Renowned and award winning Canadian jazz singer-songwriter Micah Barnes has released his long-awaited CD New York Stories, which has debuted in the Top Five on iTunes National Jazz Chart due to brisk advance orders. Penned by Barnes, his third jazz recording, is a romantic collection of original songs inspired by New York City’s rich musical history, as well as Barnes’ own personal experience in the city that never sleeps. It features instrumentals by Barnes’ brother Daniel on drums, Russ Boswell on bass and Michael Shand on piano.
New York Stories was officially launched on Sunday, May 3, 2015, at Glenn Gould Studio. It was a triumphant evening of jazz, well-received by an enthusiastic audience who gave Barnes and his ensemble three standing ovations during the live performance. In this performance, Barnes and his band were joined by talented back up vocalists Miku Graham and Rique Franks, and award winning and acclaimed Canadian vocalist and actress Jackie Richardson.
Following the release of the title track and the first single in April 2014, New York Story reached Number One in Canada and Top 20 on the U.S. iTunes jazz charts, which resulted in Barnes being named the Toronto Indie Music Awards as best Jazz Act of 2014. An accompanying music video for the single was directed by Juan Palacio and Luisa Valencia. Barnes recently released a video for the second single Harlem Moon directed by Dean Vargas, available on YouTube, which gathered over 6000 views in its first week!
New York Stories was conceived while Barnes was romancing his partner who was working on Broadway at The Palace Theatre. Their apartment was on Lenox Avenue in Harlem right on the site of the legendary Savoy Ballroom, and just a few blocks from Apollo Theatre. Micah decided to make the most of the musical and romantic inspiration and rented an hourly piano studio off Times Square to sketch the songs that would become New York Stories.
Inspired by Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim and the Brill Building writers who had composed so many of the classic Jazz, Broadway, Pop songs in those very piano studios; Barnes found it to be a magical experience and a productive time.
This summer, Micah will be on tour in support of New York Stories, as well are remounting the critically acclaimed Stand By Me: The Music of the Brill Building. Tour dates and locations will be announced at a future date.
Micah Barnes was born to a European-Canadian musically artistic family. His grandmother was a Russian pianist; his father, Milton an acclaimed classical composer, and his mother, Lilly, is an author who was the head writer for the beloved CBC TV's children’s show Mr. Dressup. His musical career began as a teen in the cabarets and jazz clubs of Queen Street West alongside The Parachute Club, Molly Johnson, Holly Cole and Jane Siberry. He joined Canada’s legendary a cappella group The Nylons in 1989, singing with them in concert around the globe as well as appearing on three recordings including their Juno-nominated hit single Don’t Look Any Further.
Micah launched his post Nylons solo career in Los Angeles, California where he collaborated with Thunderpuss on the Number One Billboard and international club hit Welcome to My Head and was described by Rolling Stone magazine as “An Indie Artist to Watch.” While in the U.S. he developed popular Singers Playground workshops designed to support the next generation of up and coming artists. In addition to coaching individual artists, he has worked with Golden Globe nominee Tatiana Maslany on the hit show Orphan Black, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit CBC TV show How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, the original cast of Tomson Highway’s The Rez Sisters, and cast members of the Broadway production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Matilda & Pippin.
Returning to Canada Micah joined Molly Johnson's Canadian tour, opening the show and singing harmony vocals, and, for four years now Micah and Jackie Richardson have presented their annual Valentine's concert at Hugh’s Room to standing room only audiences. In 2014, Barnes launched Stand By Me: The Music of the Brill Building a show that features Micah and his musical friends, (including another former Nylon Billy Newton Davis), performing some of the most memorable pop songs of the 60s. The show has become a critical and popular smash taking audiences by storm wherever it plays! A more extensive tour of Stand By Me and upcoming tour dates by Micah Barnes and his jazz trio in support of New York Stories will be announced at a later date.
Micah Barnes - New York Stories
1. New York Story (4.28)
2. After The Romance The Rent (2.54)
3. Starting Tomorrow (4.17)
4. Harlem Moon (4.14)
5. I'm Going Back To My Used To Be (3.02)
6. La Rouge Ou Le Noir (The Roulette Wheel) (3.58)
7. Don't Take My Baby (New York, New York) (4.42)
8. Some Other Man (3.32)
9. I Came Back (4.12)
10. I've Been Awake Too Long (2.56)