“Experiencing the music of Kevin Barrett and Julie Michels live in concert is something you won’t forget. They might look like a duo but their music fills the room and commands attention.”
Jaymz Bee. JAZZ.FM91
"Michels sang entrancingly with her usual partner-in-music, Barrett. They definitely have their thing down, offering well-crafted but loosely executed gems …. tailor-made for Michels' winning sass and exuberance."
Peter Hum. Ottawa Citizen / Jazzblog.ca
"Julie Michels has soul, big-hearted soul"
Mark Miller. Globe & Mail
Julie Michels (voice) & Kevin Barrett (guitar) breathe new life into the music they play -- a repertoire which draws broadly from pop, jazz and latin standards, and adds a few little-known gems. The duo setting enables these top-flight improvisers to bring the spontaneity of a jazz session to their unique and engaging arrangements of your favourite songs.
As a baby, Julie Michels hummed in key with the radio and she hasn’t stopped since! Her ability to vocalize flows effortlessly from within, gliding through any genre from jazz to folk, bebop and blues. Julie’s “glorious holler” [Mark Miller, The Globe & Mail] has been a unique and important feature on the Toronto jazz scene for more than two decades, settling there after studying with legendary bassist Richard Davis at University of Wisconsin and spending time gigging across Europe and North America. She has performed, toured and recorded with Kevin Barrett, George Koller, Ottawa’s Chelsea Bridge, the MCCT Choir (Diane Leah, Musical Director) and her own bands, Sutra and Parley. Julie’s performances at popular jazz venues including the Top of the Senator, the Rex Hotel, Hugh's Room, Statler's Lounge, the Montreal Bistro, Trane Studio and Opal are regularly met with great responses and packed houses. Julie’s previous recordings include "Singing Naked" (1995) with bassist, George Koller and “Live at Statler’s” (2003) with Kevin Barrett.
Kevin Barrett marries a strong foundation in the jazz guitar tradition, a deft touch with new looping technology and a playful pop sensibility to provide the perfect foil for Julie’s voice. Kevin is a widely respected Toronto guitarist, having recorded, performed and toured with an impressive list of Canadian artists including: Molly Johnson, Shannon Butcher, Big Rude Jake, Paisley Jura, David Wall, Daniela Nardi and DK Ibomeka. He has released two CD's under his own name: Kevin Barrett Trio: "JAM" (1999) and Kevin Barrett Group: "Share the Wealth" (2002) and has performed in a wide range of jazz festivals as well as most of Toronto’s nightclubs.
Julie & Kevin are excited to be touring in support of their new recording, She Sings He Plays. The ten-song collection includes favourites by the Beatles and Paul Simon, Brazilian standards and a Julie’s compelling new composition, “Fall from Grace” (featured in a video which is included on the disc.) Building on the success of their 2003 release, Live at Statler’s, the CD is sure to be in top rotation soon. Julie and Kevin’s intimate and exciting performance style is unique -- don't miss it!