Brad Barrett is a bassist, composer, and award-winning educator based in Boston, MA. As a creative musician, Brad uses the tools of improvisation and folk traditions to interrogate the complex interplay between freedom and structure, resulting in an unconventional practice that continually challenges the ear to recognize the familiar in the experimental and novelty in the familiar. Brad’s approach to music-making has been praised by The Free Jazz Collective for playing described as “singularly rhythmically genius” and Jazz Times has described Brad’s style as a combination of “diced bits of Derek Bailey skronk and Delta blues twang.”  Over the past decade, Brad has worked as an in-demand bassist in the Boston area, having performed with Jason Moran, Sheila Jordan, Evan Parker, George Garzone, and Rakalam Bob Moses and he has appeared on numerous albums that have garnered acclaim in critical circles. 

Since receiving his DMA at the New England Conservatory, Brad has transitioned to leading his own musical projects. His first album, Cowboy Transfiguration, has been praised by Jazz Times and The New York City Jazz Record for its distinctive style and virtuosity and features Joe Morris on guitar and MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey on percussion—two luminaries in today’s creative music making scene. Unlike conventional approaches to composition that place decision-making authority in the hands of a single composer, the compositional frameworks in Cowboy Transfiguration album challenge players to maximize their creative freedom while adhering to a common form and rules for shared leadership. Not surprisingly, Brad’s unique musical practice is reflected in his teaching, which has been supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Center for Artistry and Scholarship, and the Sphinx Organization. 


Songs of Joy, Yoko Miwa Trio, 2021

Arcade, Joe Morris, 2020

Cowboy Transfiguration, Brad Barrett w/ Tyshawn Sorey, Joe Morris, 2019

Instantiation: Paradoxical, Joe Morris, Brad Barrett Elinor Speirs, Dan O’Brien 2019

Keep Talkin’, Yoko Miwa Trio 2019

Value, Joe Morris, Brad Barrett, Eric Stillwell, 2017

Pathways, Yoko Miwa Trio, 2017

Some Bright Morning, The By & By, 2016

Under the Jasmine Tree, Yasmine Azaiez, 2016

Trainwreck, Rob Flax, 2016

Ghost Tones, Ran Blake, 2015

Mr. Nice Guy, John Stevens, 2015

Hemingway or Anything, Ocean Street, 2015

The New Flamenco Trio, Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio, 2014

Tell All Your Friends, Laura Grill Band, 2013

Never Before, Laura Grill Band, 2011

Grill/Boudreau/Barrett, Laura Grill, Steve Boudreau & Brad Barrett, 2011

Wake Up, Fall Asleep, Tammy Scheffer, 2010

Live in Jamaica Plain, Laura Grill Band, 2010

Cubist Live, Jerry Leake, 2010