Jafar Barron grew up in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. He was born in 1972 to parents who are well respected jazz musicians, his mother, Janet Simms, is a fine pianist and jazz singer and his father, George Barron, a widely recognized saxophonist. His brother Farid is a pianist who became a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Jafar, who began playing cornet at the age of ten, was raised in a home which provided an appreciation and foundation in both classical and jazz music. Beginning in elementary school he studied at the Shawmont School Academic Music program and at Temple University weekend and summer programs. He continued studying music at Central High School in the 1980s and during that time began playing with a group of budding Philadelphia musicians, which included Orrin Evans, Duane Eubanks, Christian McBride and members of Boys II Men. Today some credit Barron with giving clarity and voice to the Philly fusion scene.
"He had a vision at an early age and he saw it through—the fusion of jazz and hip-hop," . .

"I'm giving him credit for establishing a sound and creating an environment that grew into what we know right now as neo-soul",

Duane  Eubanks  (as cited in Mathis, 2010)

Barron attended both Howard University and University of the Arts but eventually left college behind. He instead chose to go on the road to pursue his music career. There he would eventually play for the "neo-soul" first albums of artists Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. In 2000 Barron released his own solo album, The Free-Bop Movement, that was distributed by Q Records. The album was praised as embodying a 21st Century form of jazz that was relevant and accessible. Today Jafar Barron's focus in his playing and compositions is primarily on progressive jazz/bebop standards. He continues his pursuit to creatively explore, experiment and develop as a progressive jazz artist and remains a prominent and respected member of the Philadelphia jazz scene.

Murph, J (June 2001).  Jafar Barron
Retrieved from:   http://jazztimes.com/articles/20199-jafar-barron

Mathis, J (February 2010).  Jafar Barron Plays the Park: A musical prodigy finds peace on a Rittenhouse bench
Retrieved from: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/music/Jafar-Barron-Plays-Rittenhouse-Square.html#ixzz3VJrf8R1f

Roberts, J. (April 1, 2001).  Jafar Barron: The Free-Bop Movement
Retrieved from:   http://www.allaboutjazz.com



The Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Pop-Up Festival

Friday, April 24, 8 p.m.
Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue


Chris's Jazz Club
On The Square

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