In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
One of the most popular music forms of the last century, jazz comes in many styles, from the all-instrumental and accompanied to our favorite - vocal. It's an art form that is so identified with the United States, and yet so much great jazz comes from talented groups around the world. Doesn't matter, though, because Jazz transcends language and national borders - warm, luscious tones, smooth sounds and powerful, emotive chords are great anywhere. And vocal jazz is just the icing on a very smooth and delightful cake.
Displaying 1 - 50 of 67 items.
A Cappella ExpreSSS is a professional a cappella group from Russia, consisting of six members: soprano Elena Nazarova, tenor Max Kostra, soprano Katya Nadareishvily, baritone Anton Kasatkin, Etery Beriashvily and bass Andrey Tunik.
The ensemble was founded in March 2002. On August 17, 2002 they performed for the first time in the Moscow art-club Nostalgie. In the next year, the group recorded their first album, Magic Moments. In 2006 they signed a contract with Universal Music.
A large portion of the songs they perform are well-known international and Russian hits, Russian folksongs, and their own interpretation of classical music. However, they also compose and sing their own songs.
Howard University's premier vocal jazz ensemble, Afro Blue was formed in the spring of 2002. Since its inception, this dynamic jazz choir has quickly gained national attention.
In 2003, Afro Blue received the Downbeat Magazine Award for Best College Jazz Group. The following year they received another Downbeat Award for Outstanding College Jazz Choir. In 2007, Howard University graduate student Quincy Phillips also won a Downbeat Award for Best College Jazz Arrangement for his treatment of the Dietz and Schwartz standard "Alone Together," which he arranged specifically for Afro Blue.
Afro Blue has performed at many prestigious venues in and around Washington, DC, including the Library of Congress, the Carmichael Auditorium at the National Museum of American History, the State Department, the Lincoln Theatre, the Warner Theatre, the Japanese Cultural and Exchange Center, Twins Jazz Club, and HR-57.
The American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Arthur Lapierre has been in existence for 13 years. American River College is a two-year institute of learning in the Los Rios Community College District in Sacramento, California. During this time the Vocal Jazz Ensemble has received 7 DownBeat Awards from DownBeat Magazine. Most recently, in 2010, the ensemble won the Best Undergraduate Vocal Jazz Ensemble Award for their newly released CD; Your Eyes. The ensemble has previously appeared before the International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in Toronto, Long Beach, and New York. In 2010 the ensemble appeared before the ACDA Western Division Conference. In March of 20111 the ensemble will sing before the national conference in Chicago.
An Octave Above is a group of eight professional vocalists who blend years of experience and a love of a cappella harmony to every style of music they sing. From doo-wop to jazz, standards to pop, Bacharach to The Beatles, An Octave Above creates a new standard for excellence on the Chicago music scene.
Also members of prestigious Chicago-area choral ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Chorus, An Octave Above members hold degrees from Elmhurst College, Northern Illinois University, Bradley University, University of Illinois at Champaign, Western Michigan and the University of Miami.
Built in 1999 by musician and conductor Hiran Monteiro, Banda de Boca has built a history of success throughout his career. Initially formed by six musicians, singers, now the band has four male voices and one female, who use excellence with the vocal resources they have in common. The Banda de Boca is one of the most original Brazilian music news emerged in recent times. The band has strong characteristics as the reproduction of the original sounds of instruments with his voice, like guitar, bass, percussion, drums, violins, cellos, horns, accordions and even the prosaic triangle. They master the art of making music without using instruments.
In 2002, the group has won national recognition by participating in St. Paul, V PRIZE FOR VISA MPB - Vocal Edition, competing with two thousand candidates across the country and winning the second place. In 2004 he released his first CD, with support from the Department of Culture and Tourism of the State of Bahia, through the record label Sounds of Bahia.
Baravox has existed in its current setting since 1999. In 2001 the group released the CD "We're going up" which was distributed internationally. Later the same year the group won the European Vocal Grand Prix in Tampere, Finland (won the previous year by Finish group Rajaton). In 2003 Baravox was appointed Swedish vocal group of the year at a ceremony at Fashing, Stockholm. The group has toured within Sweden and Europe, performed at numerous festivals and TV-shows and conducted many workshops and clinics.
"Beachfront" is not a piece of real estate along the ocean, but it is a hot property nonetheless. Described as sounding like "Manhattan Transfer" meets "Take 6," their smooth singing style combines the rich sounds of jazz with the fun and energy of pop music. They have shared the stage with Mel Torme, "The Four Freshman," "The Hi-los," Kenny Rankin, Crystal Lewis, "The Brothers Four" and "Emerson, Lake & Palmer." The success of Beachfront Property is found not only in a successful blending of harmonies, but in a blending of personalities.
