Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead

By BLU Jazz+ (other events)

Friday, March 20 2020 8:00 PM 11:00 PM

Award-winning New York City drummer and composer marks his arrival with acclaimed debut album, Vision Ahead, swinging through the Rubber City as part of his 2020 spring tour! Featuring Jonathan Barber, Andrew Renfroe, Taber Gable, Matt Dwonszyk.

Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead is an ascendant New York music band led by Modern Drummer’s “#1 Best Up-and-Coming Drummer of 2018,” Jonathan Barber. Only 30 years old, Jonathan Barber has already worked with artists such as Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Buster Williams, Kenny Barron, Jeremy Pelt, Jimmy Greene, J.D. Allen, Harold Mabern, Larry Willis, Steve Davis the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Erykah Badu. Now, he’s now stepping out in full force as a bandleader. DownBeat Magazine calls Vision Ahead’s self-titled debut album Barber’s “greatest accomplishment to date,” but make no mistake, this group is more than the Jonathan Barber Quintet; this is unmistakably “Vision Ahead,” a distinctive and close-knit group of musicians who have been working toward this moment for years.
Vision Ahead offers a fresh blend of classic jazz with elements of gospel, rock, soul, and fusion that’s already attracting listeners across generations. Even when they’re playing hard—and they do reach some thrilling crescendos—this extremely dynamic band always feels impeccably sharp and in control, cool far beyond their years. Barber also shows quite a gift for pacing in his new compositions, with each song boasting a real sense of progression that’s balanced with a proper spotlight on his bandmates’ noteworthy improvisations. With strong melodic motifs and almost every extended solo accompanied by new forms or themes, Barber’s music strikes the rare balance of maintaining a clear emotional through-line while still providing each soloist a fresh foundation on which to build. The name “Vision Ahead” holds deep personal significance to Barber, as suggested in the occasional lyrics throughout the record, but it’s immediately clear that this is the sound of now.
Featuring Jonathan Barber (drums), Andrew Renfroe (guitar), Taber Gable (piano), Matt Dwonszyk (bass).