Deb Barr performing at a jazz concert in Telluride, Colorado. Courtesy photo.
Who is Deb Barr, and where did it all come from?
Deb Barr grew up in Abilene, Texas, where she was fortunate to have access to a variety of types of music and opportunities for singing. “I was around a lot of people who sang—in the choir, at funerals. My family were my early influencers. I was an only child then and absorbed everything I heard. My mother could play by ear. My grandparents sang gospel music. My grandfather and his brother had a dance band that played on the radio in the 1940s. “I learned to play the piano,” she says, “because…it was just there. And, I was lucky to have some really excellent music teachers.
“I absorbed every single thing I heard,” she explains. “From gospel to folk, pop to classical—I loved it all. The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky was a special favorite.”
Over the last few years, Deb has continued as a solo artist, writing music and performing. She has three CDs out now, and a poetry book, There Will Always Be a Place. The title of the book is also the title of one of her original songs. The book is hand-bound, each copy produced to order, a combination of her writings and the photography of her husband, Jim Womeldorf.
She and her husband now own 333 Arts in Nucla, Colorado. “We’re trying to combine a small gallery and performance venue with his massage studio, representing all the arts.” Although Covid has slowed their plans, the ultimate goal is music and poetry events, art shows, and more, “anything relating to the arts.”
“Jazz is my thing,” she says, “but it is only part of my repertoire. My identity as a singer/songwriter is very strong. I enjoy playing and performing a variety of music, including instrumental concert pieces, classical, old folk songs, like Judy Collins, pop, and of course…jazz.”