Pianist and composer Barbara Graff grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and studied classical piano at a young age. She was surrounded by an extended musical family. Her mother and aunt played piano, while another aunt was offered a scholarship for opera at Northwestern University in Evanston. Her brother sang in the local choir for many years, and although not afforded the opportunity to hear him in person, Barbara heard stories of her maternal great grandfather’s beautiful voice. Her favorite interests as a child were music, theatre, dance and creative writing. She won many awards for creative writing. She is also athletic and enjoys basketball, bicycling and the outdoors.
Barbara is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago and holds a Masters degree from Northwestern University.
In 2009, Barbara moved to Indianapolis. At a holiday cocktail party she chatted for three hours with another woman at the party until the two of them “closed down” the venue. When they traded business cards, it was only then they realized they had a musical connection. Carol became Barbara’s friend, piano coach and mentor, introducing her to New Age pianists such as Jim Brickman, George Winston and David Lanz, and encouraging her to reignite her artistic spark and pursue her musical destiny.
Inspired by her mentor with New Age influences, and influenced by her love of artists as diverse as Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz and Sheryl Crow, Barbara began composing her own songs. Her debut album, “Second Act,” was born from this fusion of sound, and she is in the midst of producing her second album.
Many artists have careers that peak at any early age, and then feel their best years are behind them. Barbara’s “Second Act” is a long way from reaching the zenith. Barbara knows life is full of surprises, and the best is yet to come.