Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Anaka, Barbie (Barbara Jane)
Anaka, Barbie (Barbara Jane), vocalist, pianist, songwriter, producer, educator; b. Seattle, WA, 30 November 1969. Her parents are Murray and Gloria Anaka, currently residing in Monroe, Washington. Twin brother Brad, (born November 30, 1969 and died November 24, 1991) was a rock guitarist, and younger brother Brian (b. 1971) lives in Washington. Barbie was drawn to the piano at the age of 5 and taught herself to play by ear. At the age of 8 she began taking classical piano lessons, and continued studying throughout her school years. While in junior high and high school, Barbie honed skills as an actress, dancer, singer and model, performing in musicals and plays and singing regularly as a soloist in the school's choirs. She had roles in local commercials and worked as an extra in movies, and sang backup on her first recording at the age of 16.
Following high school, Barbie attended Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA as a Merit Scholar, and graduated in 1992 with a B.F.A. in Music (jazz voice). While at Cornish, she studied voice with vocalists Jay Clayton, Beth Winter and Louise Marley. It was at college that she met her soon-to-be mentor, John Clayton, Jr. (bassist/ composer/ arranger). She began studying with him and also with Canadian jazz vocalist Dee Daniels. In college, Barbie studied jazz piano with pianists Billy Wallace and Randy Halberstadt, and it was there that she discovered her love of songwriting.
Barbie cut her teeth on the local jazz scene by sitting in with several notable Northwest musicians (Buddy Catlett, Billy Wallace, Primo Kim, Hadley Caliman) before putting together her own group. She performs regularly at venues throughout the Northwest such as Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, Jazzbones, Duke's, and The Edgewater Hotel; teaches private voice and piano; runs her own record label - Green Light Productions; and works as a studio vocalist, producer and songwriter (clients include Microsoft, Westin Hotels and others).
Recordings, broadcasts, and films:
-Ballads Through the Night (2003), with guest David Loy, as vocalist/producer
-Live television performance and interview on Q13, Seattle (2002)
-In Love With a Memory (2001), as vocalist/songwriter/producer (all original music)
-Live radio interview, KBCS-FM "Drive Time Jazz" (1992)
One article/interview written in Today's Careers: "Musicians Struggle for Love or Money" (1994)
206.932.7196 (phone number)