9 May 1954 (age 62)
Rochdale, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
With her unique vocal style, critics have compared her to Nina Simone, Peggy Lee and Edith Piaf declaring that Barb Jungr “is one of the best interpreters of Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan anywhere on this angst ridden planet today” (Village Voice, New York). Since 2000, Jungr’s releases on Linn Records have brought her to the world stage and revealed her to be one of Europe’s most exciting voices.
Rochdale-born and Stockport-bred, she combines a European heritage with an earthy northern English sensibility. Her passionate singing/song styling owes a debt to northern soul, opera and jazz - music that informed her early years.
In the late 1970s she became part of the early “alternative cabaret” circuit performing and recording with the cult vocal harmony group The Three Courgettes. Subsequently she enjoyed a fruitful 12 year song-writing and musical partnership with blues guitarist and songwriter Michael Parker with whom she won a Perrier Award. Writing and performing together they released six albums and worked extensively on tour, radio and television with, among others, Julian Clary and Alexei Sayle.
In the early 1990s Jungr created the award winning harmony shows “Hell Bent Heaven Bound”.
Her solo career began in earnest after she recorded “Durga Rising” (1997), with the Bhangra producer and percussionist Kuljit Bhamra. “Bare” was released in 1999 on Irregular Records bringing Barb to the attention of Glasgow-based Linn Records with whom she has now recorded five albums:
2000: “Chanson: The Space In Between” (Linn AKD 167) - new English translations of classic French chansons. 2002: “Every Grain Of Sand” (Linn AKD 230) - a widely acclaimed collection of inspired arrangements of Bob Dylan songs. 2003: “Waterloo Sunset” (Linn AKD 222) – a collection of eclectic, modern standards on the theme of obsessive love. 2005: “Love Me Tender” (Linn AKD 255) – art song-styled re-workings of material recorded by Elvis Presley. 2006: Walking in the Sun (Linn AKD 283) – powerfully sung gospel and blues in stunning new arrangements.
Her own self-penned material also features on her albums.
In 2002 she won the Backstage Award for Best International Artist and now appears regularly in New York, most recently at the 59E59 Theatre and Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. A sell-out residency at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Australia, during summer 2006, further underlined her fast-growing global reputation as a leading song-stylist.
With singers and friends Mari Wilson and Claire Martin she co-created the sell-out cabaret show “Girl Talk” whose album (Linn AKD 279) was released and launched at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London in 2006.
In 2005/6 Jungr appeared on BBC TV performing for the Tribute to Bob Dylan Concert alongside Odetta, KT Tunstall and Billy Bragg. In July 2006, she contributed to a BBC 1 documentary Queens of Heartache – a programme about iconic female singers.
Jungr continues to write extensively, contributing the lyrics to Birmingham Stage Company’s sellout version of The Jungle Book, her own musical, and essays and articles for various books and publications.
In 2007, she tours the UK with Walking In The Sun, premiering her new show Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan in New York at the Metropolitan Room and she returns to Australia, she will also appears at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in June in collaboration with the composer Mark Anthony Turnage with the London Siinfonietta.
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