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Neighborhood bar and performance space

Place Details

Borough : Brooklyn
Neighborhood : Park Slope
Theater, Performance

Place Matters Profile

Written by Razmig Bedirian for Place Matters and the Fall 2017 Local and Community History course of NYUs Archives and Public History Program

Barbès takes its name from an area in northern Paris known for its large North African population and the record stores that popularized Raï —a form of Algerian folk music—in the early 1980s.

In Brooklyn, the name has come to signify a music community, one that is not
attentive to billboards or popular tastes. Having celebrated its fifteenth birthday in May 2017, the
venue has become a platform catering international music from Ghanaian jazz to Slavic
soul, from Tropicalia to oud nights and Afrobeat.

Barbès’ founders Vincent Douglas and Olivier Conan, both musicians from France, have lived in the Park Slope area for more than thirty years. When it came to deciding on a location, Douglas said Park Slope was an obvious choice. They started on a...

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Pardon Our Interruption. Accessed December 14, 2017. https:// B A R B È S -- c a l e n d a r. Accessed December 11, 2017. http://

Marieveamy64. "Barbès, Brooklyn." YouTube. September 28, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2017.

Kissel, Chris. "How Underground Peruvian Music Changed the Sound of L.A.s Latin Alternative Scene." L.A. Weekly. November 29, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2017.

"Struggling venue Barbes launches crowdfunding campaign benefit
show." BrooklynVegan. Accessed December 14, 2017. http://


Clare Osheeran

I go every Sunday night to hear Gypsy Jazz guitar played in the tiny listening room at Barbès. People dance and sing. It is the best Jazz you will hear in the city. The intimate space and eclectic range of musical, film and theater performance make for a neighborhood spot that truely builds community! The listening room is so small, the music always feels intimate--like you are in a special club and the music is just for you.

Check out the Stephan Wremble and the hot club of NY-

These guys play music here every Sunday!

Rachel Zaslow

This tiny bar has a listening room in the back where free of charge people can come together for a host of regular events -- music, readings and film screenings -- an array that ranges from Gypsy Jazz guitar to Slavic Sou parties. Barbès functions as a neighborhood community center of sorts. The bar fills a gap in a neighborhood which is home to a large population of artists, musicians, and writers but still offers very little in terms of performing outlets.

Off the main drag of 5th and 7th avenues, this unpretentious bar brings people together across race, age and religion. Barbès puts the stress on cultural variety and neighborhood conviviality.

The back room is small, but the spirit of the place is huge. Almost because of its size, the audience and artists become at once intimate, so that any event feels like sitting in the living room of a close friend. (June 2006)

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