Cheryl Barnes | Jazz Artist

Cheryl Barne’s new album  ‘Listen to This’ is out now! On the album this talented artist blends latin & pop with smooth jazz on her first CD. Guest artists include Rickey Minor, Quentin Dennard, Ricky Woodard & more.

CHERYL BARNES is a classically trained jazz singer in possession of remarkable depth, range and technique. beloved around the world as a captivating live performer, Cheryl shied away from making records for nearly a decade. Ms. Barnes returned with her fourth and finest album to date, a studio recording entitled “listen to this”for which every one of the twelve selections is a personally inspired gem. Produced by Rahn Coleman and also featuring the impassioned piano playing of her husband Phil Cabasso, “listen to this” was patiently rendered over a 5-year period, prepared with tender loving care utilizing Los Angeles’ finest, including soloists saxophonists Rickey Woodard and Pete Christlieb, pianists John Hammond and Joel Scott, and trumpeter Nolan Shaheed.!

What inspired you to become a singer ?

Cheryl Barnes

I was born this way. Family lore has it that I sang n arrival. My first recollection of me actually singing is at around three years old. From there on I hummed, sang, chortled and made other sounds as a matter of course. My formal training began when I was nine years old and continued for 12 more years. I came from a music loving family. My Father had music of almost every genre playing on the record player or the radio or some tv show almost 24 hours a day. That, along with my formal lessons, influenced me to be able to sing in a rock and roll band when I was 15, on to my first real jazz gigs starting at 17, totally influenced by the great jazz vocalists and instrumentalists of the day. I continued to be a fan of every genre of music, which certainly helped me to develop a style which ranges in many directions.

What’s your favorite song on the new album? Why?

THAT AFTERNOON IN HARLEM written by my dear friend, Mark Winkler and his partner, Marilyn Harris. Why? I identify with the lady in the song from so many angles. Her life reflects the emotional impact that reminds me of the Queens in my family, from my Grandmothers to my Aunts to my incomparable Sisters, and to my wonderful, strong, funny, brilliant Mother. They were always regal, no matter what was going on at any given moment in each of their lives. And as an artist, I completely relate to her personal and artistic journey.

What has been the best part of working in the music industry ?

For me, the people. I’ve traveled all over the world and have met so many wonderful, interesting, inspiring, thoughtful human beings through my music.


What a privilege to be able to have a gift that can reach so many and touch them in a myriad of ways, most of which I may never actually know about. And, the cherry on top is the musicians whom I have met and worked with and befriended throughout my career. Now THERE’S a privilege! Making music with so many dedicated, multitalented, eclectic people has enriched my life beyond words.

What would be your “dream project” ?
I like recording, but live performance is what I love the best and I would be thrilled to do a show with EVERYTHING JUST RIGHT! LOL !

A symphony orchestra, great guest jazz and classical soloists with me (instrumental and vocal), killer arrangements, top of the line “back-line”. I’ve had the privilege of that experience on a number of occasions….but I just can’t get enough of it

On stage or Studio which was your best moment ? 

That’s sort of hard to isolate. Hmmmm, In the studio, I think it was when I recorded the song Why Did I Choose ou on my Listen To This cd. From the time I first heard Barbra Streisand sing it years ago, I knew I wanted to sing that song. And to be able to record it with the great John
Hammond playing the piano was a true highlight in my career. On stage: I had the opportunity, among several other singers from around the country, to sing at BIRDLAND in NYC and was accompanied by some of New York’s finest players. I sang two songs and was so
exhilarated, that I started laughing in-between songs and stated, “This is sooo much fun!”. It was too wonderful for me to be too cool for the room. HAHA !

Cheryl & Phillip Calabasso

What do you do for fun when you are not on stage?
I seek out fun…not necessarily dramatic excitement, but a steady level of calm and contentment…So, my husband, Phillip Cabasso, and I travel regularly…both short and longer getaways; I read voraciously; and Phil and I make music at home on a regular basis. Phillip is my partner in
music in every way. He is a wonderful pianist and arranger and we are starting to work on new material for an upcoming project. I also love my friends and family and time spent with them is precious to me. I’m interested in practically everything, so it’s easy for me to enjoy most of whatever comes across my path.

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to mention ?

I am in the fledgling stages of a new recording, perhaps to be ready in mid 2018.

What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to enter the music? 
Learn your craft well. Learn as much as possible about the business side of the business and participate in the business side of your career. It’s your career….not the agent, not the manager or consultant or any other entity involved. But, most important, enjoy what you do as an artist…believe in yourself and find the joy in this wonderful, heartbreaking, fabulous world of the music business.

Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
Just to say thanks very much.

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Pump It Up Magazine | September 2017 Find out more on MagCloud)
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