Bassist, bandleader, composer (and sometime tuba player) Leigh Barker arrived in Paris in 2016 to set up a new European base for his music, family and diverse projects. Over the past ten years Barker has appeared at venues and events such as the Sydney Opera House, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ‘Frankie 100’ in New York and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Festival, establishing himself worldwide as a first call sideman and award winning band leader. Accompanying artists as diverse as Branford Marsalis, Gordon Webster, the Hot Jazz Alliance and Sarah McKenzie, Leigh found living in Australia was limiting his ability to tour full time.

After taking time off for the birth of his second daughter, Barker has formed the ‘European Edition’ of his long-running band, extending the excellent body of work from his eight full length album releases and more than ten years of touring. Happily he was able to bring with him to Paris the singer and violinist from his group since 2011, Heather Stewart (given that she is also ‘Mrs Barker’…).

We find ourselves now in mid 2020, (and mid pandemic!!) with Barker ready to release a double album of the european group featuring Paris’ finest musicians (and several tracks from a session recorded in Melbourne Australia with the ‘old’ band…) post-pandemic and ready to tackle the enormous potential of musical life in the northern hemisphere. The group has already been featured at events such as the festival ‘Paris Jazz Roots’ in April 2017 and a sold-out ‘Fete de la Musique’ concert at the famous 1920s Paris hot-spot ‘La Coupole’.

Click on the YouTube link below to hear their dynamic mix of hot jazz, formidable swing, 21st century blues and stylish new compositions. A broad repertoire played with a spontaneity rarely matched by other groups.