Jennifer Barnes is a highly sought-after vocalist, educator, clinician and arranger and Professor of Music at the University of North Texas. As Director of Vocal Jazz Studies, Ms. Barnes oversees all vocal activities within the highly lauded Division of Jazz Studies at UNT, including four vocal jazz ensembles and directing the flagship vocal ensemble, UNT Jazz Singers, who were DownBeat magazine’s 2023 Graduate College Vocal Jazz Large Ensemble Winners. She has previously directed award-winning Vocal Jazz Ensembles at seven other universities, has served as a guest conductor for District and All-State Music Festivals in sixteen states, taught jazz vocals at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps from 1998 through 2015. She was awarded the 2016 Jazz Education Achievement Award by DownBeat Magazine, as only the second vocal educator to receive that honor.
Jennifer previously resided in Los Angeles, where she was an active vocalist in both studio and live performances. She has sung on or appeared in advertising for Chili’s Bar & Grill, Epson, Old El Paso and McDonald’s and released a highly acclaimed solo jazz recording, “You Taught My Heart”. Jennifer is the alto vocalist in the professional vocal group Vertical Voices (with Julia Dollison, Greg Jasperse and Kerry Marsh).
Jennifer earned the Master of Music degree from the University of Miami (FL) and the Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University.