About This Artist
Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Barry Oreck writes thought-provoking, often darkly humorous songs touching on societal and ecological issues as well as the perils of aging and long-forgotten love.
His band Barry Oreck and Friends features 4 virtuosic Brooklyn veterans with a wide range of music backgrounds playing Oreck’s thought-provoking, often darkly humorous songs.
Oreck honed his craft surrounded by the rich folk and blues tradition of his native Chicago. He studied with such folk luminaries as Frank Hamilton and Steve Goodman at the famed Old Town School of Folk Music and soaked in the exploding blues scene. This early introduction to folk and blues paved the way to what would become his signature style.
Oreck has three albums to date. His 2016 self-titled release features 10 artfully-crafted original tracks described by fellow musician Trudy Williams as “a unique collection of songs full of wry, thought-provoking lyrics, sweet harmonies, with a satisfying touch of funk.” His successful 2018 follow-up, How the Bright Earth Spun, is a collection of new and old songs spanning the folk tradition with intricate guitar interplay, tight vocal harmonies, and rousing fiddle.
His third release, We Fit Together, which reached #9 on the folk radio charts in May 2020, was inspired by the “political shock of 2016.” Oreck says. “In a country and world where so many seem to be retreating to the fringes of mutual distrust and tribal isolation, the idea that we do and can fit together – all of us, all over the globe, across economic circumstances and political ideologies – became vitally important to me.”
Throughout his musical journey, Oreck has been fortunate to be surrounded by a talented and well-respected community of artists. Barry Oreck and Friends features seasoned musical collaborators who reflect a wide range of musical influences from jazz to rock to world music. Their tight, interlocking instrumental arrangements and three-part harmonies offer a satisfying and original take on songs by Oreck as well as by other contemporary songwriters and traditional songs that invite audience members to sing together.
In addition to his songwriting career, Oreck has also spent decades in New York as a performer and choreographer in dance and theater and creating sound and text scores for numerous productions (www.nicollandoreck.com). He has worked extensively in arts education and has published numerous articles and research papers on the impact of the arts on learning and teaching, the nature of artistic talent, and ways to identify potential talent in young people in the performing arts. His academic work can be found at www.barryoreck.com/articles. He has taught extensively throughout the world and continues to work with teachers, schools and school districts in New York and elsewhere.
Whether performing solo or with his band, Oreck believes that “music approached collectively can inspire action. At its best, music supports movement and change. It touches emotional chords that make us reexamine our lives and our relationships to others. It can change us.”