About Bo and Barbara

Ayars Times Two is Barbara & Bo Ayars, a highly entertaining Vocal/Piano Duo. Their combined years of experience and performance elevate their shows to a level rarely seen in today’s acts.

Among their more requested shows are:

  • “Back to the ABCs” – Featuring the music of Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, and Sammy Cahn. These three produced some of the most-loved standards and award-winning songs ever written, and Ayars Times Two presents the best in an evening to remember
  • “Our Favorite Broadway” – A journey to the Great White Way featuring numbers from Guys and Dolls, Victor/Victoria, The Fantasticks, and Brigadoon, among others
  • “To the Ladies” – A tribute to the finest female singers in musical history, including Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Dionne Warwick, and Lena Horne, along with audience favorites – this show is always changing, and always entertaining
  • “Decades of Hits” – Memories abound in this show, with music from the 1930s to the present
  • “Self Indulgence – It’s All about Me” – Barbara does her favorite songs, the ones she loves to sing the most, making for an evening of fun and surprises
  • “An Evening with the Stars” – Bo is at his finest, playing signature songs of some of the performers with whom he has worked, including Liberace, Barbra Streisand, and Elvis, and sharing some backstage stories to make you part of the entertainment world

Ayars Times Two regularly performs at the Tony Starlight Showroom in Portland, Oregon, located at 12th and SE Madison. This is an absolutely wonderful place to spend an evening, with a wide variety of entertainment, including Mr. Starlight himself. Please visit Tony’s website at www.tonystarlight.com.

Bo Ayars Piano Bar

Bo reigns over an old-fashioned, real-live, honest-to-goodness, Piano Bar at least two Wednesdays per month.  These evenings are so much fun, you would think they would cost huge amounts of money, but they are free.  There are always some very fine singers, along with folks who drop by to try out a number, and those who have never sung before, but want to give it a go.  The Gemini Bar and Grill, 456 N. State St., Lake Oswego, is the scene the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month.  Stop by for a great night of fun and music! View the calendar for upcoming Piano Bar performances.

Signatures is a vocal quartet featuring Barbara Ayars, Kat Cogswell, Suzette Rodway and Erin Parra. These are four of the finest singers in the northwest who have joined together for a unique musical evening of entertainment. Please visit the website www.signaturesmusic.com.

The Essence of Bacharach
Burt Bacharach is known for his quirky melodies and rhythms, and for melding them with the brilliant lyrics of the late Hal David, among other fine lyricists. Four of Portland’s finest present the elements of the Bacharach sound — the horn (Paul Mazzio), the piano (Bo Ayars), and the voices (Barbara Ayars and Kat Cogswell) in an evening of familiar and lesser known songs.

Bo Ayars Bio

Bo with Liberace

Bo Ayars has literally “arranged and conducted” himself around the world, appearing in concert halls with noted symphony orchestras and entertainers in England, Germany, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Australia, the Los Angeles Music Center, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C., the Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Bo has also been Music Director and arranger for a variety of television productions featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Special, “Sunday at the Opera House” in Sydney, Australia, “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, “Good Morning, America”, Larry King, and the original Ed Sullivan show.

Mr. Ayars is also a man who regularly wears many musical hats. At various times he has been Music Director, Conductor, Arranger, Pianist and Music Producer for numerous superstars including Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Bill Cosby and Bob Hope. Bo is quite proud of his 13 years as Music Director for legendary showman, Liberace, contributing his conducting and arranging talents to both Lee’s worldwide live performances and several TV specials. In his role as music director for the political satire group, the Capitol Steps, he was invited to performed at the White House and was honored to have accompanied such political figures as President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, Vice President and Mrs. Al Gore, former presidents George Bush, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Secretary of Defense and former Vice President Richard Cheney, Senators Patrick Leahey, Ted Kennedy and Paul Simon, and former Secretary of State George Shultz.

Bo is a native of Glendale, California and began his career as a serious student of music. His formal classical training began at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he majored in Music Theory and Composition. While there, he expanded his interests to include arranging for jazz and pop music. In his junior year, he attended the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and, on graduating from Oberlin, was awarded a teaching assistantship in Salzburg with the noted composer, Caesar Breskin.

Returning to the US, Bo found himself in demand in Las Vegas as conductorpianist-arranger for Debbie Reynolds, Jim Nabors, Robert Goulet, Diahann Carroll, Lola Falana, John Raitt, Sandy Duncan, Red Skelton, Bill Cosby, George Gobel, Raquel Welch, Bobby Vinton, Shani Wallis, and others.

In 1985, Bo was chosen Music Director of Radio City Music Hall’s famous Christmas production, “The Magnificent Christmas Spectacular” for several years, as well as conducting Walt Disney Production’s three-city tour of the “Disney Symphonic Fantasy Tour” and a 28-city tour of “Symphonic Spectacular”.

Bo has appeared around the country as guest pops conductor with the San Antonio, San Diego, Buffalo, Erie, Wichita, Kansas City, Youngstown, Hartford, Ann Arbor, New Haven, Tallahassee, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. Other musical clients include noted cabaret pianist, Bobby Short, Butch Thompson, pianist on the popular radio and television production, “A Prairie Home Companion”, noted jazz vocalist Banu Gibson, and several TV jingles for General Motors and Hilton Hotels.

He has recently received permission to transcribe the solo piano works of Liberace and is offering them, as well as several of his symphonic orchestra and concert band arrangements for sale on his website, ax2music.com. Bo and his wife Barbara live in Portland, Oregon.

Barbara Ayars Bio – Singer, Performer

Barbara Performing with Bobby Vinton

Barbara Ayars has been performing before audiences most of her life, either as a soloist or background vocalist. While earning her degree in music at Arizona State University, she was a frequent lead in Broadway musical productions and operas. After graduating, she continued developing her singing career by touring the United States and Canada with a number of bands.

She then moved to Las Vegas and became sought after as both a lead singer and vocalist for several revues, including the award-winning “A Bare Touch of Vegas”. She provided background vocals for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme at Caesar’s Palace, Diahann Carroll at the Dunes, and Donna Fargo at the Sahara, and was a featured soloist with pianist Esquivel. Barbara toured with both Bobby Vinton and Mary MacGregor, and appeared on “The Tonight Show”, “The Merv Griffin Show”, and “The Dinah Shore Show”.

Barbara has been heard on commercial jingles for Minnesota Tourism, Dairy Queen, and General Mills, among others. She has recorded with Bill Cosby, and appeared on the soundtrack for “He Lived the Good Life”, a Christian musical.

Barbara performs regularly in Tony Starlight’s Neil Diamond Tribute and AM Gold 70s show, and Bo serves as Musical Director and Arranger for both, as well.