Born in Motown-Detroit, Michigan on September 27th Allan C. Barnes was literally surrounded by music. He received his first musical training from his musician uncles, Joe and Robert Barnes. One day when he was 16 years old he heard John Coltrane “live” and it changed his life. He wanted to play jazz.
In 1967, Allan enlisted in the United States Army and trained at the Army Element of the U.S. Naval School of music. After a year in the 437th, duty took him to the war in Vietnam and the 4th Division Army Band. But his marching orders were to pursue his dream of jazz like his influences of Coltrane, Jon Henderson and Gene Ammons. After being discharged, Allan played his way back to Detroit and in the process was discovered by the legendary Donald Byrd who insisted that Allan come to Howard University and play with a new band he was putting together, The BlackByrds. Allan travelled the world with Donald Byrd and The Blackbirds. The bands' first album went gold with Allan writing two of the songs... "Summer Love" and "The Blackbirds Theme”. The bands' second album "Flying Start" contained the hit single "Walking in Rhythm", with Allan being featured on the flute.
Allan went on to front his own band, Allan Barnes and Primetime. But his great tone and big sound kept him in demand as he bounced back and forth between L.A and Detroit. Everyone wanted his special sound and he played and recorded with Gil Scott-Heron, Lyman Woodard David Ii Fred Wesley Nina Simone, Lee Oscar, Pini Cohen, Bennie Maupin, Siggy Dillard, Delbert Taylor, Robert Guillaume,Wilson Pickett, Christian Dimaggio, Lakeside, Ceri Lucas, Prince, The Mizell Brothers. Marcus Belgrave. Harold McKinney Bootsie Collins, the Detroit Experiment, Regina Carter, Geri Allen, the Dramatics, the Interzone Orchestra, Reggie Braxton, Sandy Patton, Dwight Adams, Sunny Wilkinson, Sunny Girl. Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, Teddy Harris, Roy Brooks, Big John Patton, Milt Hinton, Grant Green, Pharaoh Saunders, Sonny Rollins and Billy Taylor.
During his career Allan wrote music with John Malone and had a single, "Disco Dancin"', on the first "Taste of Honey" album and with R. Kelly co wrote "Money makes the world go `round”. He wrote music for commercials with Larry King, Brenda Sykes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Leslie Nielsen, and Muhammad Ali. He penned the music for the PBS movie “One Night’s Run” and the PBS series Small Business Magazine in addition he wrote station I.D. theme for the University of Michigan public TV. Allan created and hosted the PBS show Jazzland. He also had a cameo in the Clint Eastwood,,The feature film "bird" starring Forrest Wittaker.
Allan has stayed true to jazz from the golden era and wrote “Until We Meet Again”. ."His unique sound calls out to the audience and invites them in. Allan loves tunes. There’s the pure melodic sense of the American popular song tradition hiding in the core of almost all of his work His tenacity and energy and creativity and dedication to jazz has netted him the feature role in the PBS special American Jazz Greats : Evolution of the Jazz Saxophone. Allan C. Barnes is a gifted instrumentalist, writer and teacher, whose work will stand for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and his significant contributions to the preservation of the history of jazz."
This band, is a group of positive musicians performing a musical prayer. Executive producer-Hugh W. Smith III, Producer-Allan Barnes. Collectors Item, recorded in the oldest Jazz Club in the world.(Bakers Keyboard Lounge)