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Five By Design

Five By Design

Mixed Vocal Jazz Quintet from Minneapolis, MN.

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 Minnesota-based Five By Design includes LORIE CARPENTER-NISKA, SHERIDAN ZUTHER, Kurt Niska, Michael Swedberg, and Terrence Niska. Four of the five members have been singing together since 1986. The group's familial ties include brothers Terrence and Kurt Niska and the husband-wife duo of Kurt and Lorie Niska and childhood collaborator, Michael Swedberg. The creative team is supported by in-house artist representatives Alton Accola, Lynn Callahan and Midge Swedberg. Their technical team includes Sound Engineer Phil Henrickson who has been with the quintet since 1987.

Radio Days, Five By Design's flagship production, debuted as a patriotic tribute to the "golden age of radio," commemorating the 50th anniversary of World War II. Nearly two decades later, Radio Days still receives great reviews. The Washington Post heralded its Kennedy Center debut with the National Symphony Orchestra as "one of the best pops performances of the season."

With the success of Radio Days, the Baltimore Symphony requested another production from Five By Design, leading to the premiere of Club Swing in 2001. The show follows the rise and fall of the big band era from 1937-1955 at the fictional Hotel Crosby, "where the music's hot, the drinks are cool, and the legend lives forever." Club Swing's soundtrack was recorded with a big band headed by Willis Delony, Five By Design's principal pianist/conductor.

Combining warm, well-rounded signature vocals with vintage fashions and a bit of theatrical panache, Five By Design unveiled their third production, Stay Tuned, a nod to the "television variety show" and American culture from 1950-1966.

Five By Design enjoys with outstanding orchestrators including: Lovell Ives, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Professor Emeritus of Jazz Studies; Willis Delony, Professor of Jazz Studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and film score orchestrator, Maury Laws, noted most for his work on the Rankin-Bass animated specials including "Frosty, the Snowman" and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." While the vocal arrangements are the creative work of Five By Design, their orchestrators bring those charts to life with unparalleled expertise.

National media exposure includes National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition-Sunday" and "Swingin' Down the Lane"; and a feature story in Symphony magazine. With a touring itinerary averaging 60-plus performances each season, their talents have taken them across the country, up into Canada and as far away as the Bosphorus International Music Festival in Istanbul.

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Songbooks, Arrangements and/or Media

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Five By Design : Club Swing : 00  1 CD

Five By Design : Club Swing

Three men, Two women quintet Five by Design evolved from the vocal group Hot Jazz, formed at the U of Wisconsin/Eau Claire in 1982. In 1988 the group developed "Radio Days" as a musical theatre vehicle that gave them an opportunity to sing the swing music they love best. In 1999 the Baltimore Symphony commissioned them to create a new show that would become Club Swing. Their productions have appeared with more than 100 of the leading symphony orchestras throughout the US and Canada. In the play, the fictional Club Swing is a soon to be demolished club built in the heydey of swing, and Joe Sullivan visits for one last time. The marquee flickers and the club is transformed into the once fabled nightspot. Backed by the Club Swing orchestra, led by Willis Delony, the dressed-to-the-nines group gives us 20 classics, done as well as any swing CD we've heard. Some of our favorites: "Begin the Beguine," "Dream," "Choo-Choo Ch' Boogie," "Pistol Packin' Mama," "Dig Down Deep," "One For My Baby"...but every song's an authentic winner!

Songlist: Traffic Jam / Bugle Call Rag, Begin the Beguine, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Hut Sut Song, Dream, Dig Down Deep, Choo Choo Ch' Boogie, Pistol Packin' Mama, Five Minutes More, In the Mood, Bumble Boogie, Cocktails for Two, In the Cool of the Evening, Mona Lisa, Open the Door Richard, Something's Gotta Give, Cara de Payaso, One for My Baby, Sing, Sing, Sing, So Long for Awhile

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4514c | 1 CD | $14.95 | Accompanied

Five By Design : Stay Tuned : 00  1 CD

Five By Design : Stay Tuned

Pride of Minneapolis, MN, mixed-voice quintet Five By Design is famous for being the first vocal group to create and star in their own original musical retrospectives for symphony orchestras and big bands! "Stay Tuned," in fact, features 17 tunes from just such a collaboration, with Willis Delony & The Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra. Every song here is a Swing Era classic: "I Feel A Song Comin' On," "Sh' Boom," "Hey There," "Papa Loves Mambo," "New York, New York," "Istanbul," "'S Wonderful," "The Girl From Ipanema," "More" and "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White." Five By Design clearly loves their music, they have a fresh, clean sound, the Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra is smokin,' and the song selection couldn't be more entertaining-so get "Stay Tuned" and enjoy!

Songlist: I Feel a Song Comin' On, Sh' Boom, Cross Over the Bridge, Hey There, Papa Loves Mambo, I Really Love You, Make Love to Me, New York, New York, Istanbul, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, 'S Wonderful, The Duke of Dubuque, The Girl from Ipanema, More, The Curtain Falls, As Long as I'm Singing, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

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4002c | 1 CD | $14.95 | Accompanied

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