CURRENTLY TOURING SHOWS
“a fearless iconoclast who dives into the deepest waters of popular song to wrest exotic treasure from the ocean floor" (New York Times)
“one of the world's great cabaret singers… a genuine original, deploying warmth, high drama and sensitive musicality to reinvent everything she sings” (Time Out New York)
“she makes a point of exploring works of songwriters she admires... and finding meaning and depth the creators may have no idea is there” (Huffington Post)
“truly a marvel, who should not be missed” (Telegraph)
“it’s as if Edith Piaf and Nick Cave had a love-child, who was adopted by Carmen McRae” (Glam Adelaide)
What you might know is that singer, performer and recording artist Barb Jungr is ”mesmerising” (New York Times), ”casually virtuosic” (Guardian), an ”alchemist among jazz singers” (Telegraph), possessing a voice which is “shockingly expressive, with an astonishing palette of colours” (Observer). Across her 40 year career she has been internationally acclaimed for combining immaculate vocal technique, impassioned performance, piercing insight and beautifully unexpected musical arrangements to reinterpret European and American popular songs in a manner which The New York Times described as ”revelatory”.
What you might not know is that as a live performer, Barb Jungr is always funny, and often hilarious. Like, intentionally. Cabaret Scenes described a performance in November 2016 as “the funniest hour of cabaret I’ve ever seen” from a “world-class raconteur”. Originally emerging from the alternative cabaret scene of the 1970s and 80s, and cutting her teeth alongside the likes of Julian Clary, Alexei Sayle and Arnold Brown, her ability to deliver shows which are utterly alive, and spontaneously respond to the world in and outside the performance space, is second to none.
If you are only familiar with Barb’s work from her albums, you simply have to see her perform live. Even the highest quality mp3 in the world won’t tell you what it’s like to be in a room with her and her musicians.
Below are short descriptions of all Barb’s shows available for touring in 2018/19, both in the UK and internationally.
For all of these shows, both in the UK and internationally, Barb is usually accompanied by piano, double bass, percussion, or any combination of these. She collaborates with the very best jazz musicians in the UK and USA. These artists include – on piano Laurence Hobgood and Barry Green; on double bass Dudley Phillips and Davide Mantovani; on percussion Oli Savill and Winston Torres. The exception is the collaboration between Barb and John McDaniel (piano and vocals), which includes their Beatles spectacular Come Together, and their latest show featuring the songs of Sting, Float Like A Butterfly.
These shows are suitable for all sizes of stage and many performance contexts: festivals, concert halls, jazz clubs, theatres, arts centres, cabaret rooms and private / corporate events.
With "Forgetful Heart," Barb continues her love affair with the work of two of the most important songwriters of the 20th Century. Through the lockdown she has thought about love, and in particular the love songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, from their earliest explorations to their most recent recordings.
In 2014, working with Simon Wallace, Barb released “Hard Rain,” laying herself bare to Dylan’s and Cohen’s political and philosophical songs. But “it’s now time for love,“ she says. “How to love more and with more freedom. How to love everyone and everything. How to be free of all the pettiness of life and elevate to the beauty and purity of love. And who better to turn to than Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, two of the greatest alchemists of love ever, in all of its wild wonder.”
Working with her long standing collaborator Jenny Carr, Barb will include Forgetful Heart, What Happens To The Heart, If You Gotta Go, Go Now, I’ve Made Up My Mind To Give Myself To You, and So Long Marianne, among more treasures.
“possibly our greatest interpreter of Dylan’s songs” - Billy Bragg
“Barb Jungr interprets [Dylan and Cohen’s] work with a ferocity and truthfulness that demolishes every cover version you’ve ever heard” - New York Times
“Electrifying....the top rank of jazz singers. A true musical alchemist, she is truly a marvel, who should not be missed” - The Telegraph
Close your eyes, close the door
You don’t have to worry anymore
I’ll be your baby tonight
from ‘I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight’ by Bob Dylan
Barb’s first Dylan collection, Every Grain of Sand, has become a modern classic. Described by The Wall Street Journal in 2013 as “the most significant vocal album of the 21st Century thus far,” and one of the top 10 jazz albums of the year in The Sunday Times and Telegraph. Since then, her terrifying obsession with his work has intensified, leading to a second recorded collection, and to new arrangements of his forensic excavations of human nature becoming a mainstay of her live and recorded repertoire. Given that she won’t stop singing the bloody stuff, it’s fortunate that The New York Times says she can “squeeze more juice out of a Dylan song than just about anybody”.
2016 was a big year for Dylan, or at least for his admirers, seeing him awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. This pleased Barb no end, as she has spent years describing him to any audience that would listen as the USA’s equivalent of Shakespeare. So basically the Nobel is all down to her.
