Saxophonist Eric BarberR (b. 1972) has been recognized as part of a generation of artists whose artistic voice and output defy categorization. His versatility, unique approach to the saxophone and artistic fearlessness have made him a regular collaborator with some of the most innovative and unconventional figures in new music today, including Nels Cline, Mark Dresser, Vinny Golia, Wayne Horvitz, Art Jarvinen, Steuart Liebig, Poovalur Srinivasan, Wadada Leo Smith, Miroslav Tadic, Tom Varner, and Glen Velez. Eric grew up in Eugene and majored in music at the University of Oregon. He moved in 1997 to attend graduate school at California Institute of the Arts, and immediately became immersed in the thriving Los Angeles jazz and world music scenes.
Since moving from Los Angeles to Seattle in 2004, Eric has been sought after in Northwest creative music. Earshot Jazz presented a feature article on Eric in their April 2006 magazine, and he recently gave the world premiere of pianist/composer Wayne Horvitz’s These Hills of Glory, for string quartet and improviser. He leads his own avant-jazz trio and improvising chamber quartet, as well as performing in French hornist Tom Varner’s jazz and chamber projects. Eric has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, most notably at the Knitting Factory New York, Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Center, and Skirball Cultural Center. Recording credits include the Capitol, Cryptogramophone, Nine Winds, pfMENTUM, Phlogiston, Recondite, and Virgin labels.
His first commercial release, the solo saxophone CD Maybeck Constructions (pfMENTUM CD 015), received positive reviews from around the globe. Sonic, metric, rhythmic, and melodic concepts are unified into cohesive pieces that have compositional structure yet allow for deep improvisatory exploration from performance to performance. Exploring the full sonic capabilities of his saxophones, Eric fuses complex rhythmic structures and multiphonics with a keen ear and compositional sensibility.
Artist Support Program 2008: New music for saxophone ensemble.