“I wanna be James Dean with insolent lips” writes jazz and blues singer-songwriter Barbara Martin in her song “It’s Too Late to Die Young,” and the lyrics and song title couldn’t be more descriptive of a musician known for being an accomplished vocal interpreter of the great jazz standards yet brave enough to stretch the boundaries of the female jazz singer stereotype. She’s witty. Intelligent. Sultry. Down-to-earth. Insightful. Ironic. Polished. Slice-of-life. Sensitive. Provocative. Joe Lang of Jersey Jazz touts Martin as “…a singer who effectively combines her natural feel for lyric interpretation with passionate vocalizing...” She’s as comfortable in a New York cabaret show or a major venue like The Kennedy Center as she is in an intimate house concert or a bohemian cafe. She has been a headliner at festivals with Frank Vignola, Susan Tedeschi and Marcus Johnson.
“Listening to Barbara Martin’s sultry sound makes me want to lean back in a room with low lights and sip a martini,” said one arts aficionado after a concert, and Barbara’s records and performances have impressed critics and fans alike. Named one of ten worthy jazz singers by Jazziz Magazine and Barbara has recorded and produced ten albums. Her 2010 release, Eyes on the Horizon vocals are described as, “lilting and uplifting, giving off an aura of happiness, similar in register and tone to that of Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a joy to hear." Jim Newsom, Portfolio Magazine. The Washington Post describes Barbara’s music as “slice of life songs that ring with truth, wit and experience.” Geoffrey Himes of the Baltimore Sun touts Martin as “…a songwriter with an unexpected gift for sultry melody.”