Barry McCommon - Soloist; freelance artist; studio musician; teaching artist
Barry is a musician that defies categorization. Having begun his career while still enrolled at the Curtis Institute of Music, he also cut his teeth in the clubs of Philly and Atlantic City. His versatility has earned him respect as a “crossover” artist, performing in venues ranging from Lincoln Center to the House of Blues with anyone from the Royal Ballet, to the Jaco Pastorius Big Band, to R&B legend Aretha Franklin. A member of the genre-bending Nu Directions Chamber Brass, he is to some the tuxedo-clad classical bass trombonist for The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia--to others he's the jazz musician they've seen backing the likes of Herbie Hancock--in another realm, he regularly can be seen on the r&b/funk circuit of Philly and Atlantic City with luminaries such as Pattie Labelle. This musical dichotomy has seen Barry share the stage with Opera greats(Luciano Pavarotti), Broadway/Cabaret stars(Bernadette Peters), Jazz heavies(Randy Brecker), R&B legends(Peabo Bryson), to Pop/Rock icons(Peter Cetera) and many, many, more—a “who’s who” performing in Philly, Atlantic City, and New York. In addition to his work as a performer, he is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts where he teaches lessons and directs the UArts Trombone Ensemble, an Associate Conductor of Bravo Brass, and has taught at the Philadelphia International Music Festival through chamber music coaching and a solo performance class.

An in-demand sideman, Barry is also a dynamic soloist. The only trombonist to have ever appeared as soloist at the Philadelphia International Music Festival, he was featured with the Philadelphia Sinfonia in their 2010-2011 season finale at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in a performance of Eric Ewazen's "Ballade for Bass Trombone and Strings". He has also performed as soloist with the Ocean City Pops, Drexel University Concert Band, West Chester University Percussion Ensemble, and with Bravo Brass. His most recent appearance with Bravo Brass was the world premiere of "A Very Barry Fantasy" by Jamie Wehr, written for Barry and Bravo Brass. The 2011-2012 season opened and closed with performances of "Evolution and the Passage of Time" by Thomas J. Madeja. The premiere took place in September 2011 in Chicago, and then in May 2012, two performances in Philadelphia and NYC with Nu Directions Chamber Brass. In October 2012, he will be joining Tom Madeja and Nu Directions again in Chicago to premiere two of Madeja's works. His next solo appearance will be in the 2013-2014 season and will be his 8th appearance with Bravo Brass.

In addition to his many live performances, Barry is also busy in the recording studio. He has recorded for independent and major label releases, sessions for NFL Films(Emmy winning soundtracks), NASCAR(featured in IMAX theaters nationwide), Hasbro, Inc., commercials/jingles, Warner Bros(publications and major motion pictures), numerous radio broadcasts, and has appeared in television broadcasts both here in the United States and abroad. The long list of musicians with whom he's performed includes Eddie Daniels, Joey DeFrancesco, Herbie Hancock, Dave Grusin, Claudio Roditi, Gerald Veasley, Victor Wooten, Take 6, Maureen McGovern, Rosemary Clooney, Judy Collins, Peabo Bryson, Randy Newman, broadway performers Marvin Hamlisch, Julie Andrews, Rita Moreno, as well as Sesame Street star Bob McGrath; he's also acted in a musical skit with author/radio personality Garrison Keillor.

Rather than accept the parameters that so many try to place on musicians, Barry plays what he wants to play—his love of rock, jazz, r&b, pop, and classical show every time he hits the stage.

Barry McCommon
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