The Brooklyn bar and performance space, which opened in the South Slope section of Brooklyn on May Day of 2002, has presented over 18,000 events since it opened.
Started by two French expats at a time when Brooklyn had not yet fully experienced the cultural explosion it is now known for, Barbès’ original goal was to provide a space and a community for artists and musicians – many of whom were based in Brooklyn and needed an alternative to Manhattan clubs which didn't always foster original or non-commercial projects.
Times have changed. The epicenter of New York’s creative energy has long since shifted to Brooklyn, and Barbès is proud to have been one of the participant in this transformation. A pride mitigated by the bit part it might have played in the over gentrification of the borough..
Barbès never focused on any particular type of music. As a result, it was named as one of the ten best jazz clubs in the country by Playboy magazine as well as the second best World Music venue nationwide by the readers of About.com. Barbès has also been an active presenter of Western classical music, improvised music, Americana, and just about any kind of quality music that will suit its small backroom.
The club has long favored residencies which have contributed to developing such talent as Slavic Soul Party, Stephane Wrembel, Jenny Scheinman, Combo Chimbita, Bulla en el Barrio or The Mandingo Ambassadors - all of which have established flourishing careers outside of the club.
Other notable achievements by musicians who have long been associated with Barbès would include many of the artists on our associated record label, Barbès Records, including Hazmat Modine, Chicha Libre, Banda de los Muertos, Pierre de Gaillande, Sanda Weigl, and Las Rubias del Norte.
Illustrious performers who have graced our stage include, in no particular order, Rachelle Garniez, Anthony Coleman, Andy Statman, Smokey Hormel, Chicha Libre, Matt Darriau, Erik Friedlander, Ethan Lipton, Madeleine Peyroux, Ben Monder, Les Primitifs du Futur, Guy Klucevsek, Eszter Balint, Big Lazy, Maestro Paito Sixto Selgada, Mary Halvorson, Pedro Giraudo, Regina Spektor, The Meridian Brothers, Michael Buscemi, Judith Berkson, Tony Malaby, Mamie Minch, Dayna Kurtz, Opera on Tap, Keren Ann, Bob Jones, Tim Berne, Michaël Attias, Catherine Russell, Gyan Riley, Mark Helias, Ghost Train, Marta Topferova, Bébé Eiffel, James Hunter, Tamar Korn, Craig Ventresco, Lisa Germano, Peter Stampfel, Kamala Sankaram Ibrahim Maalouf, Dudu Maia, The Microscopic Septet, Baby Gramps, Brasil Guitar Duo, Kamikaze Ground Crew, Hanna Marcus, Will Holshouser, Bill Frisell, Queen Esther, Bob Stewart, Pamelia Stickney Kurtsin, Brooklyn Qawwali Party, William Parker, Jason Moran, Rick Moody, Very Be Careful, Pete Rushefsky, Shoko Nagai, Joe Maneri, Mat Maneri, Flor de Toloache, Angelica Sanchez, Patrick Farrell, Rufus Cappadocia, Meschiya Lake, Joel Forrester, David Del Tredici, Robbie Fullks, Trio con Cuatro, Daniel Kahn, Theo Bleckmann, Clare and the reasons, Luminescent Orchestrii, Jim Campilongo, Frente Cumbiero, Becca Stevens, Frank London, Marc Ribot, Bubba Hernandez, Alex Meixner, Michael Winograd, Butch Morris, Mre wau Wa, Gato Loco, The Wiyos, Seb Martel, Norah Jones, Napoleon Maddox, Red Baraat, Son de Madera, Golem, Sonagi Project, Alash, Gina Leishman, Nation Beat, Sasha Dobson, Todd Sickafoose, Roy Nathanson, Ted Reichman, Bruce Cockburn, Yale Strom, Alex Meixner, Greta Gertler, Sanda Weigl, Polka Madre, Feloche, Lucky Ocean, Danny Kalb, Frank Schaap, Sxip Shirey, Kill Henry Sugar, Dennis Lichtman, Doug Wamble, Beat Circus, Matt Munisteri, Michi Wiancko, Session Americana, Brian Dewan, The Quavers, Dana Hanchard, Stephane Wrembel, Olivier Manchon, The Parker String Quartet, Las Rubias del Norte, Curtis Hasselbring, Banning Eyre, Chris Speed, Jim Black, Oscar Noriega, Life in a Blender, Banda de Los Muertos, Mavrothi Kontanis, The Roulette Sisters, Hazmat Modine, Slavic Soul Party, Lucia Pulido, Ben Holmes, Don Rauf, Scott Kettner, Rob Curto, One Ring Zero, Los Cenzontles, Pierre de Gaillande, and many, many more.