Fuerte". Go online and check it out.

September 29, 2009 - The "Only Tribe" cd release party of will be taking place in New York City's Soho. The cd of Stephen's score can be found through theonlytribe.com.

August 28th, 2009 - Blondie Chaplin will be playing Austin's Antones Club along side with Ivan Neville's "Dumpstahfunk" that evening. Barber will be playing keyboards, J.J. Johnson on drums, Chris Maresh on bass and Derek O'Brien on guitar. This concert will be produced by BIG KARMA RECORDS and the evening will be in honor of its owner, Jim Slaton who passed away in early August of 2009. It is a celebration!!...it is also Ivan's 50th Birthday. Fifty trips around the Sun. Congratulations Ivan!! Y'all come down for some BIG FUN.

July, 2009 - Barber was asked to score 2 songs for Amy Cook's new cd produced by Alejandro Escovedo and engineered by David Boyle at the Church House in Austin, Texas. The Tosca String Quartet supplied their heavy string artillery. On the songs "Mescaline'....they blew up !! and so did everyone else. Miz Cook's cd will be released on Liz Lambert's Bunkhouse Records.

August, 2009 - Barber was in New York for the final sessions with Natalie Merchant's new poetry project. With Natalie's producer, Andres Levin, the poetry project has been in production for the last 7 months. There will be 28 tracks on the cd, which will be hosted by Nonesuch Records. The package will be a double cd and a hard cover book - extraordinary photographs of the poets that Natalie set her music to these beautiful texts. Release still looks like the top of 2010. It was recorded at the Clubhouse in Rhinecliff, N.Y. and mixed by esteemed mixing enginer, Steve Rosenthal at The Magic Shop, New York, N.Y.

July, 2009 - Barber received a commission from the American Repertory Theatre for a chamber piece for string quintet, piano and percussion. The piece was entitled, "Conversatio Morum" and was dedicated to the late Turner Stephen Bruton. The premiere of "Conversatio Morum" was performed at the McCullouch Theatre in Austin, Texas. Stephen is presently in the process of a new classical recording of his music, which will feature this piece, as well as other chamber works: "Elvis and Annabelle" for alto saxophone,bass, cello, piano and percussion. "M.P.O.V. for brass quintet and 2 string quartets. His cd will be released in mid Fall of 2009.

March 2009- Seattle Producer, Tucker Martine has recruited Barber for his new project with songwriter, Laura Viers.

February 2009- Barber has returned from England and Wales. The 5 string arrangements were completed and mixed for the David Rhodes project. Tchad Blake mixed the tracks in Wales. The project is sponsered by B & W Audio Systems and assisted by Real World Studio. David's tracks will be posted by B &W as downloads in the near future. More infomation will be posted on this website as it progresses.

January 2009- Barber has completed the first leg of his participation with the new Natalie Merchant Project. After its first lap and between upstate New York down to Manhattan, 30 tracks have recorded from every musical dialect imaginable - from Klesmer to Chinese folk orchestras. Merchant has always carried a branding of taking care of the integrity of her music, her colleagues, friends and what a voice! There is talk about her recording being released some time this year.

January 2009- Barber has been contracted to write 5 string arrangements for David Rhodes' new CD at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios at the end of January. Mr. Rhodes has been Peter Gabriel's guitarist for the last 25 years and spanking the plank in many, many dialects. This is certainly one CD to look for! More info to be posted later.

January 2009- The Only Tribe soundtrack will be completed at the house that Greg Calbi built - Sterling Mastering Lab (N.Y.C.) and released in February of this year. The cd will contain 15 tracks in total. More infomation can be found on the website: theonlytribe.com/home.php

Fall 2008 - Natalie Merchant is working on a new recording project this Fall in New York.. Barber will assist Merchant in arranging quite an array of very diverse material and overseeing in the music production.

Fall 2008 - Barber is working on a solo project, "Obsidian" for the last year. Described by Barber as "mood music for the 21st Century". Three salsa boleros for 18 piece orchestra have been tracked at Stratoshere studios in New York City with producer, Andres Levin. In October, Barber will meet with Arto Lindsay in Brazil to complete the last three tracks. Featured vocalist by Jennifer Warnes, Blondie Chaplin, Cucu Diamantes and Sahara Smith. Electronica segues by Melvin Gibbs (Arto Lindsay's collaborator) bridge an eclectic inventory of material. There will be songs sung in Spanish, Portuguese and English. The project is scheduled for completion by December, 2008.

