Barbez has performed across the United States and Europe including engagements at the Festival Musicas del Mundo in Sines, Portugal, UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles, sharing the bill with the MC5 and Sun Ra Arkestra, the Festival Territoria in Moscow, Russia, and the Museum of Jewish Art and History in Paris, France. Over its history, Barbez has collaborated with a diverse group of musicians including Dawn McCarthy of Faun Fables, the cellist Julia Kent of Antony and the Johnsons, and the singer and guitarist Nils Frykdahl of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The group has also been privileged to perform with a wide variety of groups including Cat Power, Devendra Banhart, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and the Angels of Light, among many others.
Barbez maintains a long-running collaboration with the experimental theatre director, filmmaker, and playwright, John Jesurun, a MacArthur "genius" grant winner, and have composed and performed scores for several of Jesurun's theatrical works, which have been staged at the Berliner Festspiele, in Berlin, Germany and the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art in New York. Jesurun, who directed the renowned "Last Goodbye" video for Jeff Buckley, has directed three videos for the band. Barbez has also contributed music for several dance works, including One and The Making of Americans, both choreographed by the Bessie-award winner Juliette Mapp and presented, respectively, by Danspace Project and Dance Theatre Workshop in New York.
Barbez is made up of the following members: Dan Kaufman (Rebecca Moore) guitar, Pamelia Kurstin (David Byrne, Simone Dinnerstein) theremin, Peter Hess (Philip Glass Ensemble) clarinet, bass clarinet Danny Tunick (The Clean) marimba, vibraphone, Catherine McRae (filmmaker Sam Green, the Quavers) violin, Peter Lettre (Shearwater) bass, and John Bollinger (Sway Machinery) drums.
For more on the Barbez, please visit www.barbez.com.
"Force of Light is among most profound settings for poetry in music... [it] is among the best of the year; it is sophisticated yet accessible to anyone, heartbreaking in its articulation..." --Allmusic.com (5 stars)
"The music of Barbez conjures an imaginary place full of narrow, crooked streets that are paved with ancient, damp cobblestones. The Brooklyn-based ensemble looks to Eastern Europe for inspiration and its expansive rock draws on such composers as Brecht, Schnittke, and Satie. But Barbez is firmly lodged in the present. It employs electronic elements, such as the theremin (played by the virtuoso Pamelia Kurstin) and its original compositions, written mostly by the guitarist and band leader Dan Kaufman, capture the angst, joy, and strangeness of life in the twenty-first century." --The New Yorker
"Barbez provide a pitch-perfect soundtrack to the intelligentsia identity crisis." --Pitchfork Media
"A truly incomparable listening experience." --Uncut
"The most musically adventurous of the blooming “ethno-punk-cabaret
movement." --The Washington Post
"Barbez is one of my favorite bands." --Bob Moog