Cheryl Dyrithe Barnes is a jazz singer of remarkable depth, range and technique, her voice described as “emotionally lush, vibrant, lovely.” Ms. Barnes is also the quintessential performer who, with an unerring sense of how to create a musical and personal rapport, has wowed audiences world-wide, whether in intimate club settings or on concert stages.
From the beginning, it was about the music. Growing up, her Cleveland home resonated with the sounds of Ella, Nat, and Ellington. Cheryl can’t remember a time when she wasn’t singing. She was, she says, always singing. When asked why: “I sing because I must. I am compelled from within, the force sometimes ebbing, often flowing, the rhythm of it all out of my hands. I follow where it leads; it is an essential part of my being.”
Her classical vocal training – starting at nine and continuing through college - lead to appearances with symphony orchestras in Denver, Florida and Wisconsin. The rigorous program reinforced her innate abilities and enabled her to move with ease between musical genres. But for Cheryl, all led back to jazz. Of her first jazz gig in high school she says, “It felt natural,” like being home.
On her U.S tours, Cheryl has shared the stage with such preeminent artists as Quincy Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Lou Rawls, J.J. Johnson, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. In Los Angeles – where Ms. Barnes lives - she has performed regularly in acclaimed venues including the Parisian Room, Memory Lane, The Baked Potato, the Jazz Bakery, Catalina’s, the Vic and in the LACMA concert series to name but a few. Backing her live and in the studio, some of the finest in jazz, among them, John Hammond, James Hughart, Ralph Penland, Pete Christleib, Quentin Dennard, David Levray, Tony Dumas, Bill Bunliffe, Kendall Kay, Carl Saunders, and Rickey Woodard.
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