Artist StatementWhether I'm writing a song for my jazz band, composing an orchestral work, or -- in my latest project -- scoring a stage musical, my priority is melody. That's what connects with an audience, I believe, and it's what makes a piece of music linger in the mind and heart. As a self-taught composer, I'm inspired by the great studio arrangers of the 1950s and 1960s, and my challenge is to use that inspiration, mix it with the cross-currents of jazz, folk, pop, Latin, and world music that surround me, and come up with appealing works that feel wholly new.
As a film composer, Mr. Barnett has scored hundreds of television and theatrical films, and his scores have won numerous awards.
Mr. Barnett’s orchestral and chamber works have been performed internationally. Mr. Barnett also collaborated on a spoken word piece with Dr. Maya Angelou. His most recent orchestral work, Retablos, received its world premiere at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Mr. Barnett has also written several ballet and modern dance scores.
As a playwright, Mr. Barnett wrote and produced the drama 12ness, which premiered in 2017 and the comedy Him and Jim, which premiered in 2018. His musical 19, which tells the story of the fight for women's suffrage, premiered in 2019.
Mr. Barnett has produced pop and jazz records for scores of artists. He is the bandleader, composer, guitarist, and pianist for the eclectic jazz band Chaise Lounge.