July, 2008 - The 12th Annual Austin Chamber Music Festival has been in motion. Michelle Schumann, ACMC Artistic Music Director has been doing an outstanding job of curating a very eclectic program. The festival runs from July 10 - July 26, 2008.

The award winning brass quintet and percussion, Merdian Arts Ensemble played July 19th. Most of the inventory was premiered from their new cd recording, "Timbrando" and featuring compositions and arrangements from Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and Costa Rica.

For the group's encore they featured a piece for brass quintet by Barber entitled, "Multiple Points of a Fanfare".

During the festival the Meridian Arts Ensemble recored "Multiple Points of View for a Fanfare" at the Church House and also what Barber calls sonic swatches for the up and coming production called, "The Only Tribe".

July, 2008 - Carla McElhaney has finished recording the second movement of "Elvis and Annabelle Lee" for solo piano. Her performance will be feature on the September MUSIC page of this website. We have bee pushing a lot of air at David Boyle's Church House.

The 7th Annual NEW JAZZ Series runs on consecutive weekends.

The Saturday June 7 event is

an exploration of music and verse

The Off Center
2211 Hidalgo St.

(3:00 soundcheck)

4-6 pm "ReSounding Words" $8

John Mills Quintet + Suzi Stern on words from Robert Creeley, Judith Austin Mills & John Mills

Composer Stephen Barber and the poetry of Kim Christoff

Atash music based on the Sufi poet Rumi

6-8 pm "Dinner alfresco"
3-course meal
besides musicians, only 50 places @ $25

8-10 pm "Diane Moser / Tina Marsh & Alex Coke" $15/12

New York composer/pianist Diane Moser presents "Music for the Last Flower"
Commissioned 2004 by CMA/Doris Duke's New Works Program

May, 2008 - The dates for the Natalie Merchant / Boston Pops Orchestra performance are May 27th and 28th at Symphony Hall, Boston, Ma.

April, 2008 - A commission written for saxophonist, Todd Oxford (ToddOxford.com) is getting ready to be recorded the later part of May, 2008. The piece is entited, "Elvis and Annabelle" and not to be confused with the Burnt Orange Production of the movie, "Elvis and Anabelle". The chamber work is composed for alto saxophone, trumpet, piano, cello, double bass and percussion.

April, 2008 - Natalie Merchant has commissioned Barber to arrange her song, "Butterfly" for the Boston Pops Orchestra for a May performance. The date will be posted soon on this website.

April, 2008 - Barber has set seven poems of Kim Christoff for voice and piano. The song cycle is styled for vocalist, Cara Johnston who is now performing at the Long Center with the Austin Lyric Opera in Bizet's "Carmen". Song Cycle is written in seven movements.

March, 2008 - Mallet virtuoso, Tom Burritt will be playing three compositions by Barber for solo marimba. The Percussion Galore Concerts for Festival Hill at Round Top (TX) are scheduled for this coming March 15. There will be three concerts featured that day by premiere groups from all over the United States. Barber's pieces are based on Eastern Orthodox prayers called molitvas. For more information contact festivalhill.org.

March 30, 2008 - "The Only Tribe" production will be having a salon with miniatures prepared by choreographer, Peter Kyle and composer, Stephen Barber. Creator, Roland Gebhardt and producer, Geoff Smythe will be hosting the event in Tribeca, N.Y.C.

December 2007 - Roland Gebhardt's "The Only Tribe" has an opening date at the Three Legged Dog in New York City in November 2008. Peter Kyle has been recruited as the choregrapher. More information at www.theonlytribe.com. Barber will compose the music and is now in the process of designing new instruments for the production. He has been talking to the reknown steel drum maker, Darren Dyke to forge some new instruments - some to be bowed - some to be gated by air pressure. New acoustic frontiers ahead.

December 2007 - The Roundtop International Festival (www.festivalhill.org) is premiering Barber's piece for guitar (Phillippe Bertaud), piano (James Dick) and marimba (Thomas Burritt) entitled, "Shadow Boxes" for the guitar festival scheduled for February 16, 2008.

