Born in Philadelphia, Jazz Pianist Dre Barnes began studies in Classical Piano at an early age playing the music of Bach,Beethoven, and Chopin. He played in local R&B bands throughout high school. While studying at William Paterson University, he began to pursue a career in Jazz sitting in at local jam sessions throughout the area. While at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, Barnes studied with Master Jazz Pianist Kenny Barron and, later on with the great Mulgrew Miller. He has performed with vocalists Mikki Braden and Judy Bady, in addition to Actress/Vocalist Janet Huber from the popular Television Sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Barnes’s primary influences are Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Wynton Kelly, McKoy Tyner, Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, and Joe Henderson. Barnes's piano style displays a strong technique, lyrical sense of swing, and great feeling.
Furthermore, Barnes has performed with Trumpeter Duane Eubanks, Saxophonists Bradford Hayes and Joel Frahm, and the T.S. Monk Septet, among others. Barnes can be heard with his trio in various venues in the New York Metropolitan Area. His latest release, “Wandering Spirits,” featuring the dynamic Bassist Reuben Rogers and the legendary Drummer Lewis Nash, showcases his original compositions and his arrangements of Jazz Standards. This CD is a mixture of Modern and Traditional standards from the Jazz repertoire. In particular his arrangements of the songs "Beatrice" and "I Can’t Get Started" are proof of his artistry. His original compositions, such as "The Enchanted One," are singable and melodic.
His philosophy concerning Jazz is closely related to life. “Playing Jazz is definitely a spiritual encounter. Being able to connect with audiences when I perform, is always a new experience and journey that is a privilege for me. This is why I dedicate my life to evolving as a human being and as a Jazz musician,” comments Barnes. Furthermore, his compositions reflect his commentary on life and family. In particular, his new creation Wandering Spirits is philosophical in nature. As he said, “We are all wandering spirits at one point in life. We are trying to find our passion and purpose in life whether it is through love, family, career, or spiritual growth. We are all on this journey together.”