Primary Instrument: Guitar
With his melodic, but expressive, approach, guitarist and synthesizer player Barry Coates has evolved into a highly sought after session player. His resume includes tours with the Pointer Sisters, Angela Bofill, Willie Bobo, John Klemmer, and Engelbert Humperdink. As a member of Japanese keyboardist/composer, Kitaro’s band, he toured the world twice and was featured on the live album, Live in America, released in 1991.
Coates has fared equally well on his own. His music was heard in such films as Dead Bang, Partners in Crime, and Fatal Attraction, and on television shows including Two on the Town, Eye on Hollywood, Partners in Crime, the Weather Channel and Playboy After Dark.
Together with his band Barry Coates & the Hats, Coates recorded two impressive albums- Because I Love You and Move Like A Dancer. He collaborated, on his third album, The Spirit Within, with bass player Jimmy Haslip of the Yellowjackets. Their compositions can be heard on this album as well as Luis Conte’s/ Black Forest (a must have percussionist CD) and the Yellowjackets/ The Spin.
In 2003 Warner Bros published Jimmy and Barry’s guitar and bass instruction books titled Ultimate Play Along/Just Classic Jazz.
Born in Oakland, California and raised in San Rafael, Coates first attracted attention when he performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the California All-star High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Oliver Nelson. After studying with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, through a full scholarship, he briefly attended College of Marin before transferring to North Texas State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in music.
Most recently Barry recorded a new CD with New York drummer Billy Ward called Out The Door, along with an instructional DVD (Voices in My Head) that Barry appears in. Also Barry appears with the Billy Ward Trio on the 2008 Modern Drummer Festival DVD.