Barbara Knight’s introduction to jazz vocals began when she performed with the jazz ensemble while attending Kent State University. After graduating with a degree in vocal education, Barbara started singing professionally in 1980 with the Harry Hershey Orchestra. During her 13-year stint with that band, she was the featured band vocalist in the hit show “Stompin’ At The State”, which ran for almost 2 years at the State Theatre in Cleveland’s Playhouse Square. She also traveled to Miami, Florida with the show “Stompin’ At La Ronde”, which had a 9-month run at the Fountainebleu Hilton in Miami Beach.
For 17 years, Barbara was the female vocalist with the acclaimed Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. She has also performed all over the Tri-State region, working with national big bands such as the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and the Harry James Orchestra. In May of 2001, she recorded her first compact disc, Night And Day, with the CJO plus strings. In 2003, Barbara made her Severence Hall debut as the guest vocalist with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra for their New Year’s Eve Spectacular. She continues to be a frequent guest artist with the Pops, college jazz ensembles, and regional big bands.
In 2007, Barbara recorded the CD Angel Eyes with her quintet, featuring a unique collection of arrangements by Barbara and bassist David Morgan. According to LA Jazz Scene Magazine, Angel Eyes is “…full of subtle surprises, making this CD a perfect introduction to Barbara Knight, a singer who takes chances and has the technique and abilities to constantly succeed.”
In 2008, Barbara was chosen by renowned jazz critic, Scott Yanow of Los Angeles, to be included in his book “Jazz Singers, The Ultimate Guide”, a compilation of the 521 most influential jazz vocalists of all time. You can find her performing with her quintet at jazz clubs and concert halls throughout NE Ohio.