Jasmine Arielle Barnes (September 28, 1991) is an Emmy award winning composer and acclaimed vocalist who has performed and has had
her music performed worldwide. Her music has been described as “precisely imagined” by the Washington Post, “refreshing..,engaging…,exciting” by San Francisco Classical Voice, "memorable" by Houston Press, and “the best possible blend of Billie Holiday and Claude Debussy” by Boston Globe. She is a multifaceted composer who embraces any writing style of music using a variety of instrumentation and specializes in writing for the voice. A full time composer, Barnes is managed by UIA talent for her work as a composer, a resident artist for Opera Theater of Saint Louis' New Works Collective, and has held residencies with American Lyric Theater's Composer Librettist Development Program 2021-23 season, as a composer fellow at Chautauqua Opera 2021 season, and a residency with All Classical Portland 2021. Barnes has been privileged to be commissioned by numerous organizations such as NY Philharmonic and Juilliard Pre College, The Washington National Opera (in celebration of the Kennedy Center's 50th year anniversary), Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival and School, Baltimore Choral Arts, Aural Compass Projects, Resonance Ensemble, Tapestry Choir, CityMusic Cleveland, LyricFest Philadelphia, Burleigh Music Festival, Symphony Number One, Baltimore Musicales, Anima Mundi Productions, amongst others.
Drawing her attention to Opera more often , she's now written 5 operas:
"The Late Walk" -Nikolaus Cox, librettist (10 min)
"Star Arts High" (45 min)
"The Burning Bush" - Joshua Banbury, librettist (10 min)
"I Will Follow You Into The Dark" - Marcus Yi, librettist (30 min)
"She Who Dared" - Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, librettist (120 min)
(orchestra workshop via American Lyric Theater in August 2024))
"The Late Walk" commissioned by Bare Opera as a part of the Decameron Opera Coalition has been archived in the Library of Congress and featured as study subject in book titled "Narrative Oper" by Sonja Dierks, a German author. Barnes was featured in The Baltimore Sun in an article written by Elizabeth Nonemaker, an interview in the Washington Post about "The Burning Bush" a short opera written about Freddie Gray for Washington National Opera, and featured on PBS by way of MPT in an "Artworks" episode titled "Dreamer", which focuses on her work "Portraits: Douglass and Tubman" premiered by Baltimore Choral Arts in 2022. A subsequent album titled "Dreamer" will be forthcoming in 2023.
Barnes was named the recipient of the Florence Price award for composition from Pricefest, named a winner of the International Women's Brass Conference Emerging Composer Competition, a winner of the Black Brilliance award by The Pleiades Project , recognized as the Gwendolyn J Brinkley Fine Arts First Place Award Winner of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. South Central Region 2021, and named a finalist of All Classical Portland's Recording Inclusivity Initiative.
Outside of commissions, her work has been performed by numerous high performing artists and organizations such as LA Opera, Wigmore Hall, Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, Portland Opera, Tulsa Opera, Hampsong Foundation ( at the Elbphilharmonie), Tennessee State University Meistersingers, University of North Iowa, University of Memphis, Indiana University (graduate song literature class), Lawrence Brownlee, Karen Slack, Will Liverman, Leah Hawkins, Russell Thomas, Leonna Mitchell, Marquita Lister, Alexandria Crichlow, Christian Simmons, among other established artists and organizations. Barnes is also a part of a network of composers called "The Blacknificient Seven" with 6 other composers, Damien Geter, Jessie Montgomery, Shawn Okpebholo, Dave Ragland, Carlos Simon, and Joel Thompson. This dynamic group of composers act as a support group to each other and are even working on an upcoming project together.
Jasmine is not only a composer/vocalist, but an educator. She is the former Head of Compositional Studies and Jazz Voice Studies at Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX. She holds her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Music from Morgan State University in Baltimore Maryland. Her Master of Arts in Music was earned as a Composition student studying under Dr. James Lee III. She proved her musical prowess in her debut composition concert entitled "Reality Race and Religion" that took place on May 9th, 2018 in the Gilliam Concert Hall of the Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center. She was the very first composition major of Morgan State University, thus hosting the first composition recital, setting the bar high for those to follow. As a student in the Morgan State University Choir, she was privy to showcasing her work through the choir, who has performed her music in three continents and all over the United States. She held the esteemed pleasure of being a Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching Music Theory and Aural Skills to students of Morgan State University which prepared her well for teaching various levels of Music Theory including AP Music Theory in her career as a teacher. Her professional career in teaching lead her to educator honors such as National Young Arts Foundation Educator (5x recipient), Teacher Recognition award recipient from American Composer's Forum; NextNotes High School Music Creator Competition, as well as partnering with AT&T Performing Arts Center in creating a composition competition for her students to compose an original piece for the acclaimed chandelier in the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas, TX, home of the Dallas Opera.. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated as well as Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity Inc. One motto of Sigma Alpha Iota that Jasmine holds true to her life as an artist is "Vita Brevis, Ars Longa" which translates from Latin to English as "Life is Short, Art is Long". She believes that giving your all to music, contributing to the art, and teaching what you've learned is truly upholding Art and being a true musician.
Jasmine Barnes is a product of the Baltimore City Public School System. As a youth she was fortunate to be surrounded by many artful influences that allotted her the chance to become who she is today. Programs like Twigs at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Arena Players, AKAdemy, and MICA Saturday classes exposed her to many areas of the arts at no expense to her Mother. This free arts education inspired Jasmine to want to give in the same way. She aspires to build her own Non-Profit to bring art lessons to low-income communities.
She is a graduate of Mt. Royal Elementary/Middle School and Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. It was at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute that her spark and vigor for music was ignited as she was a member of the Marching Band, Concert Band, and Pep band all four years of high school.
Morgan State University was where she began her professional journey as a musician. She was a member of the Morgan State University choir. Her time in the choir exposed her to life as a working musician. This drove her to want to be a well rounded musician. She began writing music for the choir to perform and her music was well received all over the world.