Barbara Sfraga

Barbara Sfraga


You might hear intimations of icons like Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan in her delivery, but Barbara Sfraga's very much her own woman. She remodels and inhabits standards ranging from Stardust to Bob Dylan's Every Grain of Sand, and tosses in a wry, funky original for good measure. - Time Out NY


Voicist Barbara Sfraga

An artist who gathers no moss as she rolls through life, constantly evolving, critics and fans alike look to Barbara with the question: What’s next?, expecting yet another in a long list of surprises.

Described as consistently inventive (Billboard), a master of bold interpretation (Jazz Times), and jazz singing at its cutting-edge best (LA Times), Barbara Sfraga has been on a musical journey that has evolved from church organist to rock keyboardist to voicist. She’s a songwriter and lyricist whose credits include lyrics written to music by Chick Corea, Teo Macero, Lee Morgan, Ron McClure and Joe Locke, and songs written in collaboration with Michael T.A. Thompson, Mala Waldron and Christopher Dean Sullivan. Her first two recordings, Oh, What A Thrill, featuring Fred Hersch and Mark Murphy (1999, Naxos Jazz) and Under The Moon (2003, A440 Music Group), spotlight Sfraga's penchant for molding and twisting a song until it fits her just right. Her reggae take on Hoagie Carmichael’s Stardust, and her slow, steamy version of Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire are two prime examples. She is well known for pop-sterdizing jazz and jazz-sterdizing pop, as one critic most aptly noted. Her latest, Timelessness Frozen in Time with Center Search Quest (The Timelessness Project ) features mostly original material penned by the unit.


Cool Water (from "Timelessness Frozen in Time")

Written By: Barbara Sfraga/Michael T.A. Thompson/Mala Waldron

Cool Water

Written by: Music: Barbara Sfraga, Mala Waldron, Michael "T.A." Thompson; Lyrics: Barbara Sfraga

Ooh bop - - bop bop bah di ah dop
Ooh bop - - bop bop bah di ah dop

Poor ol' Virginia, ya never got it in ya to
Peruse like your sister Ceil
And all those tropical cats with their cool, sexy accents never
See what is unrevealed
Well you know sooner or later, you'll blow your radiator when those
Tropical winds blow strong
You're just a heartbeat away from a fallen souflé within the
Calm just before the storm

You'll need some Cool water -- cool water
To wash away the steam
Just find some cool water -- cool water
To dampen this debris
It's an emotional catch when a knee-jerk reaction brings you
Stumbling to your knees
And in you mama's words just DON'T forget to say please

Ten after midnight, and nothin's working out right in this
Bumper-to-bumper scheme
It's a conspiratal act that stops you in your tracks and makes you
Feel like ya got to scream
According to your agenda, the whole world's against ya
As you TRY to remain serene
Well you know Murphy, you got your demons inside ya can't
Control what you cannot see

You'll need some Cool water -- cool water
To rinse away your fear
Just find some cool water -- cool water
To remind you why you're here
It's an emotional catch when a
Knee-jerk reaction finds you
Barrelling through the trees
And by your own direction DON'T forget to say "cheese"

Keep cool, re-lax, get loose, set it free
Slow down, rest up, take five, just remember to breathe
One instant fades into a speck within eternity
So be kind, and unwind
Disinclined to ignite - - - - -
A chemical reaction

Ooh bop - - bop bop bah di ah dop
Ooh bop - - bop bop bah di ah dop

Late Friday evening, with thoughts of getting even he was
Bug-eyed and wound up tight
He was a man on a mission caught up in repitition
When he set out to pick a fight
So he said without warning, he woke up in the morning with a
Nose like a nectarine
When he refused to diffuse those agitated blues
He kicked it off to create the scene, he could use some

Cool water -- cool water
To slow this speeding train
Find some cool water -- cool water
To show - you've got nothing to gain
When an emotional catch drives a
Knee jerk reaction toward an
Army of stinging bees
You might just find you'll wind up locked up in a deep

Ooh bop - - bop bop bah di ah dop
Ooh bop - - bop bop bah di ah dop

© 2005

Who's To Blame? (from "Oh, What A Thrill")

Written By: Barbara Sfraga

He'll state his case
She'll wait 'til three
There's nothin' like a cup of coffee when there's no company
And he will wonder why
And she will stake her claim
The curtain's almost up, but honey, now -- Who's to blame

The car is packed
The kids are tense
Go have another glass of wine and maybe it'll make some sense
And no matter how it reads
She'll always feel the same
The keys are in the kitchen, honey, but
Who's to blame?

Now, she'd like to go 90 miles an hour non-stop to Baltimore
But that's just not her style
And the car it spewing gas fumes, and the kid's'll need a restroom
So, maybe she'll just rest here for awhile

His Porsche is red
He'll drive it free
It's a special kinda life, but honey there's no company
And he will wonder why
he couldn't make her stay
The sign is on the corner, honey but
Who's to blame?

You know they drove each other crazy
To the point of being rude
From sunup to sundown
Now they drive in opposite directions
Lookin' to ease their own afflictions
Well maybe there's a rest stop down the road

He'll have a bite
She'll stay up late
Having coffee with the morning news so she can't speculate
And no more wonderin'
Decisions have been made
Go on and turn the corner honey, 'cause
No one's to blame
Just put the key in the ignition honey,
No one, no one's to blame


Timelessness Frozen in Time, SyncTimiCity, 2006
Under the Moon, A440 Music Group, 2003
Oh, What a Thrill, Naxos Jazz, 1999

Set List

Consisting of a variety of unusually arranged (some would say de-ranged!) jazz standards, along with a few clever takes on American pop tunes, Barbara is known for 'pop-sterdizing' jazz and 'jazz-terdizing' pop.Expect some originals as well. Sets are typically 40 minutes, usually 1 or 2 per night. She has approximately 150 songs in her repertoire.