Barbara Morrison came into the world on September 10, 1949. Born in a Michigan suburb, Ypsilanti, Morrison always had a strong love of music, and at the young age of ten, she recorded her first radio appearance in Detroit.
In the 1970s, the talented artist moved to Los Angeles where her precious voice filled the rooms of many Southern California residences.
A known lover of her community, in 2009, she founded the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park, allowing music fans the gift of listening to live Jazz, Blues, and Soul music from musicians around the world. Morrison provided free music and vocal lessons to children, and even gave them numerous opportunities to perform on her stage.
In 2011 Barbara Morrison opened another Leimert Park exhibit, the California Jazz & Blues Museum, which celebrated the rich history of legendary Jazz and Blues musicians and vocalists with photos. While doing this, she also served as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies in the Global/Ethnomusicology Department of UCLA.
Morrison’s two and half octave range, melodic voice is known worldwide. She is known for singing rich, high-spirited, and soulful interpretations of familiar Jazz and Blues classics as well as contemporary music.
As a vocalist, the legendary was featured on two Grammy Award-nominated album and a third Grammy Award nominated album with Barbara Morrison’s Blue Lady Records as producer. She performed a diverse array of genres from traditional Jazz and Blues to Gospel and Pop.
Over the course of her career, Morrison has performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the Jazz and Blues worlds, which included a number of legendary artists such as Ray Charles, Etta James, Johnny Otis and Kenny Burrell. She’s also guest-starred with the Count Basie Orchestra, The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, and Doc Severinsen’s Big Band.
Morrison’s art will live on in American history forever. She’s been commemorated with several awards, receiving the Living Legend Award from the Living Legend Foundation and the Jammin Foundation, LACMA/LA Jazz Society’s LA Treasures Award, and Motown’s Hal Award.
A legendary Jazz and Blues artist, Morrison’s death has left a heavy shock and saddening within the Los Angeles community. Barbara Morrison, journeyed to Heaven’s gates on March 16, 2020. She is survived by her brother, Richard Morrison, two sisters, Pamela Morrison-Kersey and Armetta Morrison, along with ten nieces and nephews.
A public viewing for Barbara Morrison for the people of Los Angeles to pay their respects will be Saturday, March 26, 2022 at Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship (2085 South Hobart Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018) from 11 AM to 1 PM. A Celebration of Barbara’s Life will be at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center (4305 Degnan Blvd. #101 Los Angeles, CA 90008) at 2 PM with live music and testimonies from fans and loved ones. Parking will be limited to TV Network News Trucks.
Please keep in mind that the public viewing will be an open casket viewing. Face masks are strongly encouraged while in the church. Morrison’s family asks that, in lieu of flowers, people send donations to Barbara’s GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-the-incredible-barbara-morrison
Barbara Morrison dedicated sixty years of her life to her illustrious music career and her community, while filling our homes and hearts with her magical voice. Her vibrant music and spirit will forever be with us. Rest in Peace to a world-class leader, honorable woman, and Living Legend.
The Morrison Family Statement:
“A treasure has been called home to rest peacefully and eternally. Our Matriarch was loved and treasured by the city of LA, and across nations overseas. But mostly, she was treasured by her family. During this time we ask for patience and prayer as we honor her life and come together to pay tribute to her. Thank you for the love, support, and tributes. We see you! God Bless You All.”