JD Allen “Grace”

I am happy and excited to be apart of JD Allen’s new record “Grace” (Savant Records). Dezron Douglas (bass) and Eldar Djangiov (piano) accompanied and explored on this record. What you’ll find on “Grace” is mixing and matching altitudes with a constant pulse. “Be like the wind” was the quote of that JD Allen conveyed throughout the recording session. I set aside my bag of tricks and entered into a familiar but unfamiliar territory…. “The Big Room.”
All 11 tracks resemble the facets of life that we deal with whether we like to or not; silence, crying, commitment, and going against the norm. Ultimately I found myself content and at peace by the honesty I put forth with the music.
Be on the look out April 23 (release date).

Grace- undeserved favor.

Excerpt from the New York Times April 19, 2013.
(by Nate Chinen)
J. D. Allen


“Grace” (Savant), the latest post-bop dispatch from the tenor saxophonist J. D. Allen. It comes from an unexpected source: the pianist Eldar Djangirov, a former child prodigy whose own music tends to exude certainty and closure. Mr. Allen hasn’t featured a pianist of any sort on his albums over the last five years, so Mr. Djangirov’s mere presence is one surprise here; that it works so marvelously, with such intriguing elasticity, is another.

“Grace” divides into two acts, intended to frame a dramatic arc, but Mr. Allen doesn’t push the concept: he’s more interested in what he can physically achieve with his knockabout rhythm section, which also features the bassist Dezron Douglas and the drummer Jonathan Barber. His sound on tenor, soulful and centered, still suggests the John Coltrane of, say, “Crescent,” but he has internalized that sound so fully that it feels like his own, even on a Coltrane-ish ballad like “Selah (My Refuge).” This is what a dynamic young jazz group can sound like when history’s burden is carried lightly but honestly.

Letter on Gun Control

A Letter Considering Gun Control.
My name is Jonathan Barber.

I am writing in a great plead to earnestly consider taking a stronger approach and action to gun control here in Connecticut.

Joining with the Sandy Hook Promise, not only do I stand grieving with the families effected by this tragedy but also stand with the Sandy Hook Promise mission statement.
“I’m making the #SandyHookPromise to keep my community & country safer from violence.”
To effectively make an impact as a 23-year old college graduate I must declare that we as a community must grip the control and access to guns in our communities, to not allow another December 14, 2012.

I recognize the issue is gun-control. The reality is that the access to guns are easy to obtain. We must take an holistic approach solve the questions/topics:

Stricter screening to obtain a gun/permit. (mental-illness should dictate whether he or she is suitable to have a gun/permit)

The amount to guns per-person. (this brings control on the amount of guns in our communities)

The mile radius from a school to a place that sells guns/ammunition.

Stricter laws on the types of weapons a person may be able to obtain (9milli vs. semi automatic) (Mass-murders are using autimatic guns)

From the depths of my heart I urge the community to come together with the vision to protect the next generation to serve this country. Senseless and demonic acts of people taking innocent lives away and destroying the joy of family MUST COME TO AN END. This country has receive too many wake-up calls to let a re-evlaution, a talk, and a consideration to change our gun laws go by.
Guns brings fear, danger, and unfortunately death in our community.
I encourage a healthy debate where both parties come together with the vision of protecting our family and friends.
A mother must continue to be nurturing, a father must continue to provide, a child must continue brighten the world, a brother must to be an example for the next generation, a sister must continue to be a role-model, and a community must rise up and innovate livelihoods that make our community and country safer.

With the support on gun-control I thank you for this opportunity to allow my voice to be heard.

