What is Mary Barry all about?
Jazz, Blues and Chanson
Jazz, Blues and Chanson: “original songs that are so good they sound like standards”. Newfoundland’s “Jazz Chanteuse” Mary Barry is an award-winning singer, composer, teacher and a graduate of Vancouver Community College’s Jazz Program. She is a bilingual artist whose music has been described as “… a gold mine of nuggets for collectors of original jazz and blues” …”with a glowing hint of torch in her voice”.
Arranged and produced by Ward Pike, “Legendary” is an intriguing collection of traditional and contemporary Newfoundland music. The album includes the classic “Let Me Fish Off Cape St. Mary’s”, and a touching rendition of Ron Hynes’ “Cape Spear”, as well as a number of original co-writes. Keeping with her French influences, the chanteuse also recorded an elegant and romantic version of the popular French folk song, “Vive la Rose”.
“For some time now I’ve wanted to record an album that would blend traditional and contemporary Newfoundland songs,” says Barry. “My father was a balladeer singer from Red Island and though he died when I was quite young, I still have crystal clear memories of his tenor voice soaring while walking the shores of Placentia Bay.”
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Mary Barry launches her first full-length album of French ‘chansons’ or songs entitled Chansons Irisées. The recording is a mélange of sweet melodies, sophisticated jazz, rollicking cabaret and exotic worldbeat. Recorded under the musical direction of Gilles Vigneault’s arranger, the late Brumo Fecteau. Chansons Irisées is a sensuous and soothing journey through the ever-changing fortunes of the human heart.
Red Eye Tonight
Barry’s third independent recording entitled “Red Eye Tonight”, features musical giants Brian Way, Patrick Boyle, Bill Brennan, Gary Davis, Rick Hollett, Mark Peddle, and Gary Tilley. The CD was released to rave reviews and won Barry both Female Artist and Jazz/Blues Artist of the Year at the 2007 Music NL and a 2009 ECMA nomination for Jazz Recording of the Year.
Throughout her career, she has performed and recorded with other stellar musicians such as Elmer Gill, Jeff Johnston, Jim Vivian, John Nugent, Mike Billard, Dave Burton, Chris Mitchell, Bruce Dixon, Miles Black, Rick Kilburn, Graham Ord, Craig Scott, Jean Pierre Zanella and Jesse Zubot.
From St. John’s to Montreal to Paris to Vancouver
Barry’s performances include the Victoria, Vancouver, Halifax, St. John’s and Montreal Jazz Festivals, Le Centre Culturel Francophone de Vancouver, the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival, the Writer’s Festival in Gros Morne National Park, the Magnolia Springs Alabama Jazz Festival, and Le Festival International de Musique de Femmes in Paris, France.
Writing Songs that Win
Barry is well recognized for her song writing talent, having won several songwriting awards and making it into the semi-finals in the 2006 International Songwriting Competition, the only Canadian to make it that far in the Jazz category. Barry’s second CD These Days, which won her MIANL Female Artist of the Year and an ECMA nomination for Jazz Recording of the Year in 2005, also features four award winning songs.
Mary Barry lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland where she also works as a writer/broadcaster, voice over artist, voice teacher and vocal coach.