Jill Barber (born February 6, 1980)[1] is a Canadian singer-songwriter. Originally associated with the folk-pop genre, she has performed vocal jazz on her more recent albums.[2]

Jill Barber
Jill Barber.jpg
Barber performing at 2007 Summer Sundae festival in Leicester, England
Background information
Born (1980-02-06) February 6, 1980 (age 39)
Port Credit, Ontario, Canada
OriginHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
GenresFolk rock, vocal jazz
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active2002–present
LabelsOutside Music

Early lifeEdit

Barber was born and raised in Port Credit, a lake-side neighborhood in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. Her brother is singer-songwriter Matthew Barber. She studied at Queen's University before pursuing her musical career on a full-time basis.[3]


Jill Barber performing at the 2007 Summer Sundae festival in Leicester, England

Barber won the Female Artist Recording of the Year award for her debut album Oh Heart at the 2005 Music Nova Scotia Awards.[4] In 2007, Barber earned her fourth win as Best Local Solo Artist (Female) in The Coast’s annual "Best of Music Reader’s Poll", and her first win as Best Canadian Solo Artist (Female).[5]

From February to March 2007, she toured Eastern Canada with Dan Hill as part of Stuart McLean's CBC Radio show The Vinyl Cafe. She returned to the Vinyl Cafe Tour in 2009 performing across Canada with Matt Andersen.[6] In 2008, Barber released Chances, a jazz album with full orchestral arrangements which was partially co-written with her producer Les Cooper, while also collaborating on several songs with Canadian music legend Ron Sexsmith.

This album led to a new level in touring reaching audiences across the globe while earning two Juno Award nominations including New Artist of the Year. The title track to this album is featured on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black, at the end of season 1, episode 1.[7]

She followed up with the album Mischievous Moon, released through Outside Music in 2011.[8] In the same year, Jill and Matthew Barber collaborated on a cover of The Hardship Post's "Your Sunshine", which appeared on the charity compilation album Have Not Been the Same - Vol. 1: Too Cool to Live, Too Smart to Die.[9]

Barber has performed predominantly in English, although she has also recorded and performed French translations of two of her songs, "All My Dreams" ("Tous mes rêves") and "Tell Me" ("Dis-moi").[10] Her 2013 album Chansons, a selection of cover versions of classic songs from Quebec and France, was her first album of material recorded and performed entirely in French.[2]

Barber won the SiriusXM 2012 Jazz Artist of the Year award, as well as the 2013 Western Canadian Francophone Album of the Year for Chansons.[11]

In 2016, Barber co-produced an album The Family Album, with her brother Matthew Barber, also a singer-songwriter.[12] The album consists of original songs written by Jill and Matthew Barber along with covers of songs by Canadian artists, Gene MacClellan Ian Tyson, and Neil Young.[13] The album won a Juno award for Contemporary Roots Album of the year in 2017.[14]

Her newest solo album, Metaphora, is slated for release in June 2018.[15]


Barber has written two children's books, Baby’s Lullaby[16] and Music is for Everyone.[3]


Barber is mentor to young women as part of the Girls Action Foundation’s Light A Spark initiative,[17] and an ambassador for Save the Children.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Barber is married to CBC Radio 3 personality Grant Lawrence.[18] They have two children.[3]


Awards and nominationsEdit


  1. ^ Shuttleworth, Joanne (1 March 2008). "Sibling revelry / Close friends in life and allies in music, Jill and Matthew Barber join forces on tour". Guelph Mercury. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
  2. ^ a b "Jill Barber sings in French for 1st time with Chansons". CBC News, February 13, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Barber has fond memories of Kingston". The Kingston Whig-Standard. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Jill Barber - Pop/Roots from Halifax Nova Scotia". livevan.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Best Local Solo Artist (Female)". The Coast Halifax. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Wow: Matt Andersen's Big Voice - Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe Christmas". Skripper Time. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  7. ^ "Orange is the New Black - S1E1 "I Wasn't Ready" List of Songs". What-song. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  8. ^ Interview, Sorstu.ca (November 2010). "[1]".
  9. ^ "'Have Not Been the Same' Book Spawns Covers Comp Featuring Kevin Drew, the Hidden Cameras, Great Lake Swimmers, Bry Webb". Exclaim!, November 14, 2011.
  10. ^ "Jill Barber embraces French on new album Chansons". Postmedia News, January 30, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Fearless artist Jill Barber - SOCAN Words and Music". SOCAN Words and Music. 21 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  12. ^ "Matthew Barber & Jill Barber". Outside Music - Label. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  13. ^ Ferguson, Maeri (2016-03-31). "No Sibling Rivalry on Harmonious Family Album from the Barbers". No Depression. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  14. ^ "CONTEMPORARY ROOTS ALBUM OF THE YEAR | Matthew Barber & Jill Barber | The JUNO Awards". The JUNO Awards. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  15. ^ "Metaphora: Vancouver-based songwriter Jill Barber brings modern vibe to new album". CBC News British Columbia, April 23, 2018.
  16. ^ "Jill Barber: My Perfect Saturday - Chatelaine". Chatelaine. 24 November 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  17. ^ "Jill Barber Is "Spark" For Girls Action Foundation". samaritanmag.com. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  18. ^ Surgeoner, Brae (November 2008). "Jill Barber: This is no faded love Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine", BeatRoute. Retrieved April 19, 2010.

External linksEdit