In Memoriam: Barbara Morrison

April 8, 2022

The Ebell is sad to announce the passing of Barbara Morrison, on Wednesday, March 16, aged 72.

Barbara was a jazz and blues legend who performed at The Ebell and who left a lasting imprint on LA as a whole, with the establishment of the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park.

Opened in 2011, the Performing Arts Center’s mission is to revitalize the Leimert Park neighborhood’s art scene. Later came the California Jazz and Blues Museum – with Morrison as Founder and President – which chronicles the history of legendary Jazz and Blues artists, and the contributions they have made to the music industry.

She was also an adjunct associate professor of global jazz studies at UCLA. In 2020, UCLA launched the Barbara Morrison Scholarship for Jazz.

Janna Bodek Harris writes:
“We were so thrilled when Barbara Morrison agreed to come and perform with her trio at LIVE IN THE LOUNGE at The Ebell of Los Angeles in January of 2016.  She put on an incredible show, clearly loved performing before an audience and lit up the lounge with her spirit. (Even her later health issues didn’t slow her down. When she performed at The Ebell, she’d already had a leg amputated because of diabetes but you’d never know that from her performance, which radiated pure joy.)
”Below is what the Club wrote about her in The Ebell announcement to publicize that event:
“Jazz and Blues legend Barbara Morrison has performed and wowed audiences all over the world. She is known for her melodic voice, with its three-and-a-half-octave range, and for her rich, unique, soulful and highly spirited interpretations of both familiar Jazz and Blues classics and original contemporary tunes. Over the years she has performed with a virtual “who’s who” of the Jazz and the Blues worlds, including Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, and the Count Basie Orchestra.
“I’m so sad we won’t be able to hear her again.”


The flyer from the January 2016 Live In the Lounge performance at The Ebell