Primary Instrument: Piano
A Grammy-nominated, Bammy award winning composer, pianist singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Barbara has performed on more than 65 albums, including Carlos Santana’s 2007 release.
She has 11 recordings to her credit as well as contributions to 10 compilations that have sold in the millions.
As a cofounder, with Darol Anger, of the acoustic super group, Montreux, she recorded “ Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival” for Windham Hill Records in 1984, a landmark genre defining album. She continued to tour world-wide with Montreux, until leaving to pursue a solo career.
Her 2 CD's with singer-songwriter Teresa Trull on Olivia/Second Wave and Slowbaby Records have won critical acclaim and a large nationwide following.
As a solo artist, Barbara’s first solo CD “Signs of Life” was named a Washington Post “Top Ten of the Year”. Three other solo releases, “I Surrender”, “Variations on a Happy Ending” and ‘Alive in Berkeley” followed to critical acclaim.
Raised in Indiana, at age 13 her family moved to Ghana, West Africa where she studied with master drummer Mustafa Tetty Addy. After musical studies at Mills College, studies at the Sorbonne and a sojourn performing in Paris, she returned to West Africa with a Watson Fellowship to collect traditional music. A professional musician since age 17, Barbara has played everything from Traditional Jazz, Bluegrass and Irish to New Classical Music and African Pop. She is known for her ability to compose both instrumental music and songs in a style that is both genre bending and accessible.
Barbara and her family recently lived in Hawaii for 18 months where she performed at the Manoa Jazz Festival, for Hawaii Public Radio and on 3 Hawaiian Music CD’s.
Barbara now resides in Berkeley, CA with her husband and 8 year old daughter. She is a board member of the non-profit Freight and Salvage, Society for the Preservation of Traditional music. Her 2007 solo release “Alive in Berkeley followed a 40 city national tour. She is currently working on a fall 2010 recording of original songs.
Barbara has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Terry Riley, the Kronos Quartet, Pete Seeger, Holly Near, Cris Williamson, Bobby McFerrin, Milton Nascimento, Spyro Gyra, Michael Hedges, Greg Brown, Ferron, Vinnie Colaiuta, Teresa Trull, Vicki Randle, Amy Ray, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, Rosalee Sorrels, Terry Garthwaite, Laurie Lewis, Liz Story, Will Ackerman, Benny Rietveld, Alex Di Grassi and Peppino D’Agostino among others.
Singer, instrumentalist Higbie generated energy and enthusiasm whenever she was on stage, like a jolt of bright sunlight. --Don Heckman, L.A. Times
Barbara possesses rare talent and is amazingly versatile. --David Grisman
Higbie is a classy talent. --Jennifer Einhorn, Boston Globe
Barbara Higbie always seems to be discovering a new side of her talent. --Larry Kelp, Oakland Tribune