photo credit: La Salle

Jarboe draws from a variety of sources: childhood in the Mississippi delta and New Orleans, life in NYC’s east village during the post no-wave scene in the band Swans, university studies in literature and theatre, global travels, and a history of extensive recordings, collaborations, and performances (clubs, theaters, art galleries, cathedrals, festivals, live radio, television, film). Jarboe’s voice and music is known for versatility and emotional conveyance in bold experimental as well as melodic diversity and expression. Over the course of her life through efforts in past and present disciplines, Jarboe explores the rebuilding / reinventing of identity and the elemental structures of personae.


Highlights from Jarboe’s career include :

  • Co-fronting, vocals,  keyboard performance on stage, studio song arrangements, songwriting. recording in SWANS
  • US Tour, London performance, and album with NEUROSIS
  • “Work In Progress” Arts Program grants for rock theatre performances in Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City of which a concert film DVD was created
  • Performance at the Serralves Museum in Porto, Portugal
  • Performance Art at PS122 in NYC
  • Japanese tour and shows with Vampillia, Merzbow, Boredoms
  • Europe/US Tour with the Italian avant-garde group, Larsen
    East Coast shows with Amber Asylum
  • Performances in the Baltic region in cathedrals
  • Concert tour on the West Coast with Blixa Bargeld
  • Concert tour in Europe with Alexander Hacke, Danielle De Picciotto and Helen Money
  • Concerts for SXSW- Austin, Bumbershoot Festival -Seattle,, CMJ -NYC
  • Performance for Women In Music conference at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona
  • Concerts outside the U.S. – Russia, Hungary, Spain, Norway, Portugal, Poland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Ljubljana, Greece, Czech Republic, England, Scotland, Japan, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Croatia, Serbia, Italy, Lithuania, Australia …
  • Performances at festivals : Reading, Pukkelpop, Roskilde, Hellfest, Inferno, SuperSonic, Wave Gotik Treffen, Roadburn, Stella Natura, Dark Mofo…
  • Soundtrack and voices including The Path (award winning best game composition with Kris Force at Bilbao, Spain international game awards) and Fatale (voice of Salome). voice of Lady Macbeth in the Black Sun Drum Korps production of Macbeth for Fringe Festival Edinburgh, voice for television character for Adult Swim network, Venture Bros,Uriel’s Chasm…
  • Fermata at Artisphere , Arlington County Terrace Gallery audio installation- alongside Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alvin Lucier, Don Zientara + Ian MacKaye and other notable sound artists
  • Mitra Music for Nepal project. Jarboe created the track Paramahansa with monies going to the rebuilding effort in Nepal.
  • John Fryer’s “Black Needle Noise” project. Jarboe authored and sang both ‘Human’ and ‘Vexation’.
  • National Parks Arts Foundation Advisory Board member
  • Leo Kuelbs Collection : Jarboe composed and performed the audio for two video artists  (Thomas Rotenberg for  the Decomposition & Transcendence show ),  ( Eike Berg for the ‘Earth Revisited’ show ) and these films premiered in NYC (including Manhattan Bridge projection) and in Berlin.
  • MONA museum’s Dark Mofo arts festival. Jarboe performed in the Odeon Theatre, Hobart Tasmania accompanied by artist P. Emerson Williams
  • A selected list of people/projects with whom Jarboe has worked includes: Michael Gira, Phil Tan, Philip Anselmo, Attila Csihar, Blixa Bargeld, Bill Laswell, John Fryer, J.G. Thirlwell, Merzbow, Kris Force, Lustmord, PanSonic, Mark Spybey, Steven Severin, Chris Connelly, Cedric Victor, Alan Sparhawk, Neurosis, Edward KaSpel, William Faith, Monica Richards, David J, David Torn, Bill Rieflin, Iva Davies, Julia Kent, Zoe Keating, Anni Hogan, Meredith Yayanos, A Perfect Circle, Colin Marston, Cobalt, Cattle Decapitation, Byla, Justin K. Broadrick, Jesu, Peter Valsamis, Josh Graham, Esoteric, Vampillia, Secrets Of The Moon/Crone, Baleyyg, P. Emerson Williams, Helen Money…

  • Visual artists in film/photography/video/design including : Richard Kern, Cedric Victor, Danielle de Picciotto, Marilyn Chen, Beth B, Laura Levine, Tamara Rafkin, Wim Van De Hulst, Rochelle Heagh Phister, Auriea Harvey & Michael Samyn, Mick Rock, Cameron Crowe, Thomas Rotenberg, Eike Berg…
  • Jarboe is featured / referenced in books including Catamania by Adele Olivia Gladwell, Angry Women In Rock by Andrea Juno, Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell…
  • A true independent, a featured panelist on “Artists and the Internet” at the CMJ convention NYC, Jarboe currently has 36 albums in addition to her work on 21+ Swans albums and 63+ collaborative projects with visual & sound artists all over the world and recorded albums in studios located in the United States, England, Italy, Netherlands, Japan, Israel



Introduction to Jarboe by Andrew Wales :

The multi-disciplinary artist and musician known as Jarboe first came to public attention as a member of the US avant-rock ensemble Swans during the period from 1985 until 1997. It was a time that saw the release of acknowledged classics in the bandʼs canon such as “Children of God” (1987), “White Light from the Mouth of Infinity” (1991) and “Soundtracks for the Blind” (1996) and the significant impact she had on the evolution of their sound is clearly audible to even the most casual of listeners.

Her close relationship with the bandʼs founder Michael Gira resulted in the project Skin and the 1987 album “Blood, Women, Roses”. Then 1991 saw the release of “13 Masks” the first album to appear under her own name. While “Sacrificial Cake” (A “Swans Related Project” from 1995) developed the use of “tribal”/ritual elements and use of multiple voices, it was the 1998 album “Anhedoniac” (initially self-released in an edition of 1500) that truly served to announce the emergence of a unique, uncompromising artistic force. More than just a catharsis for the Swans years, this is an album that to this day confronts the listener with a degree of full frontal, all-encompassing, emotional honesty that few of her peers have come close to replicating. Jarboe quickly exploited the opportunities afforded by the internet and via her website established herself as an independent and prolific artist self-releasing much of her subsequent output in the form of often limited editions wherein she exercised full control over matters of artwork and presentation.

A deep interest in spiritual/belief systems such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Occult practice inspired much of her work in the first decade of the 21st century and beyond as exemplified by the “Magick” trilogy (2006/7), “Mahakali” (2008), “Skullgirl”/”Alchemic” (2009) and later “Dreams” (2013). Meanwhile, a facility for collaboration has been demonstrated by: “Beautiful People Ltd” (w. Lary Seven (1992)), “Neurosis & Jarboe” (2003), “J2” (w. Justin Broadrick (2008)) and “Jarboe & Helen Money” (2015) to list just a few examples. “The Men Album” (2005) was a double CD where every track was a collaboration and featured noted artists such as Blixa Bargeld, David Torn, J. G. Thirlwell amongst others.

Additionally Jarboe has re-visited/re-worked her Swans era material on “Indemnity” (2011) and “Indemnity 2” (2012) and composed the soundtrack to a videogame “The Path” (2010).
Further releases are planned for 2017 and will include a tour with the “Italian Occult Psycedelia” band: Father Murphy.


– Andrew Wales, London