Barbara Jean to perform at Zeke’s


Courtesy of Barbara Jean

Barbara Jean not only sings but plays the violin, viola and banjo.

Haley Brase

A string reverberation suppresses Barbara Jean’s chest echoing her passion for music through her heart.

Barbara Jean, who is from Minneapolis, Minn., will perform along with Erik Koskinen at 8 p.m. March 28 at Zeke’s in Ames.

“I started playing violin when I was three, and it’s been a lifelong interest since then,” Jean said.

Jean sings, and plays violin, viola and banjo.

“I grew up learning classically, but as a teenager I was a part of a lot of different bands, so I branched out of classical [music],” Jean said.

Erik Koskinen is the lead guitarist in Jean’s band, but both will perform under their own band March 28.

Because Jean did not play guitar, her brother bought her first banjo. It was a self-taught process. With performing comes nerves, but Jean is obviously used to it from touring all across the Midwest.

“I still have stage fright like I get nervous before shows, but I think a little nervousness is good,” Jean said. “It goes away when I start playing, but it helps to trust the people I play with and believe in the music.”

Jean has also been writing her own songs since she was 13 years old. 

“Barbara Jean has a subtle, seductive voice. She writes understated songs with a bit of north woods mystery in them and she totally charms an audience. Do not overlook her,” said Larry Groce, host of National Public Radio’s Mountain Stage.

Jean was the songwriting champion for the Big Top Chautauqua and had an honorable mention in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest.

Performing solo, in a duo or in a band, Jean is an experienced songwriter and instrumentalist who makes a person tap their foot along to her soothing, twang of a voice.

Tickets for the event are $14 for the general public and $12 for students.