Band History Part II: Barb

I can’t remember exactly when in high school I met our wonderful vocalist Barb Tippett, but we became great friends immediately. It was probably in a play or something … but she’d hang out with my guy friends and I’d hang out with her gal friends. Hanging out included sneaking into clubs to hear her play trombone and sing a little with the band big variety band Quintessence. She also played in the main Jazz band.

When I was about sixteen I went into the recording studio and recorded some original songs and got her to sing back up on them. Otherwise, we didn’t really play together. I went on to the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, then L.A., but we always kept in touch. She and her three wonderful daughters visited me out there once.

When I returned to St. Louis in 2001 from living in L.A. for 10 years, she and Steve Kauffmann were both busy with other bands. I auditioned gal singers and found one, had a trio, made a recording, and then that imploded for reasons I can’t even remember! When I asked Barb if she had any recommendations – imagine my surprise when she recommended herself!

She likes to joke that she was tired of trombone jokes, but whatever, I was glad she wanted to play with me. (Fronting a four piece was probably more attractive then being one of eight playing with a horn section.)  That was about 2005, and we’ve been playing together ever since. Barb is an amazing talent. People LOVE her. I love that she’s true to the music, and her love for it really shows. I think the reason we get asked back to so many fundraisers is she’s great at moving those events along, making announcements, whatever. To be in a jazz band with such a great friend of over 30 years is indeed a blessing!

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