Let Former Nylon take you to The Big Apple This Holiday Season! Click the pic for details about upcoming BC Tour Dates!

Let Former Nylon take you to The Big Apple This Holiday Season! Click the pic for details about upcoming BC Tour Dates!


Forever Frank 

You can't be a guy who sings jazz and not contend with Frank. You can try but you can't get around him :)

Sinatra cuts a huge a swath through the American Songbook, bending and shaping the songs to suit his distinctive personality and phrasing,  often much with much more sensitively than we remember; the macho swagger of his public persona masking the vulnerability and romantic feeling that he brought to so much of his work.

There's been a lot of different Sinatra's over his long career. The skinny boy band singer who fired up a whole generation of bobby soxers, (and started the teen idol craze long before Elvis).  The sophisticated gentleman of his Capital Records years with his golden phrasing, impeccable taste in material and those incredible   arrangements.  And then there's the Hollywood movie star, and the Vegas Rat Pack: Sinatra always came off like a self made king, whose arrogance attitude and supreme self confidence made him a hero to generations.

All of these Sinatra's add up to artist as legend, who managed to survive the changes in public tastes, carving out a singular vision of what kind of magic is possible when an artist declares himself to the world.  

Ultimatly Frank inspires us to trust our own instincts and go our own way.

  And if that isn't Jazz , then tell me what is?


The Jewel Of Harlem 

While writing "New York Stories" I was inspired by a number of the legendary music venues in the Big Apple. Of course top of the list is the Apollo Theatre, perhaps the most enduring and legendary of them all!  Located on 125th street in the heart of Harlem this jewel of a theatre has housed the best in Jazz and R&B since the early 20's, offering variety shows in those early years that included singers, a dance troupe and  comedic acts accompanied by a big band, (Duke Ellington's having been the most renowned), that clearly had roots in vaudeville.

  The Apollo audiences were known to be tuff but would shower new found talent with such adoration that The Apollo became known as the "black vegas" with the ability to jump start an artists career.   Many legendary stars first found success during the long running "amateur night" and would return to the venue throughout their careers including Gladys Knight, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and The Jackson Five and of course James Brown who ignited the Apollo with his genius time and time again.

I've always loved working with other singers and using vocal harmony in my music. Last spring when we asked the incredible vocalists Rique Franks and Miku Graham to join us on stage for the "New York Stories" release concert at The Glenn Gould Studio the beginning spark of UPTOWN; TRIBUTE TO THE APOLLO THEATRE was born.  In this special evening of music we will be presenting a snapshot of the width and breadth of the music that graced The Apollo Stage including a medley of Ray Charles hits, and a medley of girl group songs made famous by The Crystals, The Ronettes and Darlene Love, who were all part of Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound.

We hope you will join us to celebrate the next chapter in the "New York Story"!

Uptown: Tribute To The Apollo Theatre 
November 15 - Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas Street West (416-531-6604) 
Tickets $27.50 advance/ $30 Door (includes HST) 7.30 pm show


