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Film, Video Performance: Barbara Martin

About this Item


  • Performance: Barbara Martin


  • Over a career spanning more than 20 years, Barbara Martin has covered a lot of musical ground, unafraid to explore new territory at each turn. In the early years, she performed country, folk, New-Wave rock and toured the singer-songwriter circuit. But when Martin began listening to Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace and Billie Holiday and working with blues and jazz guitarist Mac Walter and bassist Steve Wolf in the early 90s, she realized blues and jazz were her musical raison d'etre. Among her plentiful talents, she had found her most compelling and comfortable niche. Today Martin is best known not only for being an accomplished vocal interpreter of the great jazz and blues standards; but also for her ability to stretch the boundaries of the female jazz and blues singer image. She writes award-winning songs. She plays guitar. She collaborates with other acclaimed artists to produce engaging live shows and music education programs. She is as comfortable in a New York cabaret show or a major venue like The Kennedy Center as she is in an intimate house concert or a bohemian café. Martin's expertise and talent place her squarely in the company of the legends she teaches about in her educational series "Women of Blues and Jazz," but it is her ability to transition smoothly from chanteuse to girl-next-door to perceptive poet that makes her so delightfully her own woman. Barbara Martin's comfort with all these sides of herself and the way she articulates it in song shows us that being true to ourselves is the fulfillment of our oft life-diverted dreams.

Event Date

  • November 06, 2020

Running Time

  • 18 minutes 49 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image





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Credit Line: Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Performance: Barbara Martin. 2020. Video.

APA citation style:

(2020) Performance: Barbara Martin. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Performance: Barbara Martin. 2020. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.