Jazz, grunge, reggae, opera… Joy offers something for everyone – The Royal Gazette
Created: May 09, 2022 08:00
Singer Joy Barnum performs this week as part of the Bermuda Festival (Photograph by Yolanda Gallagher)
Joy Barnum used to worry about every element of her shows – from her voice to her dress to her hair.
For this week’s concerts, she changed direction.
“My goal will be to have fun. It’s what I love to do and I just don’t want to love it when I’m done. I want to enjoy it like everyone else enjoys it,” said the singer, who is back on stage after a three-year battle with breast cancer.
“There’s nothing like a near-death experience to change the way you look at things.”
She will perform Thursday and Saturday as part of the Bermuda Festival, which has always been a dream.
“When I was younger, I would walk past City Hall and see people come in to watch the Bermuda Festival performances,” she said. “I would say, ‘One day they’re going to ask me to play there.’ Everyone said, ‘Oh, why don’t you go to the United States to sing?’ But my biggest dream wasn’t to walk the red carpet in Hollywood, it was my own island that recognized me.
His wish first came true in February 2020 when he was asked to open for the Four Phantoms Quartet.
Although “it was a fantastic experience”, Ms Barnum is delighted to be the star actor this time around. Her show, Stand Up, will see Dwight Hart, Kent Hayward, Charo Hollis, Cindy Smith, Quinn Outerbridge, Rajai Denbrook, Lloyd Holder and the Bermuda Institute Inspirational Choir joining her on stage.
She herself sang in the Inspirational Choir as a teenager, under the direction of Owen Simons and Marvin Pitcher.
“Owen will lead the choir in this show,” she said. “Marvin will be at the piano. Owen was a teenager when he started the choir. It was his passion. »
Mrs. Barnum is especially proud to have Quinn Outerbridge with her.
“She’s 21 and just finished Up with People,” she said. “She is working on her own album. I gave her singing lessons when she was very young, but I didn’t give her any of her talent. I just taught him everything I knew.
Ms. Barnum is a professionally trained opera singer with a degree in vocal performance/pedagogy. On Thursday and Saturday, she will draw from a wide range of music – opera, big band, jazz, grunge and reggae.
One of the songs she will sing, All alone by Jah Cure, is particularly important to her. The lyrics include the line: “You don’t have to believe me, only God can judge me.”
“It was the only song I listened to when people kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me,” Ms Barnum said, explaining how doctors here dismissed her concerns by 2020 regarding bleeding in her left breast until Brigham & Women’s Hospital diagnosed stage one. cancer.
“I would sing it and feel better.”
While recovering from surgery, she wrote Gold, a song honoring the Olympic victory of Dame Flora Duffy. Ms Barnum was later invited to sing it at a concert held as Bermuda celebrated Flora Duffy Day last October.
“We had to do the song in one take because I couldn’t sing for more than two minutes,” she said.
With her illness on her mind, she sometimes has tears in her eyes during performances.
“I will be wearing four different dresses during the show,” she said. “Rene Hill is going to make a handkerchief to match every dress so I don’t mess up my makeup when I cry on stage.”
Adding to her health pressures in recent years, Ms Barnum has lost the three jobs she held as businesses laid off staff due to the challenges of the pandemic.
At the time it was very stressful, but the singer recognizes today that it was a great opportunity. Financial support has come from local supporters and as the summer tourist season heats up, the concerts are being set up.
Singer Joy Barnum (Photograph by Aaron DeSilva)
A few weeks ago, she launched a new group with Stefan Furbert, Raymond George and Dino Richie. Since Last Wednesday will perform June 11 at a fundraiser for the Bermuda National Trust. In August, Mrs Barnum launches a musical series on Saturday nights at the Daylesford Theatre.
“All I do is sing now, and that’s all I ever wanted to do,” she said.
Joy Barnum will take the stage at the Victualling Yard in Dockyard on Thursday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $60 and are available at bermudafestival.org