In The Labyrinth, was inspired by a journey I took to the island of Crete to visit the ancient ruins of Knossos. The album is a mixture of the influences and experiences which have accompanied me and my guitar through life. Taking inspiration from myths, legends and my travels, the music expresses my reflections of a musical journey. Some of the pieces were composed for theatrical productions, (The Dance of The Ancient Spider and The Voyage of The Black Madonna) which premiered at The Cathedral of Saint John The Divine, in New York City which included dance.
John T. La Barbera, composer, arranger, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Credits include: Recipient of several composing awards and commissions from The Jerome Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Martin Gruss Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, ASCAP and finalist in the Jazz category of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. His film scores include the Academy Award Nominated feature documentary: Children of Fate, (1992); Sister Italy (2012); Sacco and Vanzetti (2008); Pane Amaro (2008); What's up Scarlet (2005) Neapolitan Heart -Cuore Napolitano (2000); La Festa (1996) and Tarantella (1994). In Theater, he has worked as composer, arranger and musical director for several off-Broadway productions including: Souls of Naples, (Theater for a New Audience) starring John Turturro; Kaos, (New York Theater Workshop) directed by choreographer Marta Clarke; productions for LaMaMa E.T.C., and has composed several fully staged folk operas including: Stabat Mater: Donna di Paradiso; The Voyage of the Black Madonna; and The Dance of the Ancient Spider. His music has been choreographed and performed by The Art of Motion Dance Company, in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
His published works include: Italian Folk Music for Mandolin, 2012 and Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes, Mel Bay Publications, 2009;The Marimbaba Suite- for percussion quartet and Danza del Fuego- for solo marimba, both published with Bachovich Music Publications, 2009; and has contributed a chapter in “Oral History, Oral Culture, and Italian Americans”, Palgrave-MacMillan. 2009.
He holds a M.M. in Jazz Studies and arranging from William Paterson University and a B.M. in classical guitar from The Hartt School of Music. He currently teaches at the Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. Artist in residence at the Cathedral Of St. John The Divine and The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York since 1994, his music appears on several labels including: Shanachie records, Meadowlark, Rounder Records, Lyrichord Disks, Ellipsis Arts, and Bribie records Website: www.myspace.com/johntlabarbera; www.johntlabarbera.com
"The momentum builds to a pitch in both acts thanks to the haunting and feverish score by John La Barbera”. Village Voice, Robert Massa
“Congratulations on the wonderful work created by John La Barbera”. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Jenneth Webster, producer
“...Stabat Mater is one of the best productions at the Cathedral in the last 23 years”. The Very Reverend Dean James Parks Morton, former Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC.
“...The production values are high... and the striking use of music, and a haunting score, were composed and performed by John La Barbera”. The Herald, Edinburgh, Scotland
“...John La Barbera is North American born with the dance of music in his fingertips. His articulations on either instrument, intimate and classically fine, are filled with the light of a born Latino”. The Woodstock Times
“ The Collection of Songs on In The Labyrinth will carry you across several continents as guitarist John LaBarbera rightfully proclaims his virtuosity.” to the bone.com, Tracy Romser.
“John La Barbera’s original music marks him as a contemporary Kurt Weill.”
Backstage.com, Victor Gluck
“..John’s immense knowledge of traditional Italian music was a great asset to the production. It gave his original compositions a feeling of authenticity that supported the story of the film..” (Children of Fate), Archipelago Films. Andrew L.Young, Director
“John La Barbera’s stunning compositions and phenomenal playing, along with the entire ensemble’s spirited performance, put this recording in a class by itself”. Lyrichord Discs