Barb Jungr is an internationally acclaimed singer in the worlds of jazz and cabaret, with an exhilarating vocal style that fuses her sense of jazz, blues and soul with elements of everything from musical theatre to African and Iranian folk singing. She was memorably described by Glam Adelaide in 2016 as combining “technical perfection with ballsy passion; it’s as if Edith Piaf and Nick Cave had a love-child, who was adopted by Carmen McRae”.
Across her 40 year career, Barb has carved a significant reputation for combining immaculate vocal technique, impassioned performance, piercing insight, lacerating wit and beautifully unexpected musical arrangements to reinterpret a century’s worth of European and American popular songs in a manner which The New York Times described as “revelatory” and The Guardian as “casually virtuosic”.
As both a live and a recording artist, Barb has collected and reappraised work by some of the most significant songwriters of the 20th and 21st Centuries. All About Jazz called Barb “the most innovative singer in jazz since Cassandra Wilson”, and credited her as “the principle momentum behind expanding the ‘Standards Songbook’ forward in time to include The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and David Bowie”.
Barb has written extensively for theatre. Productions include How to Hide a Lion (music and lyrics for adaptation by Peter Glanville of Helen Stephens’ book, co-production by Polka Theatre and Oxford Playhouse 2016/17); We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (music and lyrics, and co-adaption with Peter Glanville of Michael Rosen’s book, Little Angel Theatre 2013 and tours in 2014, 2015 and 2016/17); The Fabulous Flutterbys (book, music and lyrics, Little Angel Theatre); The Jungle Book (lyrics, Birmingham Stage Company); The Ballad of Norah’s Ark (co-wrote songs with Russell Churney, co-wrote book with Andy Goldberg, Billingham Players); music and lyrics for several pantomimes at the Newbury Corn Exchange, directed by Cal McCrystal.
Additional projects include a collaboration with Mark-Anthony Turnage on About Water, sung by Barb with the London Sinfonietta at the reopening of the Southbank Centre; creator of the song cycle Deep Roots Tall Trees for the Core Theatre at Corby; collaboration with composer Jonathan Cooper on his song cycle Moon Behind the Clouds; the cabaret show Girl Talk with Mari Wilson, Claire Martin and Gwyneth Herbert, which toured for 10 years; the trio Durga Rising with tabla player Kuljit Bhamra and pianist Russell Churney.
Barb has worked extensively on BBC Radio as a presenter, writer, researcher and arts contributor, and contributed to television documentaries on BBC4.
Awards include Best Cabaret from Time Out New York (four consecutive years from 2008 to 2011); New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Cabaret Vocalist 2008; New York Backstage Award for Best International Artist 2003.
Barb lives in London.