Jazz duo Kevin Barrett and Julie Michels give a performance at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek Friday.

Jazz duo Kevin Barrett and Julie Michels give a performance at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek Friday.

Duo sings and plays at café

  • Apr. 6, 2011 8:00 a.m.

She sings, he plays.

It’s a pretty simple statement but that’s exactly what Toronto voice-guitar duo, Julie Michels and Kevin Barrett, do when they get together.

They are in the Okanagan on the release of their new recording, She Sings He Plays, this week, and take the stage at Lorenzo’s Café in Ashton Creek Friday.

“Experiencing the music of Kevin Barrett and Julie Michels live in concert is something you won’t forget. They might look like a duo but their music fills the room and commands attention,” said Jaymz Bee, with radio station JAZZ.FM91.

Drawing broadly from pop, jazz and Latin standards, the duo’s new 10-song collection includes favourites by The Beatles, Paul Simon and Rickie Lee Jones, as well as Michels’ original composition, Fall from Grace (featured in a video which is included on the disc.)

Building on the success of their 2003 release, Live at Statler’s, the album also features Michels’ “glorious holler” (as deemed by Mark Miller, music critic with The Globe & Mail) and Barrett’s intricate guitar work, enhanced by the judicious use of looping and overdubbing technology.

Featured on the Toronto jazz scene for more than two decades, Michels studied with legendary bassist Richard Davis at the University of Wisconsin and spent time gigging across Europe and North America.

Besides Barrett, she has performed, toured and recorded with George Koller, Ottawa’s Chelsea Bridge, the MCCT Choir, and her own bands, Sutra and Parley.

A widely respected Toronto guitarist, Barrett has also recorded, performed and toured with an impressive list of Canadian artists including Molly Johnson, Shannon Butcher, Big Rude Jake, Paisley Jura, David Wall, Daniela Nardi and DK Ibomeka.

He has released two CDs under his own name, and has performed in a wide range of jazz festivals as well as most of Toronto’s nightclubs.

The duo takes the stage at Lorenzo’s, located east of Enderby at 901 Mabel Lake Rd., Friday at 8 p.m. Call 250-838-6700 for information/reservations.