RIP Barbara Thompson (1944-2022)

We are sad to hear of the death on 9 July of Barbara Thompson MBE.

Barbara Thompson, Bonn 2010.
Photo Credit: Eckhard Henkel/ Wikimedia Commons

Here is the announcement from Barbara’s daughter Ana Gracey: “My mum had the most extraordinary spirit – she never gave up, however, her body finally let her down after a valiant battle with Parkinson’s over the course of 25 years alongside complications with her heart towards the end. We dearly hope that she and our father have found each other once again.”

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The Temple Music site has a complete biography.

We collected best wishes for her 70th birthday in 2014

Review of Mike Dibb’s inspiring film Playing Against Time – perhaps it will be shown again…

Barbara Gracey Thompson. Born 27 July 1944. Died 9 July 2022

Categories: News

6 replies »

  1. I became a great admirer for Barbara Thompson in the 1970s when I frequently booked her ensemble Paraphernalia to perform at Jazz Centre Society events. A great performer, bandleader and a prolific composer of contemporary jazz music, she worked hard and toured extensively throughout Europe, with her husband Jon Hiseman driving the band from the drum stool. Both Barbara and Jon were also members of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble, which toured each year for more than a decade. Barbara refused to be limited in any way by the onset of Parkinson’s Disease and continued to compose after she was unable to perform. A superb musician and a modest, straightforward and considerate person,

    • I also have fond memories of those nights at the Phoenix – especially Barbara’s exciting mid-sized band Jubiaba

  2. When I lived in the UK I used to often seek out performances by Barbara Thomson and various ensembles. She was a great player with a vivacious tone (and when playing her own material, interesting compositions too). Before the scene became as conscious as it is now of the presence and contribution of female instrumentalists, leaders, and composers, she was doing it all in an open, no-nonsense and warm way. Much respect and condolences to family .

  3. I can’t thank Barbara too much for the opportunity afforded to me to contribute to the writing of her autobiography, and for hers and Jon’s hospitality every time I visited their home in Sutton. There was no one in this country who did more to overturn the images presented of women in jazz and thereby encouraged the many who have benefited from her strength and followed in her example.

  4. Sad news. I always made an effort to hear Barbara when she performed locally and always had a wonderful time.

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