This electrifying show brings together the very best of the Dylan material that Barb has perfected over the past 15 years. Songs which are fierce, political, passionate and romantic, performed in a voice which is “shockingly expressive, with an astonishing palette of colours” (Observer). Something which may or may not be true of Dylan’s own vocal technique. But whilst he might not schlep to Scandinavia to collect, this is a songwriter of genius who always delivers.
Barb Jungr performs ‘Sara’ by Bob Dylan, accompanied by Jenny Carr on piano and Simon Wallace on keyboard:
FEATURED SONGS INCLUDE
Tangled Up In Blue; I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight; Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right; Not Dark Yet; Forever Young
"one of the best interpreters of Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan anywhere on this angst-ridden planet today” (Village Voice)
“except for Dylan himself on a good night, this is the best way to hear his songs.” (Independent on Barb Jungr sings Bob Dylan)
“I just hope that Dylan himself has a listen and starts writing for her direct" (Observer on Every Grain of Sand)
“Jungr approaches the Dylan songbook with a rare degree of intelligence, relishing each line in the manner of a true chansonnière” (MOJO on Every Grain of Sand)
“a quiet revelation” (Times on Every Grain of Sand, 2002)
“she opens up a window of vulnerability and sensuality that previously sat stoic beneath the surface of these songs, and suffuses them with such a delicate, gauzy luminosity that they seem to glow from the inside out” (All Music Guide on Every Grain of Sand)
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth
of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard,
and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
from ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ by Bob Dylan
Barb Jungr has been described by Billy Bragg as "possibly our greatest interpreter of Dylan's songs". Fortunately, she’s no slouch with Leonard Cohen’s either. In Hard Rain she brings together these two colossal talents, to reinterpret some of their most political and monumental work. With material drawn from her 2014 album of the same name, this is dark, potent and angry stuff, just perfect for a fun night out – get that babysitter booked now. Fortunately, these brilliant writers’ sardonic wit coupled with Barb’s unquenchable life force and freewheeling humour make this a thrilling and cathartic evening. And it’s not only the person writing this copy who thinks so. Both the show and album have been lavished with praise, with the show selling out a three week New York run, and two nights at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2016.
The lyrics of many of the songs in this show are more terrifyingly pertinent than ever. And it’s possible that Dylan and Cohen’s shared gift of prophesy has rubbed off a bit on Barb. Her bleary third eye must have blinked into focus when choosing the title of the evening, as ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ was the song selected by Patti Smith to represent Dylan’s work at his Nobel Prize ceremony in December 2016.
These songs, some of them 50 years old, speak to us urgently about the world we’re living in right now. So chuck the glitter curtain and the chrome bar stool on the fire; this is cabaret which means business.
The making of Hard Rain:
FEATURED SONGS INCLUDE
Blind Willie McTell; Blowin’ in the Wind; Chimes of Freedom; Everybody Knows; First We Take Manhattan; A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
“Barb Jungr interprets [Dylan and Cohen’s] work with a ferocity and truthfulness that demolishes every cover version you’ve ever heard” (New York Times on Hard Rain – live show)
“this music is the North American songbook’s climax, revealed by its greatest interpreter” (Independent on Hard Rain – live show)
"it’s as if Edith Piaf and Nick Cave had a love-child, who was adopted by Carmen McRae” (Glam Adelaide on Hard Rain – live show)
“to give such standards precious new life is quite an achievement” (Uncut on Hard Rain – album)
“it’s more than alright, Ma” (MOJO on Hard Rain – album)
Barb Jungr “The UK’s finest interpreter of song” has long been associated with the work of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Her Hard Rain collection of 2014 received 5 star reviews on 3 continents and her live performance of the policial songs of Dylan and Cohen ran for 3 weeks of sold out performances in New York. For this performance she will focus on Cohen’s wide repertoire from Famous Blue Raincoat through So Long Marianne to The Future. Accompanied by Jenny Carr, who has played with everyone from Jason Donovan to Claire Martin, Barb breathes something new into every lyric and melody you thought you knew.
From her early beginnings on the fledgling London alternative cabaret circuit, through almost every musical genre, Barb Jungr’s work has often defied categorisation. Accompanied by some of the best live musicians in Britain her increasingly rare live appearances are unmissable.
Songs include: The Future, Suzanne, So Long Marianne, Famous Blue Raincoat and Take This Longing.
"Barb Jungr’s voice has established her as a superlative interpreter of the great song-books" The Independent
"Casually virtuosic" The Guardian
"she is THE reason why cabaret continues to find a new audience. And if that’s an overstatement, it gives her a goal which she will unquestionably accomplish. In a reasonably short amount of time, she has emerged as one part educator, one part icon, and all parts made of static electricity that will never cease to crackle across the wide oceans." The Andrew Martin Report