Reflecting on 2012

Approaching the end of 2012, I am extremely grateful for what I have encountered.
It has been great traveling across the country; taking on whatever it brings. Being in a working band this year, attempting to stretch the music time after time, was what I lived for. Realizing the difficulty of maintaining a high level proved it’s a reflection on life. Clearly, some days are just better than others. The key is your perception; taking on something that may seem small or useless and making it into something. I took every opportunity as a steppingstone to reach further in my growth. One thing I love about the music I play is the same people you study/check out can be the same people you become connected to in a matter of seconds. It’s a humbling experience.
My 2012 lesson is committing to an idea then following through . I have put this lesson into action most when times were hard. This year it was extremely unfortunate to experience three tragic deaths; but one thing I do know is that LOVE WINS! I must stand strong and allow each circumstance to become a testament. The mission is to let the people feel my excitement, hurt, pain, love, and faith through my playing. Music can’t always be portrayed as “happy go lucky” but pain and sadness must also be heard. There are broken people out in this world whom we know music can heal again. I’m excited to reach higher, release the drums around the world movement, as well as play with more incredible musicians.
Be Ready!!

Where is Music Headed?…….

“Music will only go as far as the musicians will to push it forward.”
One of my biggest challenges musically is to execute the ideas that are brewing in my head. Some problems I see are musicians operating in fear, stifling their ideas by always standing in the shadows of a pioneer (jazz master) and jump on a concept just because society shows their approval. There’s a disconnect with the mind and spirit. Feeling and hearing a motif, then allowing it to manifest. At the end of the day I support any musician that is out on the music scene trying to play live music. We must embrace the change in culture, society, and technology. Those three elements are way beyond our (musicians) control. It moves with the world. One reason for this change is the limited access to the masters. There aren’t enough gigs where you could perform with a Jimmy Heath, Roy Haynes, Wayne Shorter, MycCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Randy Weston…. the people that have been an understudy from the conception of an art form known as Jazz. (Let’s embrace them while they are alive).
Where is music headed? I’m starting to see an open market of anybody starting their own band/project. It doesn’t matter how old you are nor who you played with. I’m currently working on my own project but I would not think twice to turn down my own band’s gig to play with Ron Carter (or any music master). It’s somethings about the spirit of the elders passing the tradition down to the younger generation. I predict two things could happen with my generation. We will create a sound that will spring forth independent productions all across the entertainment industry or become babies being fed whatever society gives. I’m grateful that I have rub shoulders with great artist like Rene Mclean, Hank Jones, Harold Mabern, Wallace Roney and Sonny Rollins. “Being true to the music means allowing yourself to embrace what’s already been done while striving to reach your highest capability.” – Jonathan Barber

Last Train to Europe 2012

Drums around the world!
The last tour of the year. You don’t want to miss this one. Check out “JB Dates” and find out where we can connect.
I will be appearing with Jeremy Pelt- Trumpet, Dwayne Burno-Bass, David Bryant- Piano, and Roxy Coss-Tenor Sax.
Support Live Music!!!

“The Amazing Race Tour”

Once again I made another visit to the European music scene. I called this tour “The Amazing Race”. We did three back to back performances in three different cities. That required early lobby calls and long car rides. In this short tour I was performing with the Jeremy Pelt Quintet along with JD Allen on tenor sax, Dwayne Burno on bass and Xaiver Davis on piano.
9/12 we performed at the Festival de Jazz in Colmar, France. It was a big venue and a lot of people came out to support.
9/13 We made our way over to The Art Gallery in Reutlingen, Germany. This space was originally designed to hold art exhibits. With the relation between art and music our performance was well received.  It’s actually a great idea to mix art forms together. It allows each audience to communicate with a common language… improvisation.
We ended the tour in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on 9/14. The Netherlands was the first place I traveled to in Europe back in June 2011. The North Sea Jazz Club is primarily a new club (4 months old). The management was outstanding. The staff made it their duty to make sure the band was comfortable.
Overall, the tour was a success. Grateful to see life on the other side of the world. Stay tuned, I will be back next month. Check out JB Dates for more info. If you’r in the area, come out. I would love to see you.

Welcome to my Official Website

I’m pleased to present and share my life as a musician. I wanted to create something I can call my own.  (Being a full-time musician) This musical journey has taken me all over the world, rub shoulders with great musicians, and have amazing stories that I will hold on to forever. With this website I hope that you will receive more insight of my artistry, my music, and understand why I drum.  I recognize that I have a gift from God and I must share it with the masses.
I will constantly post updates, videos, further gigs, and songs. Feel free to leave comments or questions on my page. I will be happy to respond.