"Not everyone can sing in a group like this," says Tom Dustman, Beachfront's artistic director and bass vocalist. "It takes a special person to give, and give, and give." The object is to entertain while also preserving some of America's most beloved classics, he says. "No one person is the star." Achieving this feat takes a great deal of effort and a lot of self-control, as the key is to blend the voices. Beachfront's four-part blend is spun out in seemingly effortless fashion creating mellow and exciting, woven-together-like-cloth chords that treat the listener to arrangements of familiar songs with a whole new sound.
Four seasoned jazz singer, who previously made a name soloist, above all do together and pay homage to the group sound - four singers, four voices blend into a sound.
The press now says: "One of the most vocal groups span be the Republic." (Zitty) or "New Sound of fresh throats! ... You can expect a lot from this new jazz quartet from Berlin. "(Berliner Morgenpost)
For all the vocal harmony, the four are united not always vigorously debating and struggling together for the best sound. This positive voltage is transmitted to the music of Berlin Voices.
The group draws the possibility of a deep personal and musical familiarity: Esther Kaiser, Marc Secara and Kristofer Benn sang in 1998 in the Vocal Section of the Federal Jazz Orchestra (BuJazzO) under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer. During the joint vocal studies at the jazz department of the Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" under Prof. Judy Niemack (USA) and Prof. Jiggs Whigham (USA) they learn about Sarah Kaiser and exist in its current form since 2000. All complete their studies with the highest rating a major in singing.
On the 11th of March, 1950, Bobby McFerrin was born. His parents were classical singers and he began to study music theory early on in his life. His family then moved to Los Angeles. During high school and then in College, UCSC, he focused on the piano. Once he finished college, Bobby McFerrin toured with numerous bands including the Ice Follies.
However, it was only in 1977 that Bobby McFerrin decide to become a singer. At one point he met Bill Cosby who arranged for him take part in the 1980 Playboy Jazz Festival. It was only two years later where he released his firm album called "Bobby McFerrin" in 1982. It was in 1983, that Bobby McFerrin started converting without a band. This eventually led him to make a solo tour in Germany. It was in Germany that he recorded his album "The Voice". From that point on, he continued to make solo tours in the most prestigious locations. It is also important to realize that Bobby McFerrin worked with several important people like Garrison Keillor, Jack Nicholson, and Joe Zawinul. On "Another Night in Tunisia", Bobby McFerrin won two Grammies.
McFerrin was also featured in TV commercials for Levi's and Ocean Spray and also ended up singing the theme song for the Cosby Show and the movie Round Midnight by Bertrand Tavernier which got hum another Grammy. By now, Bobby McFerrin had achieved a great deal of success as a vocal and had released his platinum album Simple Pleasures which included the hit "Don't Worry be Happy".
One of the all-time greatest jazz vocal groups, the Boswell Sisters, Martha, Vet and Connee, began their career in the vaudeville houses of New Orleans. Connee, paralyzed from the waist down by a childhood accident (though her disability was often attributed to polio), always performed sitting down. Gifted musicians as well as singers, the sisters also worked at a local radio station, performing classical and semi-classical instrumentals. (Martha played piano, Vet played violin, banjo and guitar, and Connee played cello, saxophone and guitar.) Their careers took off when the radio station gave them a daily singing program.
BR6 has a story that is similar to that of other Brazilian vocal groups: singer-friends who know other singers and get together to make a vocal group. Unlike so many others who did it with voice and guitar, the group (6 musicians and arrangers with elaborate musical schooling) picked the most difficult way of making vocal music: without any instruments.
The group was influenced by the history of various generations of Brazilian vocal groups and by the first recording of the group Take 6, at the beginning of the 90s, a recording that changed the direction of international vocal music. Crismarie Hackenberg (mezzo), Deco Fiori (tenor), Andre Protasio (baritone), Marcelo Caldi (tenor), Simo (bass) and Naife Simoes (Vocal Percussion) go after two dreams: foment the creation of the market for Brazilian a cappella music and reverence national vocal music with their talent and creativity. On this same road, BR6 sums up the efforts of many groups, but stands out as pioneer in the art of making music without instruments, opening the way for new generations, that will certainly come.
Clockwork is a vocal quartet who sing mostly close-harmony jazz but also our own twists on pop and rock tunes.
Clockwork, an award-winning San Francisco based vocal ensemble with a signature sound and style, performs a banquet of music from funk to gospel and R&B to standards. Rooted in the tradition of great vocal jazz groups such as the Hi-Lo's and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, the Clockwork "sound" draws inspiration from all styles. As the great Duke Ellington said, "If it sounds good, it is good."