December 2007 - Spanish band, The Cabriolets are finishing up a recording project produced by Andres Levin in Madrid. Barber was solicited to play piano on one track at Levins studio, the Fun Machine, New York City. And fun never ceases at the Fun Machine. The Cabriolets' singer, Bimba Bose is cousin of reknown Spanish singer, Miguel Bose. The cd should have a release date this new year. www.thecabriolets.com

December 2007 - Barber has been called to work with new Interscope artist, Matt Morris. The project is produced by Charlie Sexton and executive produced by Justin Timberlake. Barber has been tapped to write two string arrangements and another song for solo viola di gamba. Tosca String Quartet will be on deck to provide the string parts. This looks to be a very cutting edge record - amazing vocals and exotic timbres from top to bottom.

November 2007 - John Legend asked Barber to write an small orchestral arrangement for Denzel Washington's new film, "The Great Debaters" ( Harvey Weinstein Films). The song is a duet between Legend and and a beautiful singer, Jessyca Wilson entitled, "Speak To Me."

November 2007 - Ian McLagan has just finished a new recording with his Bump Band mixed and mastered by Evan Johns in the U.K. The title, "Never Say Never" has a Barber arrangement with the Tosca String Quartet. A beautiful ballad, "When The Crying Is Over" is shared by singer extraordinaire, Patty Griffin. This soulful tune is a love letter and hommage to his lovely wife, Kim. More infomation on Mac & the Bump Band can be found at www.macspages.com.

November, 2007 - Marc Cohn's new cd entitled, "Join The Parade" was released on Decca Records. Charlie Sexton and Marc Cohn produced the cuts and Barber and Tosca String Quartet snagged the last cut - track 10 entitled, "Life Goes On." The list of musicians on this record is the Who's Who from stem to stern. It recollects and realizes the whimsy and soul of The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" to the Band's "Big Pink".

September 11, 2007 - This morning the great Austrian composer, Josef Zawinul passed away in his hometown of Vienna. His beautiful wife, Maxine passed the 26th of July not even two months before him in Malibu. He was without a doubt one of my most profound influences not only in music but in life's journey. In our last conversation early this summer he told me that he has had a life of a king and felt blessed to have had the opportunity to fulfill his life's goals - not just music but in family and so many other orbits. Certainly he changed the face of music in so many ways - integrating electo-acoustic phenomenon and in global dialects. And with all of his sophistication there was a presence, a specific gravity - a folksy earthiness that was so very rare and a sense of rightness and confidence of where his music lived in this fast and frenetic world. For those who have not heard his music, I would implore them to go to zawinulmusic.com and for those who are familiar with his work to play their favorites and to celebrate. I know that his spirit will be filling many rooms today.

I am going to miss you.

September, 2007 - Ian McLagan and the Bump Band are in the process of recording a new cd. Barber has been recruited to arrange a track for McLagan for strings and voices. The Tosca String Quartet will be tapped to record the string arrangements.

September, 2007 - Barber is involved in the new recording project of Alejandro Escovedo. The working title, "SHELLING RAIN" is a musical retrospective from the warmth of the California surf to the jagged edges of the Chelsea Hotel, 1978.

August, 2007 thru April, 2008 - Barber has been working on a solo project that will run the gamut - from Cuban - Salsa boleros to the fado  to T-Bone Walker. So far 3 boleros have been cut in N.Y.C. under the ears of producer, Andres Levin and the other material recorded in Austin, Texas. The project will close in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) in late February 2008 after Carnavale with Arto Lindsay and Melvin Gibbs. The release date is scheduled for April, 2008. Much more to come !!!

August, 2007 - Barber has contributed an arrangement, "Ballad Of The Runaway Horse" to a long-awaited anniversary edition by Jennifer Warnes called, "FAMOUS BLUE RAINCOAT" and the extraordinary songs of Leonard Cohen. It revisits a rare marriage of art, sonic beauty and enduring friendship. (SHOUT Factory.com) and visit jenniferwarnes.com

Chrissette Michele's debuts her cd, "I AM" and houses a Barber arrangement for strings, woodwinds and harp. The track, "Love Is You" is produced by John Legend.
(Def Jam Music Group)

"MARATHON", Where Greek Myth and Local Legends Merge In The West Texas Sun is a production of an original play in the format of a classical Greek tragedy fused with the modern hip sensibility, humor, visuals and original songs performed by a live band.

