SongVault Artist Profile
Virginia, United States
Acoustic Blues / Vocal Jazz
“Slice of life songs that ring with truth, wit and experience” The Washington Post, Barbara Martin’s music is a rich stew of earthy blues peppered with sassy, swinging jazz. Her performances are rooted in a healthy respect for the traditions of American music from Josh White to Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday. Martin’s sultry, soulful voice and skillful guitar playing captivate audiences.
From the time she bought her first guitar at the age of 13, Barbara Martin has never been afraid to explore and experiment. She moved from the folk coffeehouse circuit in her native Iowa to the new wave rock scene in Boston, to discovering her true love, blues and jazz, in the hills of Virginia. From her decision in 1990 to give up her job as a social worker and embark on a career as a full time musician she has never looked back. Her journey has taken her to festivals and concert venues throughout the United States and Europe. She has released seven recordings to critical acclaim from music lovers and reviewers alike.
In addition to her regular concerts Martin offers two educational programs, “From Ragtime to Rock and Roll”, an American musical history program for elementary school students, “Jivin’ Jazz and Blues”, a history of blues and jazz from 1890 to 1930 for middle school students and “Women in Blues”, a presentation about the music, life and times of American women blues artists from the 1920’s through the 50’s for high school and older age groups. Her children’s recording, From Ragtime to Rock and Roll, received the 2000 Parents Choice Silver Honor.