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“To The Edge Higher” with Renee Fleming and Patricia Barber at the Harris Theater

As a reward to the cheers of “brava,” all of the performers took the stage for a phenomenal reprisal of Barber’s “Scream.” This version, blending jazz, classical and post-rock was the most memorable part of the evening, showcasing two artists who are comfortable stepping out of bounds for true collaboration.

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Review of ‘Higher: Renée Fleming and Patricia Barber Perform The Music of Patricia Barber’ at The Kennedy Center

Musicians are not meant to be confined to one facet of their craft. Renée Fleming, one of the foremost voices in opera today, is not shy about her love for jazz and the mastery that goes into the highly improvisational form. In discovering Patricia Barber, she found a jazz songwriter and singer who, as it turns out, has an incredibly high regard for the operatic style. In their one night only concert at The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, they proved that the two genres can go together magically.

Patricia Barber Quartet Returns to the Dakota, September 17

"Each generation has had its potent songwriters, the composers of music and lyrics that address universal themes – love, loss and social commentary. We’ve moved from George Gershwin and Cole Porter to Rodgers and Hart, from Lennon and McCartney to Joni Mitchell to Nick Drake, and to the jazz genre’s current crop of composer/performers like Esperanza Spalding, Gretchen Parlato, Gregory Porter and Kurt Elling. Yet, be it love, loss or satire, no one among active jazz performers melds notes and words with the powerful fragility, the delicate incision, the brazen honesty of Patricia Barber.

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