Experienced in both accompanied and a cappella performing, the group has arrangements for duos, trios and an 18-piece big band. Members of Clockwork have performed live with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo's , Meredith Monk, Don Shelton, Gene Puerling, Barbara Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, John Zorn, Barbara Morrison, Kent Nagano with the Deutches Symphonie Orchester and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The PM Singers, Heatwave, GQ, Barbara Lynn, Richie Cole, M-Pact!, the House Jacks, Boyz Nite Out, InFusion, Vocal Flight, and on Ward Swingle's Instructional video "Swingle Singing."
Considered among the best vocal groups in Italy, the clusters were established in 2004 with the idea of 5 students of the Conservatorio Niccolo Paganini. In recent years the group has performed throughout Italy and abroad, distinguished by its unique style that combines elements of jazz, pop and fusion.
Their 2008/09 tour dates and counted over seventy brought the group to perform on stage some of the most important musical events in the country, including: Umbria Jazz Festival, The Blue Note Milan, Feronia Festival, Bordighera Jazz & Blues Festival Lavagnino, Alpe Adria Cantat, Musicomic For Children, Palazzo Ducale Genoa, Veneto Jazz Festival, Sing Sing Festival Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome.
In some ways Comedian Harmonists might be called the first German boy group. Inspired by the American group 'The Revelers', Harry Frommermann published an ad in a local newspaper, auditioned and finally founded an ensemble consisting of 3 tenors, a baritone, a bass and a pianist.
After considerable training they met with initial success and rose to immense popularity. Sold out shows, records and movie appearances crowned their success.
However, the advent of Hitler's regime smashed their plans, as three group members were Jewish. They split and both parts tried to repeat the success with replacements - the Jewish members in the United States and the other three in Germany. Neither of them succeeded.
Cool & Jazzy, vocal a cappella group, the Winner of Ward Swingle Award, laureate and winner of international contests and festivals, promotes the live, dynamic and energetic music ranging from classic to house, including jazz, jazz-rock, fusion, latino, pop, rock, folk and buff with show elements. We sing in main world languages like English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Yiddish, Ukrainian and Georgian. We create our own arrangements that possess the label "made by Cool & Jazzy".
Voce is the premier vocal jazz ensemble at Cuesta Community College in California. Since it's inception in 1981, the ensemble has toured extensively through the West Coast and has toured Europe eight times. Voce has received numerous awards including an Outstanding Performance Award from Downbeat Magazine, First Place at the 1998 Reno Jazz Festival, Second Place at the 2003 Reno Jazz Festival, and invitations to perform at the 26th and 30th Annual Conferences of the International Association of Jazz Educators in 1998 and 2003. In 2005 Voce was one of three vocal jazz ensembles from the nation that performed, by special invitation, at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association. Voce also traveled to Europe in 2005 with the Cuesta Chamber Singers. The tour included two performances at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Voce returned to Europe in summer 2008 to perform at the Festival en Provence in France. Voce has recently released two CDs, "Just One of Those Things," in April 2007 and "Timepieces" in January 2008.
Down 4 The Count began in 2003, when six CSU Northridge students in the University's vocal jazz ensemble found they shared a common interest: wanting to sing ensemble vocal jazz without those pesky instrumentalists: in other words, A Cappella! Since that time, Down 4 The Count has won multiple awards (including three song-arrangement awards and 1st place at the 2009 San Diego A Cappella Competition) and they have performed at venues all over the greater Los Angeles and San Diego area, including the Jazz Bakery, The Coach House, The Coffee Gallery Backstage, San Diego IndieFest, and many more. They have opened for both Rockapella and for Sixthwave. Their debut album, released in 2008, is for sale at Singers.com, on iTunes, Amazon, and probably several more. Although the group line-up has changed significantly since its inception, D4TC still features original arrangements with a distinctly jazz flavor.
Fifth Avenue is a bright, fresh, musical group - mostly because they don't know any better. They hit the scene in June of 1983 and dazzled audiences with their tight, pure harmonies and delightful sense of fun. Within a year they were appearing before 45,000 people in a two-hour concert at the Spokane World's Fair Park. They have also worked with such artists as Bill Cosby and Jerry Lee Lewis, and did a tour to Japan and China aboard the Royal Viking Star cruse ship.
After three great years they decided to take a bit of a hiatus. So they did...for nine years. This hiatus involved starting families, establishing private businesses, doing the 9 to 5 routine, entering and exiting a witness protection program, etc., but each member continued to develop his musical chops. But hey! Now, The Ave is back together and they're more fuel efficient, economical, and they have more RAM. Recently, Fifth Avenue has performed for enthusiastic audiences at the Boise State jazz festival, the Casper College jazz festival, the Frank DeMiero Jazz Camp and the 1998 International Association of Jazz Educators conference. They also had the pleasure of performing at the 1999 Boise Summer Riverfest, in concert with a jazz big band. Their audience included over 100,000 listeners in attendance, as well as countless more watching on live television. Between these engagements they've performed at colleges, conventions, and a couple of places that they'd rather not talk about.
The Christian a cappella group, First Call, have reinvigorated the familiar Christmas classics with fresh arrangements and sincere renditions of the old favorites. Appearances by guest vocalists and multi-tracking allow for a multiplicity of textures and sounds. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" will rekindle good will toward all in even the most cynical holiday Grinch. "The New Twelve Days of Christmas" replaces the partridge and pear tree with shopping malls and choir rehearsals, and segues brilliantly into "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." The shimmering, pure vocal tones are augmented by the crisp, digital production. This is an "Evening" you won't want to miss!
Five By Design's signature harmonies have withstood the test of time in a career that stands out on America's musical landscape, spanning more than fifteen years. This nationally-acclaimed vocal quintet has been the choice of symphony orchestras and performing art centers delighting hundreds of thousands.
But Five By Design's creative talents go far beyond their vocal prowess. As the creative talent behind Radio Days, Club Swing, and Stay Tuned, their productions showcase the group's penchant for storytelling and the comedic. Whether backed by symphony orchestra or studio big band, Five By Design embraces the unforgettable melodies, lush harmonies, and swinging rhythms that evoke the names of Miller, Mancini and Mercer.
The Four Freshmen were one of the top vocal groups of the 1950s, and formed the bridge between '40s ensembles like Mel-Tones and harmony-based rock & roll bands such as the Beach Boys as well as groups like Spanky & Our Gang and the Manhattan Transfer. The group's roots go back to the end of the 1940s and a barbershop quartet-influenced outfit called Hal's Harmonizers, organized at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Butler University in Indiana by two brothers, Ross and Don Barbour. Their repertoire centered on standards such as "Moonglow" and "The Christmas Song," and they began to show an unusually free, improvisational approach to their harmony singing. A couple of membership changes brought Bob Flanigan, a cousin, into the fold alongside Hal Kratzsch, and suddenly the Four Freshmen were assembled in all but name, and that fell into place a little later.
The Gold Company Program is widely recognized as one of the most successful and prestigious collegiate vocal jazz programs in the world. The award-winning ensembles perform a wide variety of repertoire which covers all styles in the contemporary vocal idiom. Gold Company has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and South Africa. The groups have appeared at Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, the World Symposium on Choral Music, the national conventions of MENC and IAJE, and divisional and national conventions of ACDA, as well as performing at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and the 1st Annual Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Festival. Gold Company has also appeared with guest artists including Bobby McFerrin, Janis Siegel, Mark Murphy, Rosemary Clooney, Kurt Elling, The Manhattan Transfer, Jon Hendricks, Darmon Meader, and Don Shelton and Bonnie Herman of The Singers Unlimited.
Good Company is a seven-member vocal group based out of Midland, Michigan. They began singing together in 1999. Their repertoire covers classical to jazz with an emphasis on contemporary vocal harmonies and blends; Good Company is under the direction of Jim Hohmeyer. They have performed with Steve Zegree's Jazz Quartet from Western Michigan University and opened for the well-known Michigan Comedy Ensemble "Three Men and a Tenor", Kirby Shaw's vocal group "Just 4 Kicks", the fabulous "Four Freshmen" and for Doc Severinson and his big band on the MCFTA stage. In 2004, they were one of three vocal jazz groups invited to perform in Los Angeles for the ACDA National Conference.
Infectious grooves, stunning arrangements, and electrifying solos are just some of the phrases used to describe Seattle based vocal group Groove For Thought. Since 1998, GFT has brought their unique brand of jazz and R&B infused tunes to festival, concert, school, and nightclub audiences throughout the United States and abroad.
Groove Society, formed by Bianca Herbert & Joe Herbert, is an award winning vocal jazz sextet that is among the top rising stars on the world a cappella scene. In 2006, the group was named "Vocal Group of the Year" by the JPF International Music Awards, as well as being honored for "Best A Cappella Album", and "Best A Cappella Song". And in 2007, Groove Society received the prestigious "IAJE Award for Outstanding Service to Jazz Education" at the International Association for Jazz Education convention in New York City.
With the release of their critically acclaimed debut CD, Groove Society is receiving airplay on major-market jazz and NPR stations from coast to coast and around the world. They have appeared at international jazz festivals across the Mainland U.S., Hawaii, and Canada, sharing the billing with, and/or opening for top artists including Bonnie Raitt, Herbie Hancock, Bobby McFerrin, The Neville Brothers, Eddie Palmieri, Paquito D'Rivera, Freddy Cole, Patty Austin, The Rippingtons, Bobby Hutcherson, Jimmy Heath, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dr. John, The Bad Plus, Paul Taylor, Nelson Rangell, Soulive, Styx, and many more!
One of the most innovative jazz/pop vocal groups of all time, the pioneering Hi-Lo's influenced countless pop, R&B, and doo wop groups from the '50s right up to the present.
They formed in December 1953 when Gene Puerling of Milwaukee and friend Bob Strasen met Clark Burroughs and Bob Morse. The latter two were vocalists with the Encores, the vocal group for the Billy May Band. When Billy's band stopped traveling, the Hi-Lo's were born. Reportedly named because of their extreme vocal and physical ranges (Strasen and Morse were tall, Gene and Clark were short), the Hi-Lo's practiced at Clark and Gene's Los Angeles apartment, refining their revolutionary voicings. The group were themselves influenced by such artists as The Four Freshmen, The Modernaires, and Mel Torme's Mel-Tones.
High Five is an award winning, mixed voice, 5-part, a cappella jazz quintet from the Baltimore-Washington area creating music and fun wherever music lovers can be found. With more than a century of combined musical experience, this full-chord sound and tight harmonies are indicative of their unique style. This, combined with an undisputable jazz influence & champion arranger, makes Janet, Christy, Lori, Joe and Mike the ensemble that is unmistakably High Five.
When Hudson Shad gave their German debut in the summer of 1995 they were hailed as the first equal heirs to the Comedian Harmonists by national news magazine Der Stern. This statement has since been repeated many times by the German media - TV, radio and print, both national and local. During three tours and several guest performances Hudson Shad has been welcomed with an enthusiasm as if the prodigal sons had come home. They have sold out prestigious houses like the Theater des Westens in Berlin, the Prinzregenten Theater in Munich and Gewandhaus in Leipzig. On a different occasion in Munich their shows had to be transferred from the medium-sized Lustspiel-haus to the larger Zirkus Krone. What sets Hudson Shad apart from other groups of their genre is first of all their musical professionalism.
The Idea of North defies categorisation. As a quartet of musicians, their voices are their instruments: soprano, alto, tenor and bass, with a bit of vocal percussion thrown in. Their sound and style is distinct, yet they cross many musical genres: jazz, pop, folk, gospel, even comedy.
Their arrangements are extraordinary. They take songs you know and songs you don't and create songs you'll love. But it's not just about the music:
"A pitch-perfect ensemble negotiating complex modulations with ease, constant seamless transition between lead and accompaniment parts, and the whole thing strung together by low-key, humorous conversational patter..." The Courier-Mail
Inner Voicesare Los Angeles-based session singers led by vocal arranger Morgan Ames. They have been performing together since the 80s. They have been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, have toured Japan, performed on KCET, KTLA Morning News, the Jim Belushi Show and many others. They have recorded albums for Rhino, Laurel, Song River and Japanese Victor. They have performed for the Juvenile Diabetes Association, the Betty Ford Center, the Society of Singers, the AME Church and twice for President Reagan. They have sung and/or recorded with Kenny Loggins, David Benoit, Dave Grusin, Johnny Mathis, Dori Caymmi, Smokey Robinson and others. Each Christmas season they perform their highly acclaimed, sold out a cappella show in Los Angeles.
Between them, they have performed, recorded and/or toured with almost every major artist in the business.
Jon Hendricks (born September 16, 1921) is an American jazz lyricist and singer. He is considered one of the originators of vocalese, which adds lyrics to existing instrumental songs and replaces many instruments with vocalists (such as the big band arrangements of Duke Ellington and Count Basie). Furthermore, he is considered one of the best practitioners of scat singing, which involves vocal jazz soloing. For his work as a lyricist, jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather called him the "Poet Laureate of Jazz" while Time dubbed him the "James Joyce of Jive." Al Jarreau has called him "pound-for-pound the best jazz singer on the planet-maybe that's ever been".
Born in 1921 in Newark, Ohio, young Jon and his 14 siblings were moved many times, following their father's assignments as an A.M.E. pastor, before settling permanently in Toledo. As a teenager, Jon's first interest was in the drums, but before long he was singing on the radio regularly with another Toledo native, pianist Art Tatum.
Four uniquely talented and musically successful vocalists from the West Coast, each with independent careers in the music industry, were thrust together at several Northwest jazz festivals in 1993, and a quartet emerged! Just 4 Kicks' Kirby Shaw, from Ashland, Oregon, is one of the most well-known choral and vocal jazz composers/arrangers of our time. Randy Crenshaw is among the first-call studio singers and arrangers in Los Angeles. Four Freshmen alumnus Kirk Marcy directs the internationally-acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble Soundsation at Edmonds Community College, just north of Seattle. Vijay Singh, widely known for his versatility as a composer, arranger, soloist, and director of the vocal jazz program at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, rounds out the quartet.
In 1962 Ross, tired of touring, called it quits. Lambert and Hendricks choose Yolande Bavan for the impossible job of replacing Ross. Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan recorded three albums for RCA. None were as successful as those of the previous trio, and the group broke up in 1964. Sadly, Dave Lambert was killed in a car accident in 1966. Jon Hendricks continues to perform. Annie Ross also continued singing and working in films. Though they only graced the musical landscape for a few short years, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross left an indelible mark in the world of vocal jazz that has yet to be equaled to this day.
The group was not long-lasting. Due to Perrin's health problems (she had contracted tuberculosis in 1949), Les Double Six dissolved in 1966. They recorded four albums between 1959 and 1964. Many members of the group went on to join the Swingle Singers, which notably reproduced the works of Bach in the jazz vocal style.
The Double Six were nominated for Best Vocal Group Performance at the 1965 Grammy Awards for their LP The Double Six of Paris Sing Ray Charles, and were beaten by The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night.
Hailed "one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world" by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected worldwide as a cutting edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music. Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based sextet has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature's "first instrument" - the human voice.
From the beginning, the "pact" of these well-studied masters has been to stay true to Music, regardless of style or genre. Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, including "Vocal Group of the Year" from the LA Music Awards, an Indie nomination (the Independent GrammyTM), "Artist of the Year" (Seattle Music Awards), and Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition.
The Manhattan Transfer are the New York easy listening band, formed in 1972 by Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, Laurel Masse and Tim Hauser.
They had their initial success in the US with their self-titled debut album, and the single "Operator". Their next few releases had a greater impact on the charts in the UK, where single "Chanson D'Amour" from Coming Out went to No.1.
The 1979 Extensions album began a golden period for the group in the US. The album features a cover of jazz group Weather Reports' "Birdland". It won Manhattan Transfer the Grammy for Best Jazz Fusion Performance and is now considered the bands' signature tune. Subsequent releases would garner the band a long list of plaudits, with Mecca for Moderns providing Grammy Awards for "Boy From New York City", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "Until I Met You".
In 1983 the group had success in the R&B charts with the "Spice of Life", a top five performer from the Bodies and Souls album, which also featured fan favourite "Mystery". They hit a peak with Vocalese, the album generated 12 Grammy nominations which, at the time, was second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller album. Brasil earned the band a Grammy for Best Pop Performance, but this was to mark the end of the run, as subsequent releases have not done as well. The band still tour and have a loyal following.
They unite their creative ideas and talents; presenting their original compositions and resetting them for five voices. You are likely to hear standards, poetry, original music and spontaneous improvisation under one umbrella - MOSS.
Peter Eldridge and Lauren Kinhan are members of the Grammy award winning New York Voices and also have their own solo projects of original music; Theo Bleckmann is one of the vocal magicians with Meredith Monk and his own genre-bending work; Kate McGarry has been gracing New Yorkers with her soulful timbre for many years; Luciana Souza is seen all over the world in all her incarnations, Brazilian, Jazz, and Poetry inspired.
New York Voices is the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble renowned for their excellence in jazz and the art of group singing. Like the great groups that have come before, such as Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Singers Unlimited, Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, they have learned from the best and taken the art form to new levels. Their interests are rooted in jazz, but often Brazilian, R & B, classical, and pop influences are included with equal creativity and authenticity. The group was formed in 1987 by Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, Kim Nazarian, Caprice Fox and Sara Krieger. By way of explanation, Darmon, Peter, Kim and Caprice attended Ithaca College in NY and were part of an invitational alumni group formed to tour the European Jazz Festivals in the summer of '86. As a result of this exciting experience, the idea of forming a professional group was born.
OneVoice is the flagship ensemble of the vocal jazz program at Millikin University. Begun in 1986 by the group's musical director and keyboardist, Stephen Widenhofer, OneVoice is one of two vocal jazz groups at Millikin University. OneVoice has been specially recognized by DOWN BEAT magazine several times and has been invited to perform at various educational conferences and collegiate jazz festivals in the United States. Last year the ensemble was one of two vocal jazz ensembles featured at the national convention of the American Choral Director's Association in Oklahoma City. OneVoice regularly tours regionally and has toured the Dominican Republic on three different occasions.
Formed in 1982 by students of the esteemed director Phil Mattson, members of the P.M. Singers became identified with the Phil Mattson School and many have gone on to great professional and academic success in their own right. (Two examples are Joe Finetti, who now sings with The Bobs, and Michele Weir, a respected educator and arranger.) This mixed group has the talent and range to master the most technical of charts, as well as the warmth and emotion to stir the heart-witness"A Child Is Born," with a facile piano accompaniment by Phil Mattson himself, who plays keyboards throughout. Many of the arrangements allow one voice to solo, adding and subtracting harmonies for interest and variety. "I'll Be Seeing You" is a cappella and allows the melody to shine, gradually opening up the song with a frugal harmony that never interferes, but builds to a subtle crescendo and then resolves to an elegant closing cadence, the lead voice holding the final note while the lower parts complete the subject. A pleasure to listen to and a model of arranging virtuosity.
Founded in 1980 by Artistic Director Richard Grant, the Pacific Mozart Ensemble (PME) delivers passionate, expert and engaging choral performances of music from Brahms to Brubeck to the Beach Boys. During its time, PME has grown to fill an important role in the cultural life of the San Francisco Bay Area, presenting courageous and innovative programs of many works that have never been performed in concert settings. In 2005, the group's 25th anniversary season, PME named Dr. Lynne Morrow, one of the Bay Area's leading musical figures, as the group's Music Director.
PME is perhaps best known for its collaborations with contemporary composers and artists, including John Adams, Dave Brubeck, David Lang, Meredith Monk, The American Bach Soloists, Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The Oakland East Bay Symphony, and many others. PME was nominated for a "Best Choral Performance" Grammy Award in 2006 for the Harmonia Mundi recording of Bernstein's Mass with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester under the direction of Kent Nagano.
Over the years, jazz has seen its share of talented vocal groups --New York Voices, Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Andy Bey & the Bey Sisters, and Beachfront Property are among the names that immediately come to mind. All of those groups had two-gender formats, and rarely do you find a jazz-oriented vocal outfit with an all-female lineup; Pastiche is such a rarity. Consisting of singers Jenny Meltzer, Sandy Cressman, and Becky West, the female trio brings a jazz foundation to this self-titled debut album. But having a jazz foundation doesn't necessarily mean being a jazz purist or a jazz snob, and Pastiche is an appropriate name for the Bay Area threesome because Meltzer, Cressman, and West obviously have a variety of influences -- not only jazz vocal outfits like Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and New York Voices, but also everything from soul and pop to Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and Caribbean music. Stevie Wonder has influenced some of the writing, and so has the Manhattan Transfer.
Powerful, entertaining and bursting with energy, this contemporary a cappella octet blends familiar sounds to create its own expression of American vocal music. The ensemble's voices -- pairs of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses -- combine in rich harmony to create a seamless blend of sound. Saluting the boundless and unpredictable American spirit, Pieces of 8 combines classical music influences with the sounds of jazz, pop, rock, Reggae, doo-wop, gospel and soul to create a multilayered, nearly orchestral texture. Pieces of 8 was founded by Charles Mead, the ensembles artistic director, with support from the Professional Studies Program at the St. Louis Symphony Community Music School (formerly the St. Louis Conservatory and School for the Arts).
PUST means breath in Norwegian. It also means to take a break, to get away, to breathe. You can hold it too, but that's not a very good idea when you're singing.
PUST is six skilled singers based in Oslo. The group's key qualities are versatility, creativity and "voiceplay" in addition to improvisation combined with a high level of musicianship. The singers are highly scholared and music-educated, with long experience from various vocal ensembles.
PUST finds inspiration somewhere between folksong, jazz and ethnic vocal music. Tradition and innovation are a part of the groups musical expression. All compositions and arrangements are written for or by the group.
Quintessence is an Ottawa-based group of six singers who specialise in a cappella performances of a wide variety of repertoire from big-band through to hits of recent years, as well as some original material. The group was originally formed in 1985 under the name of 'The Ottawa Jazz Choral,' and has developed a distinctive style to create melody, accompaniment and even percussion, all from only six voices. Many of the vocal arrangements that they perform are tailor-made to their voices by arrangers from within the group. Their influences include 'Manhattan Transfer,' Take Six,' the Swingle Singers,' 'Les Double Six,' and 'The Real Group.' Their performances include pieces ranging from Glenn Miller to George Gershwin, and from Bach to the Beach Boys. Quintessence has performed at a wide variety of engagements in Ontario and Quebec, as well as in Geneva, Switzerland and Sacramento, California. They have performed with Rosemary Clooney, Carol Welsman, The Canadian Symphonic Pops Orchestra, and the Bel Canto Wind Quintet. Their main aim is to have fun exploring the a cappella vocal medium!
This Los Angeles-based vocal jazz group has been singing together since 2003, and has developed a loyal and enthusiastic following for its unique A Cappella style and lively personality. The group's sound has been described as "compelling," "mesmerizing," and "a cocktail for the ears!" The foursome, who describe themselves as "self-confessed chord freaks", share a passion for "dangerously close harmonies" and "songs that can melt the heart!" A powerful combination indeed!
The Group Members: Caroline McLean, the group's lead singer, hails from Leeds, England.Kate Walker, alto, originates from beautiful Christchurch, New Zealand.Peter Neushul, tenor, is a native Los Angelino (claiming to be a descendent of Attila the Hun!). Jim Campbell, bass, has been singing professionally since 1991 when he moved to Los Angeles from Louisville, KY.
The Real Group is a professional a cappella ensemble from Sweden, in constant development since the formation 24 years ago. TRG is one of the leading forces in the world of vocal music today.
Through the years, the members have been engaged in a variety of activities - concert performances, events, CD/DVD-recordings, song-writing, arranging, score publishing, CD-production for other artists, master-classes/workshops, seminars, etcetera.
The Real Group has been groundbreaking in the vocal group genre. Early in the group's 25-year history an own style was developed, with compositions and arrangements by the group members. TRG has procuced a large number of records, dvd's, concert tours, TV programs, and has been (and are) artistic directors of two vocal group festivals: The Real A Cappella Festival in Sweden (2008), and Amazing Voice in South Korea (2007, 2008). Recently a CD was released, with compositions by legendary Swedish song writer Povel Ramel.
Formed in 2000 Riltons Vanner has performed in a variety of different settings - ranging from singing for Nobel Prize winners at a dinner for 60 persons to performing at an outdoor stage in Germany in front of 6000 people. Thanks to their singing they had the opportunity to visit many beautiful places in Sweden, but have also been to more "remote" places as Tammerfors (Finland), Steinkjer (Norway), Bamberg (Germany) and New York (USA). They all live in Stockholm and have of course given a number of concerts in the most beautiful capital city of the world! The story of Riltons Vanner began in the winter 1999-2000, when five friends at Stockholm's Music Gymnasium formed an A Cappella-group. Their first record, "Kompis" ("Buddy"), came in 2002, and the group started to tour more and more frequently. In 2005 their latest album "Har ar passion" ("Here is passion") was released, which got an award for "best folk/world album of the year" by the international A Cappella society CASA. Through the years, Riltons Vanner has become one of Sweden's few proffessional vocal groups. They have done around 500 different performances in Sweden, Norway, Germany, USA, Finland & Russia, and they have also cooperated with several well-known Swedish artists.
The vocal jazz program at Sacramento State is under the direction of Kerry Marsh. The program consists of the Jazz Singers, C-Sus and Vox 2, all of which are formed by audition. The sounds of Sac State Vocal Jazz are influenced by the great vocal jazz groups of the past and present: The Hi-Lo's, Singers Unlimited, Take 6, New York Voices, The Real Group, Manhattan Transfer and others. However, the program strives to explore.
Although much of the study focuses on group sound, improvisation and solo singing are also important aspects of the program, with a thriving bachelor's program in jazz studies/voice. Jazz voice majors (currently eleven in the program) study privately with the outstanding jazz vocal artist Julia Dollison./
The Singers Unlimited were born out of a strange combination of stark commercialism and rare innovation that somehow yielded some pretty high art. Gene Puerling was the vocal arranger as well as a singer with The Hi-Lo's, and later moved into jingle singing and arranging in Chicago. Don Shelton had been a Hi-Lo as well, and joined Puerling in the commercial field. Along the way they joined with Len Dresslar (the voice of the Jolly Green Giant) and vocalist/voiceover artist Bonnie Herman. This led to the formation in 1967 of a ready-to-go jingle-singing quartet. Then Puerling began experimenting with the new technology of multi-track recording, and the Singers expanded their four voices into eight, twelve, sixteen, and later into practically a hundred or more! The Singers produced around 15 LP's in the period between 1971 and 1981.