This is it folks! May 5th we release "New York Stories" worldwide! We couldn't have made this CD without your participation. The audiences told us which songs were strongest, the audience helped fund the project and now if youpre-order the digital version before May 5th from http://www.micahbarnes.com you will help our chances of reaching #1 on the charts! Our thanks in advance!
Of course we will have preview copies for sale May 3rd at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto when we present "New York Stories" live with special guests including the wonderful Ms. Jackie Richardson. I will be on hand to sign copies of course so don't delay, make sure you get your seat before this concert sells out at http://www.micahbarnes.com !
This couldn't have happened without the generous support of the folks who helped fund this project through our Indiegogo campaign. This is a chance for me to publicly thank each and every one of these good folks:  Nan Friedman, Judith Hanley, Anna C Korteweg, Christine Tier, David Warrack, Salah Bachir, Aaron Hastelow, Patricia L Tyrell, Party Barbara,  Lilly Barnes,  Barbara Saxberg, Joeanne Argue, Shannon Butcher, Charlotte M Moore,Patricia Cano, Sarah A Shippobotham, Glenn W Sevillo, Briane Nasimok,   Robert Ault,  Amanda Rushton,  Sharon Weintraub, John M Rankine, Anne Marie Smith,   Saskia Van Tetering, William Humenick, Marisa mcIntyre, Donita Large, Maureen E Gillies, David Gale, Laurie Lynd, Debra S Lary, Joanna Reynolds, Jennifer Sincero, Joseph Lewis, Renee Bouthot, Stewart G Arnott, Alida Kinnie Starr, Peter Dunn, Dorian Foley, Paula Griffith,Chris Jason Jones, Jeremy Podeswa,  Paul V. Melissa Shriner, James Devins, Nella den Hollander, Sara Farb,   Corrine Koslo, Melodee McPherson, Edna King, Thomas Rasky, Rochelle A Fabb, Richard M Sacks, Amanda Smith, Kristina Nojd,Lynne Fernie, Holmes Hooke, Renata Janiszewski, Colman Jones, Marianne Girard, Allegra Fulton, Ruth Ashton, Mark Zubeck, Michelle St John, Vera Bourne, Mercedes Moffatt, Carolyn Govers, Liza Balkan, Nicole Salter, Martin Julien, Ellen T Cole, Nurit Smith, Mathew Handscombe, Stephanie Clarke, Glenn A Walker, Lynda Covello, David Antoniuk, Meghan LeBlanc, Daniel Barnes, Sandra Farrauto, Jenny Wright, Adam Brazier, Robert M Saxe, Mark Cassius, Kyle Golemba, Sara Botsford, Bruce Dean, Rose Stewart, Tim Falconer, Amy Jewell, Michel Neray,   Sam Broverman, Maria Dell'Anno, Elaine Gold, Lenny Dellanno, Kathrine O "Hara, Karen LeBlanc, Marvyn Morrison, Catharine Saxberg, Catherine Thompson, Colin Brown, Elaine Huras and Komiko Honjo!
Our Thanks to each and every one of you. This is YOUR New York Story now!



I've always been inspired by cover tunes. But when I was composing the songs that would become "New York Stories" I felt a special kind of inspiration from the city's musical energy all around me. In fact the musical history of The Big Apple seemed to be speaking to me through songs as I sketched out the tunes in a little writing studio off of Time Square!  When I was back in Toronto I worked closely with my trio (Daniel Barnes and Russ Boswell) on the arrangements and it turns out the cover tunes proved so popular when we started performing them at our Jazz Bistro residencies that we decided to record a few while cutting the "New York Stories" album... and we're thrilled to offer them as the "Manhattan Mix Tape" to our hard core fans!

A word about the tracks:

Written and recorded by Smokey Robinson early in his career,"Shop Around" with it's funky and loose arrangement, speaks to the urban energy of New York and the idea that there a million opportunities on every block of the city!  Check the fun back up vocals from the trio, and imagine yourselves at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem around 1961 when this was a national hit for Smokey, an early indication of what was to come from the Motown hit machine!

Looking for true love in the bustle of New York could leave anybody feeling lonely. Something that the lyric of "Sunday Kind Of Love" expresses perfectly! Originally a jazz standard written by Louis Prima back in 1946, the song was brought into the rock n roll era by a Doo-Wop vocal quartet from New York known as The Harp-Tones. Their version is delicious in it's vulnerability and full of longing, BUT of course it pales in comparison to the great Etta James' whose 1961 blistering version seems ready to burst with emotion! We've taken a relaxed bluesy approach to this classic.

I've waited a very long time to sing "EveryTime We Say Goodbye" as I consider this song one of the greatest ever written. Both w
ords and music are by the hit Broadway composer Cole Porter, who was famous for composing risqué ditties but was especially powerful when turning his attention to a simple love ballad, and this is my favourite of them all. Written in 1944 and introduced in the show "Seven Lively Arts" on Broadway, I was most familiar with the Ray Charles/Betty Carter duet and of course Annie Lennox's version from the "Red Hot + Blue" album.   I tried to sing it very simply in order to express the depth of this wonderful lyric and melody.

We do hope you enjoy the Manhattan Mix Tape click here for a sneak peek AND please do help us spread the word about the Indie Go Go campaign which is raising funds for the manufacture and marketing of "New York Stories" Have a look at the campaign here www.igg.me/at/micahbarnes  any support you can give us will be deeply appreciated indeed!


