Barb Jungr, Britain’s provocative cabaret/jazz artist, is to showcase her new recording, Bob, Brel and Me, in her eagerly awaited debut performance in historic Wilton’s Music Hall, on Tuesday 26 May.
In this brand new show exploring love in all its colours, Barb turns her acclaimed ability at reinvention and reinterpretation to a set of Dylan and Brel songs she has never before tackled on stage, all in original arrangements.
Alongside them will be some of Barb’s own songs, written with a number of wonderful collaborators including Level 42’s Mike Lindup.
Barb said about Dylan: “I have always said that for me, Dylan is the American Shakespeare, by which I mean you can go back to the songs over and over again, and every single time, like peeling an onion of endless layers, you never reach an end. The work suggests rather than states. It leads and then you wonder through it. It’s endlessly beautiful, terrifying and provoking.”
She commented on Brel, the best-selling Belgian singer-songwriter: “I fell in love with Brel, like most people, through Scott Walker’s renditions of Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris. Then I met Robb Johnson, and he introduced me to a bunch of other writers and poets and questing people who enlightened me about translation and veritas. And I started to travel through the Brel landscape, which is filled with wolves and oceans and politics, and I knew I would never stop, that there was a thirst for something in that singular viewpoint that would never be satisfied.”
A mainstay on the London cabaret scene for nearly 50 years, Barb Jungr was born in Rochdale to Czech and German parents, Barb played the violin and mandolin at an early age. She sang in folk clubs at school and in jazz and blues bands at college and then in London. Starting out a singer and performer on the alternative cabaret circuit, Barb earned numerous plaudits, including a then-legendary Perrier Award. Never one to sit still, physically or artistically, she has evolved through the years into one of the UK’s finest and most distinctive singers. Her exhilarating vocal style fuses her sense of jazz, blues, and soul with elements of everything from musical theatre to African and Iranian folk singing.
She subsequently toured with Kid Creole (in The Three Courgettes); teamed with Michael Parker, she supported Alexie Sayle and Julian Clary, among others. Over four decades, she has never ceased performing live, locally and internationally, as well as appearing regularly on radio and television.
Her 45-year recording career began at CBS in the late 1970s. Alongside many collaborations, she has released 18 solo albums, many for Linn Records, receiving outstanding reviews worldwide and winning many awards. Jungr’s collaboration with John McDaniel has now produced two recordings. In 2011, Jungr received the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Cabaret Vocalist, the Backstage Bistro Award for Best International Artist, and Time Out New York’s #1 Top Live Cabaret Act for 2011. Her powerful singing style reaches across musical boundaries and defies easy categorisation.With a devoted following in the UK, Barb has also built a major fan base in the USA and earned many awards there for her CDs and performances (Broadway World award for Hard Rai,n in 2014, the Time Out New York Cabaret Nightlife Award for Outstanding Vocalist, and Backstage Award for Best International Artist, to name just a few).
Barb Jungr: Bob, Brel & Me plays at Wilton’s Music Hall on Tuesday 28 May.
Photo credit: Steve Ullathorne