John La Barbera
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John La Barbera


Band Classical World


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The best kept secret in music


"Lyrichord Discs"

John LaBarbera's stunning compositions and phenominal playing along with the entire ensemble's spirited performance put this recording (Earth Sun and Moon) in a class by itself. -Lyrichord Discs - Record Label


"The collection of songs on "In The Labrynth" will carry you across several continents as guitarist John LaBarbera rightfully proclaims his virtuosity..." -Tracy Romoser, to the

"John LaBarbera" kicks things into overdrive with his hand-driving contributions on oud, mandoloncello and chitarra battente" ... (Tarantata - Dance of the Ancient SPider) -- J. Poet, Pulse Magazine

"This recording (Labyrinth) features an original mix of music with a sensative and reflexive performance...A challenging and rewarding recording..." -- Jin Lee, Dirty Linen Magazine

"The music to the Stabat Mater, composed by John La Barbera is full of musical spirit and soul, and he used to his fullest, rhythems and instruments from various parts of the world." -- America Oggi

"LaBarbera's kiky new score (Stabat Mater) was slickly produced and executed...his 4-part setting of the ancient Stabat Mater text made for a touching leit-motif." -- James Oestreich, New York Times

"The crisp tones of his classical guitar reference Arabic, Flamenco, Celtic and even Greek music (Labyrinth) -- Chris Rubin, Rhythm Music

"...Lively, inventive, and highly recommended..." -- Dirty Linen Magazine

A complete collection of handmade Chittara Battentae and other fine instruments made in Italy by Musickalia, endorsed by John LaBarbera are now available through mail order.
- Various



String Ecstasies recorded live in Sao Paulo, Brazil features original music for the Chitarra Battente together with Paulo Freire on Viola Caipira and Thomas Rohrer, on Rebeca
In the Labyrinth, his latest solo Cd, was produced and released on his own independent label ITRI MUSIC.
His music and performing are also featured on:
Papa’s Lullabies on Ellipsis Arts
Mediterranean Lullaby on Ellipsis Arts
Tarantata- The Dance of the Ancient Spider on the Sounds True label; (performing on seven different string instruments) with Alessandra Belloni, Glen Velez and Steve Gorn
Riddle of the Sphinx, (featured oud soloist) with jazz artists Mark Gross and Mulgrew Miller, on J-Curve Discs
Shades of Green, A Celebration of Sacred Trees, with Dorothy Papadakos (Organist for the Cathedral of St. John the Divine) on Pro Organo.
Earth,Sun and Moon with Alessandra Belloni, Glen Velez and Steve Gorn on Lyrichord Discs
Dea Fortuna with I Giullari di Piazza on Shanachie Records
Sullilo Mio with I Giullari di Piazza on Shanachie Records
"I do! Me too!" with Judy Collins and Dorothy Papadakos on Pro Organo
Divine Diva’’s released on Rounder records.
Global Celebrations on Ellipsis Arts
La Terra del Rimorso with Pupi e Fressedde, on Divergo (Phonogram, Milano)
Tori with Lloyd McNeill, Buster Williams, Nana Vasconcellos and Dom Romao


Feeling a bit camera shy


For more than two decades internationally renown, guitar virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, and composer John La Barbera has enchanted audiences throughout the United States, Europe and South America. At early age of ten he discovered the alluring beauty of the guitar and the richness and power of its rhythm. Immediately after graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in classical guitar and composition from the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. La Barbera was awarded a scholarship to continue his graduate studies in Italy. It was there in Siena and the Renaissance city of Florence, where John La Barbera launched his professional career by performing solo and chamber music concerts. But it was his selection as the full-time guitarist/arranger for the legendary theater company "Pupi e Fressedde" that honed his virtuosity and brought him acclaim in Italy, France and throughout Europe. For the next several years with John La Barbera at the helm "Pupi e Fressedde" made an indelible mark and vast contribution to the Folk Music and Commedia dell’arte of the era. John La Barbera continued his journey and quest for excellence and has been blessed to have studied with some of the world’s most foremost master teachers and composers including: Oscar Ghiglia, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Albert Valdes-Blain, Jose Rey della Torre, Richard Provost, Juan della Mata, Patrick O’’Brian, Gene Bertoncini, and Ennio Morricone. Their priceless guidance, inspiration and faith in his ability, has further enhanced John La Barbera’s own style originality and virtuosity and has enabled him to move people’s hearts around the world.

From Classical to Jazz, from Medieval to Flamenco, from the music of the Renaissance to Italian Folk Songs to the captivating rhythms and melodies of Brazil – In the words of the Woodstock Times " La Barbera is North American born with the dance of music in his fingertips.. his articulations on either instrument, intimate and classically fine, are filled with the light of a born Latino.."

One of the most sought after studio musician in New York City, La Barbera has performed and recorded with world class musicians and singers including : American Folk Singer Judy Collins; Palestinian oud virtuoso and violinist, Simon Shaheen; Composer/Author Liz Swados, Maria Carta and Pupi e Fressedde from Italy; Brazilian guitar duo DUOFEL and guitarist Paulo Freire; Jazz artists Mark Gross and Mulgrew Miller; master percussionist Glen Velez; Bansuri flutist Steve Gorn, Russian vocalist Masha Itkina, Countertenor Robert Crowe; vocalist/percussionist Alessandra Belloni; and composer/organist Dorothy Papadakos; to name a few. His music compositions has also been recorded by jazz artist Fred Hirsh and Adam Nussbaum. Finally his virtuosity on a wide variety of fretted string instruments, has enable him to recorded for some of Hollywood’’s most prominent film composers, including Howard Shore, for the Columbia Pictures film Gloria.

A consummate composer, La Barbera’s film composing credits include: Children of Fate, nominated for best Documentary feature in the 1994 Academy Awards and winner of the 1993 Sundance Film Festival; Cutting Loose, which won the best Documentary Film Award at the Sundance Festival in 1996; La Festa, produced by NJTV for PBS; and the film Tarantella, starring Mira Sorvino. He has also scored music for a number of jingles as well as composing original music for two of internationally acclaimed filmmaker Tony De Nonno’s latest documentary films.