Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Montgomery, Barbara

Montgomery, Barbara, vocalist; b. 30 June 1948. She's the daughter of an electrical engineer father, and a German/French teacher mother. Her great- grandfathers were both in music in Sweden, one a concert violinist, the other professor of music to King of Sweden. Her father's work necessitated travel throughout US, Canada and overseas.

She was most influenced by life in Saigon, South Vietnam in the early 60's during terrorist campaign and internal strife resulting in several coup d'etats and increased American involvement. She got her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. She was certified at the Teaching Level, The Evan Thomas Institute, The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential. She studied Music Theory and Piano under Samuel Gold, New York City and Music Theory and Harmony under Luis Prado, The Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music. She sang in local clubs but then was hired by NBC affiliate that produced Mike Douglas show, which curtailed singing appearances. Her son was born in 1979 and her daughter in 1987. She was married three times and is currently single. She ran a recording studio in Philadelphia, but after her daughter's accident and subsequent brain -injury, left to rehabilitate her daughter and started own music production/publishing business, Mr. Bean and Bumpy Music, inc. and Two Beans Music, becoming music producer for Richard Simmons along with other clients in TV and film She returned to performing in 1991, primarily in Philadelphia area while raising kids: Borgia Cafe, Zanzibar Blue, Ortlieb's, Chris' Cafe, jazz festivals, Phila. Art Museum Wednesday night Music Series at its inception, Friday night jazz series; three sold out tours in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, performing in Prague, Usti nad Labem, Olomousc, Bratislava, Trencin, Piestany, Banska Biasnica, Martin, Zvolen, Banska Biastryka; Paris. Montgomery has been in the entertainment field for thirty years as a music industry executive, publisher, producer, songwriter, arranger, and recording artist.  She began her media career with the NBC/Westinghouse television station that produced the "Mike Douglas Show", working for that program and others.  During this time she also freelanced, working on the seminal PBS series, "The Constitution: That Delicate Balance", as well as touring as a lighting designer for international popular music groups. After a twenty-year break, she returned to her passion, performing and recording as a jazz musician.  She has a continuing relationship with Chick Corea and Neville Potter. She is fortunate to provide musical direction and production for many diverse clients as well, and has been Music Director for Richard Simmons since 1986.  She recently completed producing music for the "Champions On Ice" tour that features Olympic ice skaters from around the world. In December of 2002 she produced a multi-media, sixty-piece jazz performance, "The Rhythms of Christmas" at Verizon Hall at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center honoring Ambassador Walter Annenberg and featuring the musical talents of composer/arranger/pianist Barry Sames.   Included were narrations and rear screen projections of a DVD montage focusing on the spirit of giving, a fifteen piece string ensemble, a thirty voice gospel choir, five jazz vocalists, four percussionists from Latin and African traditions, and a nine piece jazz ensemble.  Montgomery also performed and narrated. Her deep involvement in the arena of weapons and gun violence stems from the years she lived in South Vietnam in the early 1960's.  A more recent event was the murder-suicide in January 2002 in Ardmore, Pa. of the family of five that included her daughter's dear friend, 14-year-old Alexandra Wake.

Barbara Montgomery (1992); Ask Me Now (1998); Dakini Land (2001), Little Sunflower (with Freddie Hubbard) (2002)

Music production:
--as music producer for Richard Simmons, she's have produced the music for over 20 exercise videos ranging from oldies to disco to Broadway to latin music
--produced music for numerous television infomercials (Total Gym, Richard Simmons, Montel Williams,etc)
--produced for Christian artist Sandi Patty
--provided music supervision for award winning independent films
--produced music for the Champions On Ice, Olympic ice skating tour
--advisor to many jazz musicians for their music production
--taught both children the violin, music theory

Published article in premier issue of allaboutjazz newspaper, currently writing article for jazziz, and writing book on life as a private citizen during the Vietnam war of the early 1960's

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