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Evergreen brings Barber back

If you don't yet know of Canadian classical jazz singer Jill Barber, you will. Actually, you MUST.

If you don't yet know of Canadian classical jazz singer Jill Barber, you will. Actually, you MUST.

Some Tri-City music enthusiasts already got a sweet taste of her exquisite, sultry vocal stylings when she steamed up the room while teaming with her singer-songwriter brother, Matthew, for the marquee performance at the recent Port Moody Festival of the Arts.

Even more will get the chance when she and her five-piece band take the stage Dec. 1 (8 p.m.) at Coquitlam's Evergreen Cultural Centre for Jill Barber: An Intimate Holiday Special.

Evergreen will be Jill Barber's 34th of 38 dates on her cross-Canada tour -- the largest yet for the transplanted Torontonian and, later, Nova Scotian who now calls Vancouver home.

And while playing with her Ontario-based brother in PoMo was a special and now-rare event as their hectic work calendars seldom jive being thousands of miles apart, Barber said performing her own songs with her talented, tight-knit band is also a phenomenal experience in which they revel in engaging the audience to the point they make the viewers feel they're truly an integral part of the show.

"We have a lot of time to tweak it and make it the best it can possibly be," Barber told The Tri-City News Friday on the phone from her most recent tour stop, Prince Rupert. "It's amazing to be up there on stage... making it a very special, magical and memorable experience. It's all about intimacy."

Just 31 years old, Barber is an already well-decorated, accomplished artist, having been nominated for a Juno Award in 2008 as New Artist of the Year for her disc, Chances -- the fifth she's produced, with the latest being the release earlier this year of the ever-romantic Mischievous Moon. From her humble beginnings as a shy acoustic folk singer on home-town coffee-house stages, Barber has risen to far greater heights while influenced heavily by great ladies of song like Ella Fitzgerald and Edith Piaf.

"Everybody always remarked to me that my voice sounds like it's from another era and I always felt a nostalgia for music," said Barber, whose smoky-voiced blasts to the past include Oh My My, in which she aches over utter heartbreak and captivates her internet audience with a video cast and set in 1950s decor.

Barber has also begun to cross language barriers, inspired by her growing French-speaking fan base and a recent month-long visit to the south of France, where she enrolled in French immersion school. In fact, the first single on Mischievous Moon -- Dis-Moi/Tell Me -- is released in both languages.

"I love the French language and French culture," said Barber, who doesn't rule out the possibility of one day producing a disc entirely in French. "It's the language of love."

For more information, visit www.jillbarber.com and for tickets, go to www.evergreenculturalcentre.ca or call 605-927-6555.

newsroom@tricitynews.com