The Tenth Council District mourns the loss of Leimert Park Legend Barbara Morrison. A world-renowned jazz and blues vocalist, and Director of the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center, Barbara Morrison was a musical trailblazer and icon for innovators and artists alike.
Barbara Morrison dedicated her time and talents to revolutionize and transcend the world of music. A pillar in the community, Morrison leaves behind a deep legacy of song, creativity, and community empowerment. In recognition of her lasting impact on the Leimert Park & the Greater Los Angeles community CD10 Councilmember Herb Wesson passed a motion for the City to name the intersection of 43rd Street & Degnan Boulevard as “Barbara Morrison Square.”
With a career spanning more than six decades, Morrison wowed audiences and dazzled critics with her euphoric, rhythmic, and dominant vocals.
In 1973, Morrison relocated to Los Angeles and began performing with blues artists Eddie Vinson and Johnny Otis. She recorded her first solo album in 1985 and went on to record more than 20 albums featuring original compositions of live and studio performances.
Since 1994, Morrison taught jazz vocal classes at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music. She received three Grammy nominations, and was recognized by National Public Radio as one of the Voices of the Century: 50 Greatest Female Jazz Vocalists, and also received a Motown Heroes and Legends Award in 2015.
Her long list of accomplishments includes performing with noted jazz and blues artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Etta James, Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett, Esther Phillips and the Count Basie Orchestra. She also performed at Carnegie Hall, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Bern Jazz Festival and the Playboy Jazz Festival.
Councilmember Herb Wesson stated, "Today and forever, we honor, celebrate, and remember the legacy of Barbara Morrison. May she rest in peace."