Robin Barnes Explores New Afro-Caribbean Inspired Sound On Single “You Give Me”

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A report by Michael Frank for OffBeat.

Robin Barnes, the jazz singer carrying the moniker “songbird of New Orleans,” is today (September 20) debuting a new single, “You Give Me.”

“This song is the official introduction to my world, my sound and the fire burning within me,” Barnes said. “I’ve continued my exploration of classic New Orleans jazz while adding my interpretation of soul, funk and modern jazz to the mix; I’ve allowed time for these sounds to really come together, and this song is the beginning of a new chapter in the story of my life and music. The lyrics showcase my love song – my never-ending dedication–to music, because music means more to me than anything.”

Raised in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward with a father who played in a jazz band, Barnesbecame enamored with the sounds of the music at an early age. For most of her career, while performing at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, The Spotted Cat Music Club on Frenchmen St. and other local venues, Barnes stood out with masterful jazz melodies, but “You Give Me” marks a shift and evolution in Barnes’ traditional sound.

For the new song Barnes worked with Afro-Latin jazz percussionist Bill Summers and Cuban-born percussionist Alexey Martí to infuse the record with African and Caribbean beats. “You Give Me” features an energetic vocal performance from Barnes, surrounded by smooth instrumentals, tempered by Martí’s and Summers’ percussion work.

Recorded in New Orleans, “You Give Me” features an all-star lineup of local talent, including co-writer and bassist Pat Casey, co-writer and keyboardist Shea Pierre, drummer Thomas Glass, trumpeter Scott Frock, saxophonist Brad Walker, trombonist Jon Ramm, Alexey Marti playing congas and Bill Summers playing the bongos.

“You Give Me” will be available on September 20 on digital outlets and streaming services. Listen to Robin Barnes and learn more about her by visiting her website, here.

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