Barbara Morrison is a Jazz and Blues Legend. As a Vocalist, she has been featured on two Grammy Award-nominated albums, and for a third Grammy Award-nominated album, Barbara Morrison’s Blue Lady Records served as Producer. A multi-hyphenate, Barbara Morrison is also the Founder of The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center and Founder and President of the California Jazz & Blues Museum, both located in Leimert Park, CA. Morrison also serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies in the Global/Ethnomusicology Department at UCLA in Westwood, CA. Morrison was born in Ypsilanti, MI and raised in Romulus, MI. She recorded her first appearance on radio in Detroit, MI at the age of 10.
Over the course of her 60-year career, she has performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the Jazz and the Blues worlds. That list includes Legends like: Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, James Moody, Ron Carter, Etta James, Esther Phillips, David T. Walker, Jimmy Smith, Johnny Otis, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Terence Blanchard, Joe Sample, Cedar Walton, Nancy Wilson, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Tony Bennett and Keb’ Mo. Additionally, Morrison has guest starred with the Count Basie Orchestra, The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, and Doc Severinsen’s Big Band.
Morrison has been featured on over 20 recordings. In 1982, for the 25th Annual Grammy Awards, “Spirit of The Black Territory Bands” (Album) was nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance, which featured vocalists Barbara Morrison and Jackie Payne. In 1999, for the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards, Barbara Morrison’s Blue Lady Records produced Al McKibbon’s album, “Tumbao Para Los Congueros De Mi Vida” (“For All the Conga Drummers in My Life”).
In 2014, for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra was nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, “The L.A. Treasures Project,” featuring vocalists Barbara Morrison and Ernie Andrews. In 2019, for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, vocalist Barbara Morrison, along with trumpeter David Longoria, won the Best Jazz category. Barbara also received the Living Legend Award from the Living Legend Foundation and The Jammin Foundation.
Morrison performs in a wide array of genres from traditional Jazz and Blues, to Gospel and Pop. Her melodic voice, with its two-and-a-half-octave range, is known worldwide, as are her rich, unique, soulful, and highly spirited interpretations of both, familiar Jazz and Blues classics and original contemporary tunes. Equally as striking is Morrison’s ability to belt out down-home, soul-stirring Blues.
Recently she embarked on a 33-city tour of the United States, co-headlining in an all-star tribute to legendary composer Harold Arlen (most recognizable as the genius behind the music for the classic film, The Wizard of Oz). Morrison is a Music graduate of the Los Angeles City College.
Morrison also performs at renowned Blues and Jazz Festivals around the world, including appearances at Montreux, Nice, Pori, Carnegie Hall, North Sea, Monterey, and Long Beach. She also frequently performs her Salute to Dizzy Gillespie and Tribute to Benny Golson.
On October 27, 2020, Morrison was a featured performer in the Public Relations Society of America’s, ICON 2020 event, “Transforming The Landscape,” an online fundraising concert benefiting the organization’s Multicultural Scholarship Endowment for Diversity and Inclusion.