“A true virtuoso of the double bass with unlimited abilities. The possibilities of Free Music afford him the challenge to operate on the frontier of music, while his great technique grounds him with precision and musicality.”

Joe Morris

Brad Barrett is a bassist, improviser, and educator. His practice engages the tools of improvisation and southern musical traditions to interrogate the complex interplay between freedom and structure. The Jazz Times has described Barrett’s style as “diced bits of Derek Bailey skronk” infused with “Delta blues twang,” and the Free Music Collective has lauded his playing as “singularly rhythmically genius.” In 2019, his first album, Cowboy Transfiguration—featuring Joe Morris on guitar and MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey on percussion—garnered critical acclaim for its distinctive sonic landscapes and virtuosity. Unlike conventional approaches to composition that place decision-making authority in the hands of a single composer, the compositional frameworks in Cowboy Transfiguration challenge players to maximize their creative freedom while adhering to rules for shared leadership. Over the past decade, Barrett has worked as an in-demand freelance musician; has performed with jazz luminaries such as Jason Moran, Sheila Jordan, Evan Parker, George Garzone, and Rakalam Bob Moses; and has appeared on several noteworthy albums. In addition, Barrett is an award-winning educator whose innovative teaching practice has been consistently supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Barrett holds a DMA in Contemporary Improvisation and a MM in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory.