In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again – mixed groups have all the advantages, and really are the best of both worlds. They can have a sound that hits the stratosphere and the basement all at once, and their blend conveys that little tingle to the listener that a single-gender group just can’t give. If you like the contemporary sound, and enjoy either male or female groups, we dare you to give our mixed groups a listen – you’ll find something (or quite a few somethings) to write home about, we promise!
Displaying 1 - 34 of 34 items.
A unique mixed voice octet, The Accidentals are known for their sophisticated harmonies, off-beat sense of humor, and an eclectic repertoire of original songs and distinctive arrangements. Their many awards include MAC and Back Stage Bistro Awards for Best Vocal Group. They were also the 1995 National Champions of the Harmony Sweepstakes. The Accidentals' CDs have won several Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and their songs have been included in feature films and on television.
All About Buford is a pop-funk vocal band from Boston, New York City and Philadelphia who switch seamlessly between an a cappella format and an acoustic guitar format, delivering pure vocals, complex arrangements, and intricate harmonies. The rhythmic background of AAB is the complex vocal percussion (beatboxing) of Del Coy, who simultaneously does percussion AND bass. You might not believe the sound is being created vocally, but there are no drum tracks! Performing an eclectic mix of covers and originals, All About Buford has been described as both sexy AND sophisticated. They have performed steadily at venues large and small since their inception in 2000, and were the 2003 Boston Regional Harmony Sweepstakes champions (runner-up in 2002). All About Buford does a high-energy, surprising show that gets an audience involved.
Apes & Babes was formed in 1999 when eight singers with a background in Trondheim studentkor would spend the summer holidays to explore a different type of harmony than the traditional choir. We wanted to find out if it was possible to pop singing without instruments and still sound like a band - not a choir. Within a few weeks was 5-6 songs rehearsed, and the 3 August we held a concert at the TIRC Student Society in Trondheim. But that would only be a small summer project, took off from the first note! An enthusiastic audience demanded more. We thought it was fun, and would like to have a couple of concerts. After 2-3 attempts to keep the Closing, we understood that Apes & Babes had come to be ...
The Bar & Grill Singers, all of whom are practicing attorneys in Austin, Texas, have entertained lawyers and non-lawyers since their 1991 debut in a one-performance musical revue. Now appearing year-round across the nation, the Singers spoof themselves and their profession with clever lyrics set to a variety of musical styles. They needle everything and everyone around the law, including clients, billing practices, legal ethics, bored jurors, and - gulp - federal judges. Over the past 18 years, the Singers have benefitted volunteer legal services for the indigent, and have raised over $300,000 from their performances and CD sales. The Singers have released three CDs, "Licensed to Grill," "Grilling Me Softly" and "A Time to Grill," which are available for purchase at their performances, from this website, and from
Blue Jupiter is a powerful pop-jazz-funk a cappella quartet: Marty the beatboxer, Chris the screaming-high tenor, Jonathan the human orchestra, and Diana- (Blue Jupiter's secret weapon) a Broadway singer and voice-over artist. These four voices will set the audience ablaze with their infectious energy, seamless harmony and thunderous vocal percussion. You'll swear they have a back up band... but they don't.
Blue Jupiter is best known as the voices of Oreo Cookie, singing the national Oreo radio commercial since 2005. Over the past 6 years, Blue Jupiter has worked with famed producer and American Idol Judge Randy Jackson, sang with Livingston Taylor and performed on Oprah and VH1's Save the Music. They've headlined charity events for the American Cancer Society, The Red Cross, Braking the Cycle, Hartford Children's Hospital and many others. Blue Jupiter has been voted "Audience Favorite" multiple times at the Harmony Sweepstakes and has appeared at countless NACA (National Association of Campus Activities), showcases including the 2008 National Showcase in St. Louis.
They rehearsed for six months. Gunnar remembers that their first gig was at an open mike in a Cuban restaurant where they were shuffled ahead of the line waiting flamingo guitarists by a manager aware of the patron's acute flamenco ennui. They sang "Psycho Killer", "A White Sportcoat" and a few others that night. The audience loved them.
At first all the arranging that Gunnar and Richard did was cover tunes. As they began writing their own songs, the need for another voice became an imperative. Auditions found Janie 'Bob' Scott. Lots of local appearances caused the stage show to gel. A record contract with a local record company, Kaleidoscope Records, produced the first album, The Bobs. A Grammy nomination for their arrangement of "Helter Skelter," a nation wide tour, and soon they were on radio, then TV, eventually traveling to Europe doing huge festivals and concerts.
Cartoon Johnny is an energetic vocal band that pushes the limits of traditional a cappella. Drawing on influences from classic soul to modern alternative, they've crafted an exciting sound that is often mistaken for an instrumental band - but it's all vocal.
Based in the Washington DC area, Cartoon Johnny performs a variety of sure-fire audience favorites and their own original music, bringing audiences to their feet show after show. They are two-time National Harmony Sweepstakes finalsists, winning the title for the Mid-Atlantic Region in 2005, and in New York in 2009.
Cartoon Johnny has shared the stage with some of the best in a cappella and beyond. Highlights include headlining ACappellaFest Detroit in 2010, and performing with Marvin Hamlisch in his Christmas special at the Kennedy Center in 2008. Hamlisch invited the group to join him for his July 4th concerts in San Diego in 2009.
People often ask us how the Chromatics got started. It's a complicated story, but here's a brief summary:
Back in 1993, a group called the OK Chorale was formed at NASA'S Goddard Space Flight Center by Anne Raugh and Steve Leete. The OK Chorale was 12 members strong and sang mostly doo-wop tunes, standards, and classics from Sesame Street. None of the current Chromatics were in the group at its inception, but Padi Boyd and Karen Smale joined in 1993, followed by Alan Smale and Deb Nixon in 1994.
After numerous further changes in personnel, including the departure of co-founder Anne Raugh, the group decided to refocus and reinvent itself as The Chromatics. The Chromatics were incorporated in 1995, and have been performing continuously under that name ever since.
Club For Five challenges conventional wisdom about the capability of the human voice. Their unique arrangements and original compositions combine jazz, pop, rock, and even classical music in such a chic and unique way, that they create a musical genre all their own.
During its relatively short career as a group, the band has performed with such distinguished ensembles as the legendary American vocal group "Manhattan Transfer" and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Club For Five performs mainly in Finland but has also held concerts around Europe and in Asia. In the near future, the band will perform in such places as Germany, France, Ireland, Peoples Republic of China, and in various venues in North America (to name but a few).
Formed in the fall of 1999, the Denver A Cappella Project started as a group of musical friends getting together to see what kinds of sounds they could make. With over 150 years of combined musical performance experience amongst them, the talented mixed octet quickly found themselves performing in numerous shows throughout Colorado and the region. Now performing nationwide, and an annual favorite at the International Barbershop Harmony Convention,the Denver A Cappella Project has wowed a wide variety of audiences, from the few to the thousands. Featuring three sets of spouses, two sets of siblings and two sets of in-laws, D.A.P. is truly a family affair. Their shows highlight the group's love for different musical styles whether crooning a jazz tune or belting out a gospel number, D.A.P. remains true to each style. Every entertaining performance is designed to provide that little something for everyone.
The Essentials have ushered in a new decade with a new member, new sound, new CD, and renewed enthusiasm.
Called "one of the finest acappella groups in the world" by one reviewer and "musical geniuses" by their mothers, The Essentials continue to sell-out shows while reinventing themselves and are now emerging on the international stage with some new twists on some age-old ideas.
"It's been a great journey so far but that was really just a warm-up," said band member Dan Speck. "Since Janet joined the group in the last year, we've basically reinvented ourselves. But we won't ever get away from what got us here - strong vocal harmonies and performances, tied to unforgettable melodies. Maybe we should have called the CD Nothing But New instead of Nothing But Blue!"
The Euphorics (U4X) are a joyous, energetic a cappella quartet, who, since 1983, have been delighting audiences internationally on radio, television, and concert stages, at schools, festivals, and special events of all kinds. Individually, members of the Euphories are powerful lead singers. Joani Bye (alto), fronts her own band, the Homewreckers, and her voice has graced countless albums (including those of Bon Jovi, David Bowie, INXS, and Cher). Helen Davis (soprano) leads her own jazz quartet and has backed up Doug and She Slugs, and Kathi Hof Donald. Bing Jensen, bass, long-time Vancouver performer, winner of the 1993 CARAS award for best children's album and the West Coast Music Award for Best Children's album in 1998. David Steele, tenor, is a singer songwriter who has worked with numerous internationally recognized artists. Together, they create a rich and soulful blend with a repertoire of top-notch originals and innovative arrangements of covers in a wide variety of styles. The Euphorics celebrate their passion for music with plenty of humor and dynamic audience interaction.
F'loom is an avant cappella vocal trio that presents cutting-edge programs of "language music" - original pieces that inhabit the fertile, mysterious realm that lies between pure language (speech) and pure music (song). F'loom performs original all-vocal compositions seething with satire, social commentary, pop diatribe, slap, zap, melody, poetry, and comedy.
Founded in 2009, Fermata Town is now the newest member of the Contemporary A Cappella League (CAL). Inspired by the wealth of new talent in the a cappella world, we have worked hard to find our voice and put a unique stamp on the Boston a cappella scene. We pride ourselves in our original arrangements, the sound that we produce, and our ability to maintain a healthy balance between our music and active lifestyles.
Fermata Town was officially founded during the spring of 2009 stemming from the break up of the all male Boston based group The Testostertones (Boston). The founding duo of Dan Campagna and John Baptista recruited former Testostertones Dave Carr and Nathan Pierce to join forces and find other interested singers who shared the same passion for a cappella music. Be it through word or mouth, internet advertisements and craigslist posts - Fermata Town was able to quickly establish itself as one of Boston's freshest co-ed a cappella groups to hit the streets.
Emily grew up singing folksongs on family roadtrips and coercing her cousins into impromptu choruses. After realizing coercion was a poor foundation for an ensemble, Emily joined the Contra Costa Children's Chorus, where she now sits on the board of directors. She went on to major in music at Pomona College, winning the President's Prize in Women's Studies for her lecture-recital on music by women composers from Clara Schumann to Margaret Bonds . After a couple of stints abroad, Emily joined the only theater group with its own law school, the Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society, where she still moonlights occasionally as a second violin. During her law school days, Emily learned that the average time in a refugee camp is 17 years; in response, she founded Asylum Access, a refugee human rights organization that has improved human rights for over 500,000 refugees in Africa, Asia and Latin America under Emily's leadership. Despite loving her job, her fantastic husband, and life in SF, Emily couldn't help feeling something was missing from her life ... until she found FWIdom in 2009. (She still feels something may be missing -- she thinks it's called "sanity" -- but takes solace in the fact that she's now in good company.)
Bands are often formed in a bar after a few drinks. They then perform their own versions of popular songs. Fork's tale had a slightly different start. But Fork is in no way an ordinary band - neither as a rock group nor as an a cappella group. Fork's basic idea is to do things the unconventional way; so the band does rock and pop songs a cappella. When it comes to a cappella Fork has always had a few trump cards of their own up their sleeve. As band so elegantly puts it: Fork does to a cappella what Jimi Hendrix did to guitar music and what Viagra does to a man! This has been the case ever since the three actors and one police man were having a cup of tea in the kitchen of an apartment in Helsinki back in 1996 and decided to start a band. There was just one problem: it was impossible to form a rock band with the instruments the four could play - the piano, the violin, the recorder and the bass. But then it dawned on them; they all could sing!
Fretless made its debut in June of 1999 at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Bedford, MA. In 2004, we competed at the Eastern Regional Harmony Sweepstakes at Tufts University's Cohen Auditorium, winning third place. In 2005, we produced our first CD entitled "All the Things We Are".
Fretless weaves the soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass voices of five accomplished performers into a tapestry of lush harmonies and fascinating lyrics. Our repertoire includes an adventurous mix of lively pop songs, Broadway classics, demanding classical works, and off-beat selections from the great American songbook.
p>In 1994, three people found out that they were indeed, III of A Kind. Edward, Gelo and Annie were actively involved in singing since childhood, harmonizing in choirs and singing groups. All III studied at the University of the Philippines College of Music and met when they all joined the world renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers. Although all III are trained classical singers, they were always chosen to do the solos of the pop songs the Madrigals included in their repertoire. Soon, all III were in demand as session vocalists singing commercial jingles and doing back-up vocals for major artist in recordings and live concerts, and sought-after as voice teachers, vocal coaches and choral conductors.
Intimate, witty and intelligent songsters, the award-winning Irrationals, are an a cappella ensemble acclaimed for their rich, complex vocal style. The delicious blending of their voices has been described as "cafe mocha for the ears." Singing together for almost twelve years, this six-member, Berkeley-based group is praised for its harmonic excellence and diverse repertoire. The Irrationals often perform songs about the unpredictable. They are dazzled by the irrationality of love, awed by the intuitive nature of life and intrigued by things that don't make sense.
The Irrationals' sound has an African American foundation that is used to explore pop, R&B, jazz, folk and rock. A core blend of three soulful women enhanced by bass, tenor and percussive vocal elements creates an exquisitely layered melodic mix. Whether it's Stevie Wonder with a rap twist, Annie Lennox, Talking Heads, the Neville Brothers or a romantic folk song, the Irrationals are playful, distinctive and sometimes irreverent.
Minimum Wage is a group that can only be described as inventive, insane and delightful! Picture the Marx Brothers, Forever Plaid and the Flying Karamozov Brothers rolled into one. Por example, one might witness a lecture on Spatula techniques that goes hilariously awry. Or a capricious, musical history lesson about the "'Histoire du le Burger." Or even a rap number with wildly eclectic choreography. They won a Bistro award for Outstanding Musical Comedy Act by BackStage Magazine and in 1999 they were chosen as the Mid Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes Champions and went on to win "Audience Favorite" in the National Finals. They can be seen pseudo- regularly on the Food Network's, Doorknock Dinners and other TV appearances include The Fox Network, Comedy Central, Good Day New York, The Veronica Network and America's Funniest People(Grand Prize Winners).
Vocal sensations and winners of season 3 of NBC's The Sing-Off, Pentatonix are taking instrument-free music far beyond anyone's wildest expectations. Named after the world's most widely recognized five-note musical scale, this vocal quintet has transformed one of pop music's purest and most soulful expressions into an exciting future, filled with limitless sonic possibility. Pairing their intricate arrangements with cleverly re-imagined pop songs, Pentatonix have quickly cultivated a sound and style that is entirely unique and undeniably infectious.
Pentatonix is comprised of lead vocalists Scott Hoying (21), Kirstie Maldonado (20) and Mitch Grassi (20), vocal bass Avi Kaplan (23) and beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola (24) and, while the individuals would maintain that each of their fellow band members is irreplaceable, the fact remains that 24-hours before their audition for The Sing-Off they still hadn't all officially met.
The Finnish word Rajaton translates as "boundless" - a word that so accurately describes the way this six-voice a cappella ensemble approaches music. Regularly performing over 100 concerts and workshops each year, Rajaton exposes audiences to the kind of diversity of repertoire, singing style, and stage presentation that has made them a phenomenon on the world stage.
Performing at concert halls, churches, jazz and choral festivals, this distinct group of musicians approaches all styles of music with the same level of commitment and integrity, making it difficult to imagine an audience that Rajaton could not inspire, or a type of music Rajaton could not make its own.
In their native Finland, Rajaton is a bona fide pop phenomenon, successfully bridging the gap that often exists between classical and mainstream convention. The group has released 11 different albums. In 2003, Rajaton rose to n:o 2 on the charts with their album Joulu ("Christmas") which has to date sold double platinum in Finland. Building on the momentum of this mainstream success, in 2006, the group recorded Rajaton sings ABBA with Lahti Symphony Orchestra, an album which topped the charts in Finland and sold platinum in a month.
Formed in November of 1997. Founders Joe Antonioli and John Hadden had worked together in preceeding years, John recording and producing several recordings for the UVM Top Cats of which Joe was the Musical Director. Both boys were aching to start up a professional group, so, when the time was ripe, they did! True to its name, RA found its musicians in a rather random way--through want ads in local Burlington, Vermont papers and via word of mouth. We think we lucked-out, finding us some very fine musicians!
Ro Sham Bo is named after a popular hand game often used as a selection method in a similar way to coin flipping or drawing straws to select a person for some purpose. When Ro Sham Bo tours in Japan or Brazil, we're called Jan-Ken-Pon, but Philippinos call us Jack-n-Poy because they're cool. In England we're called Scissors-Paper-Stone because there's no Rockhenge, silly. In South Africa, the mildly offensive Ching-Chong-Cha. In Latvia we're called Akmens, skeres, papirits because of the catchy rhyme, "Akmens, skeres, papirits, viens, divi, tris." Caligula called us Saxum-Charta-Forfex, but in those days forfex beat everything because of the excitement over the newly invented scissors. Biologist Barry Sinervo from UC Santa Cruz discovered the Ro Sham Bo evolutionary strategy in the mating behavior of the side-blotched-lizard species Uta stansburiana. When we're not drinking during rehearsal, mating or playing Ro Sham Bo, we sing nicely.
Slammin All Body Band is a powerhouse sextet from Oakland, CA, performing a fresh mix of a cappella singing, beatboxing and body music. Deeply rooted in Jazz, Funk, R&B and World Music grooves, this ferociously talented ensemble creates soulful sounds infused with infectious harmonies and lightening-fast improvisations, percussively punctuated by beatboxing and body music -- the kinetic component that sets SLAMMIN apart and on the cutting edge of a cappella performance.
In December 2008, Los Angeles vocal collective Sonos debuted at the Hotel Cafe with an "intimate, yet scorching performance... brimming with fiery fervor, major dynamics and sexual tension" (Deli Magazine LA ). The group breathes new life into a cappella , giving the genre "a contemporary makeover... prepare to be stunned" (The Guardian UK) on their debut SONOSings, available September 15 on Verve Forecast, on which the group combines a rich, classically choral sensibility with their ultra-modern repertoire and sonic toolkit.
Sonos's imaginative approach has already won plaudits from such tastemakers as Chris Douridas of L.A. bellwether station KCRW-FM, who praised Sonos's "innovative vocal arrangements" and "inspired repertoire, supremely delivered."
SoundStage constantly impresses audiences both at home and abroad with their tight, unexpected harmonies and passionate delivery. Founded in 2006, their 2008 win of the LA Regional Harmony sweepstakes has catapulted them to appear on ABC's "The View" as well as a touring headline performance for the 2009 International Contemporary A Cappella Festival in Taipei, Taiwan. Their consistent jazz sensibility (with an infusion of funk) has taken them from shopping malls, to professional sporting events, to international conferences, to high school auditoriums, to county fairs, and local churches, where they have been described as "the white, suburban step-child of Take 6 and Earth, Wind, and Fire."
SoVoSo is a highly imaginative a cappella ensemble that sings a unique, rhythmic mix of jazz, gospel, world and R&B music, all rendered in their trademark improvisational style.
The SoVoSo repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective, from Afro-Latin idioms to traditional funk and jazz arrangements. Two SoVoSo members (Joey Blake, past member, and current member David Worm) are current members of Bobby McFerrin's a cappella group, Voicestra, performing with him from 1993 to present.
Currently you will see David Worm, Sunshine Becker, Bryan Dyer and Zoe Ellis in this vocal band line-up, along with other great singers such as Nicolas Bearde, Ashling Cole and Vernon Bush. The SoVoSo family of singers continues to expand as this one of a kind musical project grows and flourishes.
