Whitney Who?

Whitney Ross-Barris - Bio


Part of the Toronto jazz scene since 2008, Prairie-born, Ontario-based jazz singer Whitney Ross-Barris has quickly built a respected name for herself among players and listeners alike.


As a solo jazz artist, Whitney has appeared frequently in the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, she has been featured recurrently in JAZZ.FM91’s One Stop Vocal Jazz Safari and performs regularly in clubs, restaurants and concert halls across South Western Ontario.


"Respect for a sound, style, and the practice of an art. Throw into this mix an influencers' list as rounded and iconic as these names, Chet Baker, Tom Waits, Louis Armstrong, Anita O'day, Mel Tormé, Marvin Gaye, Oscar Peterson; then further stir up the ante with a background in theatre and you're in for the spirited original artistry of Whitney Ross-Barris." - John Devenish, Jazz.FM91


With her almost 20 years of experience as a professional theatre actor (Assassins, Birdland Theatre; Cavan Blazers, 4th Line Theatre; Gorey Story, The Thistle Project, Stormen, Follo Folkehøgskole – Vestby Norway) Whitney brings an engaging and fearless approach to solo jazz singing.


“Whitney tends to make one roar with laughter and shed a tear in the same set. Always in the moment and hotly swinging, she is one of my very favourite jazz singers in this town!” – Ori Dagan, Wholenote Magazine


Since self-admittedly bluffing her way into songwriting, Whitney’s compositions and lyrics have appeared on stage (Woyzeck, Red Light District), on film (Prodigals, Sociable Films) and on increasingly more recordings (Christmas on Seaton Street, Number 9 Audio, The Art of Breath, Volume One, John MacMurchy, Everybody’s Here, Whitney Ross-Barris) and now on her own trio album as co-writer with guitarist Nathan Hiltz (Bright Lunch Trio.)


On the heels of her self-produced debut EP in 2009, Whitney released her full-length jazz album "Everybody's Here,” featuring a number of not-so-standard standards, originals and even a few long-lost compositions by her late grandfather, writer-broadcaster, Alex Barris.


Her second album - this one self-titled with the Bright Lunch Trio (jazz trio with guitarist Nathan Hiltz and bassist, Ross MacIntyre) was released in late 2017. The album features all original music by Whitney and Nathan and was six years in the making.


Whitney calls Uxbridge, Ontario home, where she whiles away the tedious hours chasing her three adorable young hellions and trying to sneak in a moment or two alone at the piano to work out a melody or twelve.



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