The Making Of Harlem Moon (part 2) 

Casting the special guest stars for our little film noir video of the new single "Harlem Moon" was actually a little too easy. We all felt that the couple I am "stalking" in our story had to be so striking that even if we didn't really get to see their faces we could tell they were both attractive enough to drive yours truly out of my mind and out into the night!
Our amazing keyboard man Michael Shand just happens to be partnered by a wonderful lady as talented as she is gorgeous, the Canadian actress and singer Miku Graham.  Although we know each other, Miku and I had never worked together until we shared a stage at World Pride 2014 opening the show for kd Lang. Working with her then I realized she was the perfect choice for our female lead.
However Miku is one popular girl, besides all her singing gigs she's also a busy actress and was up in Sudbury filming a movie the same week we were in production for "Harlem Moon".  We weren't sure she could make it back in time for our multi location shoot day. But being a real trooper, Miku travelled back to Toronto after shooting all night long on the movie and jumped in a cab to Queen Street West just in time to shoot the sequence where I follow her into my old stomping ground The Cameron House. 
Miku was the of epitome of grace and professionalism throughout even after having had a gruelling week filming up north. We both hated having to shoot the "argument" scene at my Queen Street West Apt which opens our video, but  the mood changed when we headed to Trinity Bellwoods park to shoot the closing sequence and the whole crew got to enjoy both how perfect Miku and our male lead Thom Allison looked as a couple and what a blast they had working with each other The fact that they make perhaps the most stunning couple in the world certainly adds to the drama and jealousy factor of our little story. 
For those of you who have yet to see the video you can view it here:

The Making Of The "Harlem Moon" Video 

"The Idea"

Cowriter JP Saxe and I had initially conceived of the song as a ballad but once my trio (Russ Boswell and Daniel Barnes and Michael Shand) began working on the arrangement we developed a more intense voodoo groove, (starting with Russ's baseline!) and we ended up with a final version more in keeping with the lyrical content about jealousy and following one's love.
  Our video producer Leonardo Del'Anno brought director Dean Vargas to the project and we sat together to work out the ways in which we were going to portray the kind of "stylish but creepy" vibe of the lyric.
There was a collective "aha" moment when we realized that if I was stalking a couple and the viewer isn't sure which of them or perhaps if both of them are my lover it would make for an intriguing plot line that would pull folks into the modern film noir approach of our little drama.

"The Shoot"
Casting the amazing folks who leant their talents to this little drama was easy, but working around their busy schedules was key as the main couple were both were in the middle of TV and Film shoots and our "guest bartender" Ori Dagan is one of the busiest Jazz vocalists around!
Shooting in no less than 8 locations over two days meant for a very quick schedule but as you can see by the finished product there was a lot of love and care to get the details right.
Our first shoot day was at The Jazz Bistro in downtown Toronto standing in for a sophisticated New York club for the band sequence, along with sequences in their beautiful upstairs lounge. We also shot in my old stomping ground The Cameron Tavern on Queen Street for contrast and the vibe of both establishments really lends a great deal to our storyline.
The park sequence at the end was really fun to shoot and although it's Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto standing in for Central Park I think you will agree it feels like we're in The Big Apple where the song is set. Our deepest thanks to the cast and crew and all the folk who made this little piece of film such a joy to work on and create! Enjoy!

Watch the Video Here.                                                                                                                                  

"Sunday In New York" 

 Waking up to strong coffee, fresh bagels and The New York Times, taking a leisurely walk in the park before an afternoon matinee, having a bite in a cafe before hitting a cabaret or jazz club; for our "Sunday In New York" brunch shows at The Jazz Bistro my trio and I have put together songs that reflect that special feeling of a Sunday in New York, we want our audience to feel like they are enjoying a leisurely day off in "The City that doesn't Sleep".
Sunday in New York" features songs that celebrate the city’s cultural landmarks (“Lullaby of Birdland”, “Stompin’ at the Savoy”), songs from Broadway shows that celebrate New York ( "Lullaby Of Broadway" from 42nd Street and "There's a Boat That's Leaving Soon for New York" from Porgy & Bess) plus luxurious ballads (“Ballad of the Sad Young Men,” "Sunday Kind Of Love" & “Lush Life”),designed to give the listener that feeling of an afternoon of "Jazz and Cocktails".

We are also including a few excerpts from this summer's hit show “Stand By Me: The Music Of The Brill Building” which celebrates the young composers who kept the hits coming in the Golden age of Pop and of course new original songs from the upcoming disc, including our #1 Itunes single "New York Story".

