Called "a bolt of bright sunlight" by the L.A.Times, a “classy talent” by the Boston Globe and “the most exciting musician we’ve heard” by the S.F. Chronicle, Barbara Higbie brings joy, enthusiasm and virtuosity to every performance. She is a Grammy-nominated, Bammy and Glama award winning composer, singer-songwriter and fiddler, appearing on over 100 albums, (including 16 of her own), recording with Carlos Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Cris Williamson, Holly Near, Teresa Trull and many others. Her duet recording, “Unexpected,” with singer-songwriter, Teresa Trull (on Olivia/Second Wave Records) made Higbie/Trull one of the most popular acts in Women’s Music. At the same time, Barbara was the first woman to be signed to the famed instrumental label, Windham Hill Records, where she co-led a group that recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, and toured internationally for many years.
The youngest of six kids from a musical family, Higbie started piano at age four. At age 13, her family moved from small town Indiana to Ghana, West Africa. At 17, Higbie attended Mills College, at 18, the Sorbonne in Paris and at 21, was awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship to collect traditional music in West Africa. At 22, she placed 6th in the National Women’s Fiddle Contest. Her first solo CD on Sony Records, a singer-songwriter album in 1990, was named “Top Ten of the Year” by the Washington Post. In 2011, Higbie was named the first “Artist in Residence” for the famed west coast jazz club, Yoshi’s. There, she founded the group “Hills to Hollers” with gospel/blues singer Linda Tillery and bluegrass star, Laurie Lewis. Her most recent album, 2022’s “Murmuration” is a return to her Windham Hill roots. It is the second installment of a 3-part instrumental “Chillogy”, produced by Lisa Vogel, featuring the brilliant Jami Sieber, cello, Vicki Randle, guitar and Michaelle Goerlitz, percussion. Barbara has performed on over 35 Olivia trips and counts them among the very best experiences of her life.