Music by Darden Smith, Book by Jesse Sublett, Directed by Richard Isackes, Arrangements by Stephen Barber. The production is through the University of Texas College of Fine Arts (PAC).

A workshop performance will be given Friday, June 29, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. The venue is located at the Lab Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

December 2007 - Darren Dyke has commissioned a work from Barber for steel drum orchestra. Dyke is internationally recognized as a master forger of the steel drums, as well as the sorcerer's apprentice of Ellie Mannette, from Trinidad, and considered to be the Antonio Stradivari of steel drums makers. Darren has a new cd, "RESONANCE, Steel Pan In The 21st Century" which is a pan cultural musical atlas incorporating the new frontiers of the steel drum repertoire. (Quiet Design Records).

June 2007 - Barber has been chosen to arrange strings and winds for a new recording venture with Arto Lindsay which will be released in Japan. Due date has been scheduled for September of 2007 on Videoarts. Recorded in Brazil, New York City, and Austin the cd awaits distribution deals for the U.S. and Europe.

Assisting composer, Andres Levin with orchestration and additional music for the the following films: "Borderland" (Lions Gate)," El Cantante" , and "Ladron"(Lions Gate)

Lucy Schaufer, mezzo soprano with the New York / L.A. Metropolitan Opera is working on a new solo project for Barber. Vocals were recorded at the Chapel of Rock near Bath, England with Chris Goulstone. Lyrics from a Laura Lush poem entitled, "Marbles".

A monster concert - "Road To Austin"  - May 19th, spearheaded by Free Scale and Stephen Bruton, music director at Auditorium Shores will present Austin's finest local talent with Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson, Delbert Mc Clinton, Joe Ely,
Ian Mc Lagan, et al. Barber is playing piano and  arrangements in the house band.

Working on a new project with John Legend producing. Def Jam's new artist, Chrisette Michele.

Arranged and played on three tracks for Miguel Bose cd, "Papito" (Sony Latina) Among a cast of extraordinary singers, the great Michael Stipe of REM sings on the last track, "Lo Hay Es Lo Que Ves" Andres Levin, producer.

A 2008 commission from the Round Top Music Festival for legendary pianist James Dick, guitarist, Phillippe Bertaud and Thomas Burritt on percussion.

Rolling Stone background singer, Blondie Chaplin released a cd entitled, "Between Us" in which Barber has contributed 4 arrangements for strings and horn. (BIG KARMA RECORDS)

Arranged three songs for John Legend's second cd entitled, "Once Again" Producers John Legend and Kanye West. Craig Street, producer on these particular tracks

Arrangements for Susana Baca (with Giberto Gil) for her recording "Traversias" (Luaka Bop) Craig Street, producer - Tosca Strings and Joel Guzman on accordian

"Festival of Song" (near Dusseldorf, Germany) Arranged three songs for David Byrne with the Duisburg Chamber Orchestra.

Composed the music for World War II documentary, "Last Best Hope"
(Rendez-vous Production) Recently won a Silver Hugo Award for 2007

The 7th Chapter commissioned an eight minute chamber work, "The Three Views of Elvis and Annabelle Lee" for flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, cello, double bass, and percussion

Assisting Arto Lindsay with music / orchestration for installations for the 2006 Valencia Biennialle

Thomas Burritt commissioned a series of solo marimba pieces called, "3 Molitvas" - which are Eastern Orthodox prayers (Bulgarian).
Molitva I is recorded on Tom's new cd, "All Times Identical - New American Music For Marimba".

Amy Cook's new cd on Root House Records," The Sky Observers Guide" contains a Barber arrangement for the Tosca Strings  entitled, "Feathers To A Crown". Produced by Jamie Myerson

Harpist/songwriter Dee Carstensen's cd ,"Patch of Blue", produced by Michael Mainieri, Dee, and Stephen Barber on Exit Nine.


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© Copyright 2011 Stephen Barber