Not many people can say in one lifetime that they sang background for Sting, played saxophone for D’Angelo, and was the pianist and music director for Saturday Night Live. If you don’t know Katreese Barnes by name, you certainly know her music. Two time Emmy award winner, a Grammy nominated pianist, producer and composer, Katreese has been a hidden hand at orchestrating some of our cherished cultural sounds.
After years of background work, Barnes took center stage with her EP, Something To Consider, and marshaled an ensemble into a land where jazz, classical and soul roam together. Something To Consider is a five-track effort that showcases Barnes' arranging as well as song writing. With it’s non-traditional rhythm section, Barnes uses a string quartet instead of guitar layers creating a signature sound that is acoustic and modern. Usually strings play Mozart, but not James Brown.
Barnes is currently working on Welcome 2 My House, a live streamed internet show that she created and where she surprises people in their living rooms with their favorite artist singing their favorite song. W2MH showcases artists in a very intimate environment while playing with a string quartet, bass, and percussions. The Motto of the Show is “We’re Going to Keep The Music Alive, One Living Room At A Time.”
From the beginning, Barnes has been audacious both onstage and off. Raised a military brat, she started playing piano at the age of 10, and landed her first record deal in her teens. In her early 20s she wrote songs for Chaka Khan and Roberta Flack, and in 2000 she began at “Saturday Night Live”, where she worked for a decade and composed music for several reoccurring sketches, including hits like "Deep House Dish," "Lawrence Welk" "What Up with That" and the Christmas Classic “Dick In a Box” featuring Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg. She was the band leader for season 1 of the comedy game show “Oh Sit” on the CW network, and “The Rosie Show” on OWN.
In her personal life, Barnes is a cancer survivor who has overcome adversity by undertaking her usual unorthodox approach – embracing what’s natural with alternative therapies and treatments. Something To Consider brings together her stalwart spirit and the styles she loves in a way that is unique and organic. “As the repertoire expands, I hope people will hear a little bit of all the soulful influences I love in R&B, pop, classical and jazz. Why not bring them together?”