OLSEN is a native New Yorker and alumnus
of the Manhattan School of Music, who began his career in the late
70s playing trombone in New York's Latin dance music scene. Over
the years has recorded and performed all over the world with most
of the major artists in this field, including Ray Barretto, Eddie
Palmieri, Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, and
He has also performed on trombone, piano, and percussion with Paul Simon, David
Byrne, The Paul Winter Consort, Charlie Persip and many others. He first recorded
in South Africa on the CD "Ancestral Healing" by South African artist
Pops Mohammed, and the CD "Jazzin' Universally", with Airto Moreira,
Jose Neto, Valerie Naranjo, and many outstanding musicians from that country.
Since then he has performed with the jazz group Ingoma, led by South African
saxophonist and composer Zim Ngqawana, having toured with them in Europe and
the U.S., as well as in their home country.
Barry is the pianist for the Latin-Jazz group Syotos, led by trombonist Chris
Washburne, and is featured on their recordings "Nuyorican Nights.," "The
Other Side" and "Paradise in Trouble". On marimba and percussion
he is frequently heard in the orchestra of the Broadway hit "The Lion King." He
is completing a piano trio CD with Drummer Vince Cherico and bassist Boris Kozlov.
Since 1988 he has been performing Lobi and Dagara music from northern Ghana,
playing the drums known as kuar and gangaa, which accompany the gyil. Since performing
in Ghana in 1996, he has recorded these instruments on the CD "Zie Mwea
(Natural Conditions)" with Bernard Woma, several CDs with Kakraba Lobi,
and Valerie Naranjo's recording "Lewaa's Dream.