Born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and raised in Romulus, Michigan, Barbara Morrison recorded her first appearance for radio in Detroit at the age of 10. She moved to Los Angeles in 1973, at the age of 23, and sang with Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s band. Between the mid-1970s and early 1990s, she recorded several albums with Johnny Otis.
In 1986, Morrison toured with the Philip Morris Superband, completing a 14-city one-month tour of Canada, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines, playing with jazz organist Jimmy Smith and backed by saxophonist James Moody, guitarist Kenny Burrell, trumpeter Jon Faddis, and Grady Tate on drums. Morrison also completed a 33-city tour in the US, co-headlining in an all-star tribute to composer Harold Arlen (known for the music for the classic film, The Wizard of Oz). In 1995, Morrison appeared in a televised Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, with Mel Tormé, Diane Reeves, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, and Lou Rawls. Over the years she has performed with many renowned jazz and blues musicians, including legends such as Gerald Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, James Moody, Ron Carter, Etta James, Esther Phillips, David T. Walker, Jimmy Smith, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Cedar Walton, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett, and Keb’ Mo.
More recently, beginning in 2011, Morrison has been performing with Jack Hale, a popular Southern California guitarist, arranger, and band leader of both cool and hot vintage jazz and swing styles from the 1920s through the 1950s. Since 2014 Barbara has been performing with a hot swing group, “Bobby Barron and His Swing Thing Band”-throughout southern California. mostly in the swing dance circuit.
The Barbara Morrison Performance Arts Center, located in Los Angeles, supports the Harmony Project, which helps children encounter music in an after-school program.
Barbara Morrison and California Jazz & Blues Museum will be honoring Kobe Bryant tonight 6pm-8pm on Arroyo Channel, Spectrum Channel 32 and ATT U-verse 99. Stream live at pasadenamedia.org
Charles Small on guitar, Michael Saucier on bass, Peter Buck on drums and Special Guest Sam Hankins on Trumpet.
Laguna Beach Live! Presents Jazz Wednesdays Winter Series, February-April. The concerts are located at the distinctive event facility, , 891 Laguna Canyon Rd., Laguna Beach. Doors open at 5:00pm full bar is available and dinner on a pre-sale basis. Tickets in advance are $30 or $35 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at lagunabeachlive.org or by phone at 800-595-4849. Information line is 949 715-9713.