Custin Jazz Series opens with Barbara Martin, Liz Barnes

Barbara Martin  Liz Barnes (2)The Custin Jazz Series begins the new season at WTA’s Gateway with a return engagement by Barbara Martin and Liz Barnes. The Saturday, September 7th performance at what has been labeled “the best intimate musical venue in the Valley” begins at 8 pm.

The Barnes and Martin duo is a favorite of the Gateway audiences.  Individually the two performers have made significant names for themselves in more than 20 years of composing, touring, recording and teaching.   In 2012, they met at a party and formed the Liz Barnes and Barbara Matin duo, melding their considerable talents in a seamless evening of musical entertainment. “We love gigs where we can play off each other’s energetic stage presence and showcase our original work,” says Barbara about working with Liz.  “We believe our audiences thoroughly enjoy the way we mix playfulness with skillful musicianship.  And it’s great fun for us.”

The September 7th performance may be one of the last chances to hear the duo perform together.  Barnes will be moving to Arizona in the fall, leaving the future of the musical duo unknown.

Jazz pianist Liz Barnes has been teaching and performing for 20 years.  She quickly made a name for herself in the ‘80s performing with well-known regional acts and opening for acclaimed blues artists such as Anson Funderburgh and Sam Meyers, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Delbert McClinton, the Nighthawks and Sapphire, just to name a few.

While Liz’s piano style is firmly rooted in the blues, it reflects the whole jazz tradition from bebop to modernism. She has performed extensively as a solo jazz pianist as well as with small ensembles and big bands.

Barbara Martin is a musician known for being an accomplished vocal interpreter of the great jazz and blues standards yet brave enough to stretch the boundaries of the female jazz and blues singer stereotype.  Chanteuse, girl-next-door and perceptive poet all rolled into one, the Washington Post calls Barbara Martin’s music “… as American in style as it is universal in emotional intelligence.”

In describing Barbara’s evolution, Portfolio Magazine stated, “Her voice has become lilting and uplifting, giving off an aura of happiness, similar in register and tone to that of Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a joy to hear.”

The tickets for the Saturday September 7 performance are $10 in advanced and $12 on the day of performance.  They may be purchased online at or by calling the box office (540-943-9999).  Remaining tickets will be available at the Gateway on the night of performance.


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