Arthur Barron, jazz saxophonist, flutist, composer, bandleader, recording artist and music educator, is a seasoned musician with a sound of his own. Influenced by both hard-bop and rhythm & blues, he is known for his passionate playing, powerful technique and eclectic flare for musical styles. Barron stands by the conviction of not playing anything of anyone's verbatim and not falling into the habit of playing the same thing all the time, he never stops being himself one hundred percent of the time.
As in the aptly titled track The Journey on his Soul Messenger CD, Barron's music career has been quite a journey. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Barron received his music training at Berklee College of Music under Joe Viola, Director of Berklee's Woodwind Department, and went on to study with Joe Henderson and Dave Liebman along with mentoring from Pharaoh Sanders. After leaving Boston, Barron traveled to San Francisco where he made his professional stage debut in 1974 with the Eddie Henderson & Julian Priester Band at the famed Keystone Korner jazz club in North Beach. Following his stint in San Francisco, he relocated first to London in the UK, then to Barcelona and the village of Port Lligat in Spain, woodshedding in a villa next to surrealistic painter Salvador Dali. Barron returned to the states to live in New York City in 1978 where he became an active member in the East Village avant garde movement during height of Loft Jazz years, and played the New York club scene extensively with a funk-fusion band led by Alfonia Tims as well as with his own jazz quintet. In 1983, Barron recorded his first solo album Groove Speed with Magic Music Records, a collection of original jazz fusion material. He also started appearing as a sideman with Hilton Ruiz, and became heavily influenced by Latin music when he was invited to sit-in with the band of salsa legend Hector Lavoe. After spending eight years in New York, Barron moved to Miami in 1986 where he opened the Tropics International nightclub on Ocean Drive in South Beach, voted Best Jazz Club in South Florida, performing regularly at the venue. He relocated again in 1988 to live in Hong Kong where he led a house band at The Jazz Club in the Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district. Following his tenure in Hong Kong, Barron returned to Miami in 1991 where he opened Rose’s nightclub in South Beach, voted both Best Jazz and Rock Club in South Florida, site of his live Footprints recording with Hilton Ruiz. He has become a well known member of the jazz musician community in Miami, which has continued to be his home base.
Barron has appeared with an array of stellar jazz and Latin jazz artists in a career that has spanned over three decades of eventful music, he has performed and recorded with Dr. Lonnie Smith, Dave Liebman, Melton Mustafa, Mac Gollehon, Tim Horner, Steven Bernstein, Vernon Reid, Melvin Gibbs, Jerome Harris, Steve Neil, Delmar Brown, Mike Gerber, Jim Gasior, Nicole Yarling, John Yarling, Jonathan Joseph, Randy Bernsen, Hilton Ruiz, Abel Pabon, Jerry Gonzalez, Mario Rivera, Phoenix Rivera, Papo Vasquez, Steve Berrios, Oscar Salas, Archie Pena, Nestor Torres, Carlos 'Patato' Valdez and Mongo Santamaria, among many others. He has also appeared with the Melton Mustafa Orchestra and was as a featured soloist with the Poppa E blues band. Barron currently leads the Miami Jazz Project, an all-star ensemble of South Florida musicians performing a repertoire of mainstream jazz, blues and Latin jazz.
The Miami Jazz Project is currently working on a recording project entitled Test of Time featuring legendary soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman, Arthur Barron on saxophones & flute and Abel Pabon on keyboards with Josh Allen acoustic & electric bass, Eric England electric bass, Michael Piolet drums and Alfredo Chacon percussion, all original compositions penned by Barron and Liebman. Barron's main recordings to date have been Impressions with the Afro Blue Band on Milestone Records (nominated for a Latin Jazz Grammy), and Dragon Rose Records releases Late Nite Time, From The Archives, Footprints and Soul Messenger.
In addition to his stage and recording work, Barron has taught jazz courses at the University of Miami and Florida International University, Artist-In-Residence with Arts For Learning Jazz in the Americas program conducting music workshops for Miami-Dade County Public Middle and High Schools, taught saxophone lessons at Miami Dade College Kendall Campus and received an Honorarium for performances with the MDC Honors Jazz Band and Art of Improvisation clinics. Barron is currently a member of the faculty at Sobe Music Institute in South Beach, where he teaches saxophone and flute . He is also the host of Jazz Lounge radio show on WDNA 88.9 FM every Tuesday from 12 midnight to 2:00 AM.
Arthur Barron endorses hand crafted saxophone mouthpieces by Thomas Woodwinds. For information go to www.thomaswoodwinds.com
Home Page photo by Ken Kay
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