"Sundays in New York". It's cheaper than a Porter flight to the Big Apple, plus the brunch is delicious! We hope you will join us for a show this Dec!  Reservations are recommended at 416 363 JAZZ. Show time 12.30 pm



Jazz as a Living Art Form 

So much of the music we hear in the Jazz genre is made by of musicians and artists trying to recreate the music of another era or of an already existing sound. This is understandable in many ways, as audiences want to know what they are getting and so providing music that is familiar can be useful in the marketing of Jazz, (think Ella, Frankie or Billie etc), which has a smaller market share to begin with. Actually I don't have any issue with this, in fact there are times when I am attracted to the idea of creating an "old school" feel in my work…

…but my personal journey is to reinvestigate Jazz and Blues as a living art form. For instance, during the writing of our upcoming "New York Stories" disc I was living in Harlem and writing down in Midtown near Time Square with Manhattan's energy and musical history swirling around me and filling me with inspiration.  However I was also going through a great deal of personal upheaval and risk while romancing a new partner who was living and working in New York. And the upcoming disc certainly reflects both my romantic love affair and my love affair with New York.
The early days of a relationship are an unsure and unsettling time (as well as very exciting and romantic of course) and luckily for me I have songwriting as a way to express and process my experience. 
Coming from the confessional singer-songwriter tradition has made my kind of Jazz & Blues a very personal mode of expression that I hope communicates to the world; A living art form that looks both forwards and backwards at the same time. One listen to "New York Story" says it all!


One of the most important musical landmarks in New York City is the Brill Building where in the 50's and 60's a small army of ambitious teenagers competed with each other to write the next million seller for Elvis, The Drifters and The Shirelles. Along the way this small bunch of composers made a long string of hit records that saw them leaving parents basements in Brooklyn and entering rock n roll history as they created the second great American songbook, filling the airwaves and the dance floors and jukeboxes of the world with the hopes and dreams of the american teenager.

I first began singing this rich material during my time as a member of The Nylons when the guys schooled me on how the early Doo Wop and Rhythm and Blues developed into sophisticated three minute pop classics such as "One Fine Day" and "Spanish Harlem".  It was while I was living and writing in The Big Apple, writing the songs for my upcoming release "New York Stories" in those little piano rooms off of Time Square when the music of the Brill Era and these songs began to inspire me once again.. and the idea of the show "Stand By Me" was born!

Imagining an evening that might recreate a concert from the early 60's I asked some of the best singers in Canada to join me in forming a male vocal group to interpret songs written by legendary Brill Building composers and lyricists such as Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Lieber and Stoller and  Bacharach and David.  Each of the singers had to be able to handle  harmonies so it was natural to ask Billy Newton Davis, Gavin Hope and Tyrone Gabriel (who have all been a part of The Nylons), however this show is not an A Capella evening as it also features my trio featuring my brother Daniel Barnes on the drums, Russ Boswell on bass and our musical director Michael Shand.

Our upcoming show at The Al Green Theatre in Toronto is a fundraiser for the JCC's music scholarship foundation, and we are proud to be performing this concert in support of music education being available to all!

Micah Barnes and Friends
Thursday, November 13th – 8:00pm
$50  Purchase ticket through the Box Office 416-978-8849 | www.uofttix.ca




Welcome to my brand new site. A much better way for me to share my world with you. To start off on this first of my weekly blogs I'm going to list the top 5 things you should experience on the site.. and why!

1)  Have a look at the video for the first single from "New York Stories", (which helped push the song to #1 on the Canadian Itunes Jazz chart!) Click Here

2) Have a listen to the sample of our 2nd single "Harlem Moon" which is going to drop later this month (with a super cool video!!) Click Here

3) Check out my coaching web site where you can see work I do with singers during our private and group workshop sessions! (Next Toronto Workshop Nov 30th!) Click Here

4) Sign up for the newsletter which will allow me to stay in touch with you about upcoming shows, releases, news and stuff. Click Here

5) …and of course read my new weekly blog where I will be sharing the journey as we bring this music to the world! Click Here

The Duet Concert Micah Barnes & Jackie Richardson

Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton

Two of Canada's most beloved vocalists singing the world's greatest love songs!

Canada's foremost lady of Jazz, Blues and Gospel joins forces with chart-topping Jazz artist and former frontman of international A Capella act The Nylons, to explore the world of love and romance in this exciting new concert evening! Together, along with their top flight Jazz band, they will explore the world of romance with songs made famous by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Smokey Robinson, and Etta James. The perfect Valentine's concert!

Listen to Jackie and Micah duet on "New York Story": https://youtu.be/ZilKr1WCVBc

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Award winning Canadian Jazz Artist Micah Barnes is on the move! To be notified of upcoming shows, events and giveaways please do join his mailing list!

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