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Barbara Sfraga

Barbara Sfraga is an artist who gathers no moss as she rolls through life, constantly evolving. Jazz Times said “She has never met a genre she didn't like or couldn't assimilate.” Described as “consistently inventive” (Billboard) and “jazz singing at its cutting edge best” (LA Times), she’s been on a musical journey that evolved from church organist to rock keyboardist to ‘voicist’. A classically trained vocalist, Barbara jumped ship to sing rock, pop, R&B and jazz. She throws all those influences into the pot to create and sing the music she feels with no boundaries, as evidenced in her recordings, “Oh, What a Thrill” (1999, Naxos Jazz), “Under the Moon” (2003, A440 Music Group) and the most current “Timelessness Frozen in Time” (2006, SyncTimiCity), a collective effort featuring keyboardist/vocalist Mala Waldron, bass artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan, soundrhythium Michael T.A. Thompson and multi-reedist Allen Won.

The ensemble changed its name to The Timelessness Project in 2008, to reflect the cohesiveness of the collective. “There really is no leader in this ensemble”, says Barbara. “Rather, the group is fueled by all five of us, as we all contribute to the writing and promotion of the project. It’s a real team effort, and I know it sounds cliché, but we really are a family. There’s some heavy-duty love up in here!”

THE NEXT STEP. The coalescence of Sfraga’s “journeyart”, the evocative photography of Sfraga, Thompson and Waldron and the original music of The Timelessness Project (some of which can be found on Barbara Sfraga & Center Search Quest’s 2006 recording, “Timelessness Frozen in Time”) materialized into the multi- media venture, “Timelessnessity”, which seamlessly blends the aural and visual dimensions of the group. The ensemble had a strikingly visual side from the onset. Fans are struck by the their enchanting signature sound, but also, the visual side of the group - how they interact - which is the visual component of the improvisational interplay that is ever present in their music. That, combined with the very organic jewelry some of the musicians sport (Sfraga is also a jewelry designer) set the scene for a natural blending of disciplines. Sfraga’s 2006 book, The Subway Series, A Book of Drawings Sprinkled With Words contains some of the artwork featured in “Timelessnessity”.

Additional projects Sfraga is actively working with which she plans to record with soon:

bassdrums’n’voicethang with Center Search Quest’s bass artisan Christopher Dean Sullivan and soundrhythium Michael T.A. Thompson, a no-chords trio in which the players transcend their instruments, exploring sounds and silence.

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(Preview) The singer likes to call herself a voicist -- presumably Sfraga's way to invest her vocals with an instrumental perspective (a ala saxophonist). But the truth is that she really doesn't have to do anything other than allow her inventive singing to speak for itself. Always eager to bring new life to the most familiar songs, Sfraga has gotten together with the gifted quartet Center Search Quest to develop new material in a style eclectic enough to combine elements of cutting-edge improvisation with R&B- tinged rhythms. - Don Heckman Los Angeles Times, Critics Choice

(Preview) And at La Ve Lee it’s the amazing NYC vocalist Barbara Sfraga and Center Search. Sfraga’s latest, Timelessness Frozen in Time, is a funkier, groovier concoction than her earlier stuff. Still, the opening tune, hook laden and suffused with a Flora Purim feel, extends for a non-radio-friendly 10 minutes. And aside from a terrific take on the Rufus classic “Tell Me Something Good,” the rest of the tunes are just as stretched and spacy. Expect some wildly inventive singing and plenty of improv workouts even if the newer material is distinctly less radical than before. Just wait until she slides into Cole Porter or Dylan. The lady’s a trip, in a vocal field where trippiness is nearly nonexistent. Good band too. Even if she calls her bass player a “bass artisan” and drummer a “soundrhythmist.” - Bricks Picks: The Surreal Thing Tasty Jams for Summer Nights By Brick Wahl, LA Weekly

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Primary Instrument

Voice / vocals


Barbara Sfraga offers One-on-One BUSINESS of MUSIC CONSULTATIONS for ALL ARTISTS


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Album Discography


Al Cohn
saxophone, tenor
Dena DeRose
voice / vocals
Arthur Blythe
saxophone, alto
Jackie Ryan
voice / vocals
Judy Wexler
voice / vocals
Chris McNulty
voice / vocals
Linda Ciofalo
voice / vocals
Giacomo Gates
voice / vocals
Denise Donatelli
voice / vocals
Lisa Sokolov
voice / vocals

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