Talisman A Cappella was founded by Stanford University students to research and perform culturally substantive music. From its inception in October 1989, Talisman has been committed to the belief that harmoniously blending cultures of diverse origins creates the richest and most beautiful experience both in music and in life. Thus the group embraces varied musical genres and traditions, celebrating cultures not ordinarily represented by vocal ensembles.
To challenge social and political injustice with both its music and its message has been an ambition central to Talisman since the group's founding. In its fourth and fifth seasons, not only was Talisman asked to sing for Nelson Mandela during his visit to Stanford University, the group also perfomed at a memorial service for Amy Biehl, a Stanford student slain while in South Africa promoting women's rights. The music from that service was later featured on the ABC news magazine program Turning Point.
"Multicoloured, poetical, inventive, and literally without boundaries, two men and two women clearly dare to compete in the land of Zap Mama".
A Brussels-based vocal group represent the melting pot the Brussels music-scene is rapidly changing into at this fieverish fin-de-siecle. Of French, Guayanese, Morrocon and Zairese extraction, TAM 'ECHO' TAM rely on their solid mastering of vocal expression to create an eclectic repertoire bringing in elements from gospel, jazz, african roots-music, french chanson and American folk-bop.
Created in 1993 with with the only goal singing "with the other", TAM 'ECHO' TAM in the first place is an encounter of four sensiblities, of four voices. Obvious instruments, TAM 'ECHO' TAM's voices explore most playfully a cappella singing, looking for a natural and direct communication.
Throat is a collective of singer-musicians that perform original music. Hard-rocking beats, cerebral songwriting and a full, in-your-face band sound...that just happens to all be produced without instruments. Throat is a vocal band that sings 100% original music. Influenced by great rock groups of the past 50 years, as well as the pioneers of the contemporary a cappella vocal band movement, THROAT is dedicated to performing fresh, rocking music for the masses.
In 1998, Toxic Audio launched its quirky show in an abandoned storefront at the Orlando International Fringe Festival. To their amazement, people began cramming into that storefront to see them. The show caught the attention of Disney executives who hired them as featured performers at the Disney/MGM Studios. Soon after, the group was crowned champion at the National Harmony Sweepstakes in California.
In the year 2003, Toxic Audio's album, Chemistry was named "Album of the Year" by the Contemporary Acappella Society of America. The group has made national TV appearances with Ed McMahon and Wayne Brady, and even got to sing a reggae-style weather report on ESPN2's morning show "Cold Pizza". Toxic Audio won the 2004 Drama Desk Award for "Unique Theatrical Experience" for their Off-Broadway Show in New York's John Houseman Theatre where they continue to electrify audiences by exploring the boundaries of the human voice.
Formed in 1997, it made history in 1999 with Singapore's first a cappella musical, No Strings Attached, featured during Action Theatre's 42-day arts festival.
The year 2000 was another watershed year for the group. In May of that year, Vocaluptuous produced its very own musical cum concert, which played to full houses for all three nights. The musical showcased not just their singing talents, but writing, acting and dancing abilities as well! Reviews were very positive and encouraging, with audiences clamouring for more.
Vocaluptuous has been the only local group nominated for Best Holiday Song (Joyful/Joy to the World) by the international Contemporary A Cappella Society (CASA) for the Recording awards (CARA) in 2002.
Vybration was formed in 2001 to perform at Disney's California Adventure under the name "Groove 66". The band quickly became the park's most popular atmosphere group. Its members are some of the most powerful, versatile, and in demand vocalists in all of Southern California with resume credits spanning from broadway, television, and film, to orignial rock bands, and pioneering modern music projects. Vybration is unlike many acapella sextets out there, covering a variety of music that includes traditional jazz tunes like Blue Skies and Fly Me to the Moon, rock n roll songs like Lenny Kravitz's Fly Away, pop hits such as Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Startin Something and many many more. All that have witnessed the magic in music that Vybration creates can tell you that, "Vybration is a force to be reckoned with!"