Bootsie Barnes

Bootsie Barnes


Bootsie's exciting style exemplifies the urban Hard-Bop groove popular with orginal fans, and gaining new ones via "Acid Jazz" sounds. His bluesy organ trio generates the "out-of-your-seat" excitement of a revival meeting. His larger ensembles explore sophisticated, modern arrangements and solos."


�Bootsie� began his musical career at age 6 on piano switching to drums at 10. His grandmother gave him a saxophone at age 19 and he knew he had found his niche. In school, classmates included drummers, Lex Humphries, Bill Cosby, Al �Tootie� Heath; bassist �Spanky� DeBrest, trumpeter Lee Morgan, and a host of Philadelphia giants who went on to help shape the maturing sound of jazz music. Those who had the biggest influence on him were his father, who played trumpet with Bill Doggett�s 16 piece big band, and his cousin Jimmy Hamilton, saxophonist and star clarinetist of Duke Ellington�s band for 26 years.

In the 60�s and early 70�s Bootsie played the renowned �Chitterling Circuit� which included clubs such as South Jersey�s Dreamland, Cotton Club, Laurettas� Hi Hat, Pearl�s Celebrity Room and Over the Top. His highly articulated tenor style also graced Atlantic City�s Club Harlem and The Wonder Garden. A few of the legendary Philly clubs at which he performed include The Aqua Lounge, Just Jazz, The Blue Note, Nite Cap, The Showboat and Pep�s. Worked with Big Bands of Sam Reed, Johnny Lynch's Club Harlem Band, Bennie Lions, Lloyd Price's Big Band (under the direction of the great Kenny Dorham) and the Al Grey Little Big Band.

A significant accomplishment for Bootsie was being elected the Youngest ever Assistant Secretary of Philadelphia�s only Black Local #274 American Federation of Musician�s where he served from 1971-1974. This organization was a forerunner of today's Clef Club of the Performing Arts which was founded by the Late Former President of Local #274, JIMMY ADAMS.

Bootsie toured, performed and recorded with literally all the great organists including Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, Charles Earland, Trudy Pitts, Poppa John and Joey DeFrancesco and others too numerous to name. In the late 1980�s, Bootsie toured with his childhood friend and classmate, Bill Cosby, and made guest appearances on �The Bill Cosby Show,� (playing himself) as well as many other television appearances. As recently as 2001 he toured with Cosby, playing the Playboy Jazz Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival.

Bootsie has toured Europe as well as the United States and Canada, leaving a lasting impression on audiences all over the world. He has headlined venues from New York�s famed Birdland to the very prestigious Le Grand Hotel in Paris. He has won numerous Jazz awards, such as the Marjorie Dockery Volunteer Award from the Urban League Guild of Philadelphia and New York�s Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Award, and is often listed within the Top Ten Jazz Picks.

Today, �Bootsie� Barnes is known as �the man with the �Tenor Touch� because of his dynamic style on the tenor saxophone. His smooth and distinct sound is easily recognizable whether softly caressing a ballad, or swinging hard, during live performances or on CD. JazzTimes magazine sums up his solos thusly: ��plays tenor saxophone with self-assured flair and gorgeous depth�� and ��plays in a classic style reminiscent of Gene Ammons and Hank Mobley��. Bootsie can be heard as a sideman on many, many recordings, (see his discography) he has released one vinyl album and three CD�s as a leader; �Been Here All Along�, �You Leave Me Breathless� �Hello� and "Boppin' Round the Center" ..


As a Leader

�Been Here All Along� � Bootsie Barnes Quartet � Way After Midnight Records
�Hello� - Bootsie Barnes Quartet � French Riviera Records
�You Leave Me Breathless� � Bootsie Barnes Quartet � French Riviera Records
�Boppin' Round the Center� � Bootsie Barnes Quintet � Harvest Records

As a Sideman

�Looking Up� � Cullen Knight � Reflection Records

�Here to Create Music� � Gamble/Huff � Philadelphia International

�Why Not� � Don Patterson � Muse Records

�The Saxophone Shop� � Odean Pope Saxophone Choir � Soul Note Records

"Epitome" - Odean Pope Saxophone Choir � Soul Note Records

�Comin� Home� � Poppa John DeFrancesco � Muse Records

�All in the Family� - Poppa John & Joey DeFrancesco � Muse Records

�Hip Cake Walk� - Poppa John & Joey DeFrancesco � High Note

�John Swana Quintet� � Criss Cross Records

"Philly Gumbo" - Johns Swana - Criss Cross

"Live at Ortlieb's" - Various Artists - Encounter

"Open the Gates"- Kenny Gates

"To Joe With Love"- Juanita Holliday

Set List

Literally any popular song of the past two centuries (21st and 20th) is fair game for Bootsie who has committed over 1,000 tunes to memory (and can fake the rest if you hum a few bars) !! All well-known (and many obscure) jazz tunes are included in his repertoire.