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.
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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.
January 2005 brought on a season of change for us, as Amy Fogerson left the group and was replaced by Jennifer Barnes. Shortly thereafter, both Gerald White and Gary Rosen also made the decision to leave the group to pursue other ventures, which created openings filled by tenor Greg Whipple and baritone Greg Jasperse. This 50% new group is now eagerly working towards the goal of being a powerful and cohesive musical unit, adding exciting new repertoire while maintaining the spirit and integrity for which Sixth Wave has always been known. Please keep checking back for new and exciting news and updates as things progress.....
Strippedis a vocal band that continues to stretch ideas about what a cappella music can be. Their concerts are highly focused on improvisation, audience participation, and making music that moves the spirit. The voices gathered here have blend and unity, but frequently remind the listener that individual expression can flourish within the context of a group sound, like a single flower enhances the garden with its own particular bouquet and color.
Stripped has performed throughout Chicago, singing original vocal jazz music at the Green Mill, HotHouse, Fitzgerald's, Lyon's Den, Uncommon Ground, Beat Kitchen, and 4th Presbyterian Church. Stripped received awards at the Chicago Cultural Center Cx2 competition and the 2004 Harmony Sweepstakes Regional competition. Stripped opened for jazz and R&B legend Patti Austin in summer 2004. Keep your eyes open for performances coming your way, then open your ears and prepare to be Stripped!
There are few music lovers who haven't heard the name the Swingle Singers. Since the release of that ground-breaking debut album in 1963, this virtuosic eight-voice a cappella group (complete with their own vocal rhythm section) has performed on the world's most famous stages, sustaining over four decades a level of international popularity beyond the dreams of its founder, American-born Ward Swingle. The current London-based line-up of young and talented singers is, of course, several incarnations of "Swingles" older than the original team (Ward Swingle affectionately refers to them as his "grandchildren"). They represent a modern incarnation of an ensemble whose music has evolved and expanded to encompass styles far and beyond the swung Baroque and infamous "ba va da" of the 1960s, although audiences will usually hear a tribute to the original French group. Along with the repertoire, the stage show has also grown into a full-blown lights-and-choreography spectacle. The beauty is that however the group has changed, the sound remains unmistakeably that of the Swingle Singers, the same sound which caught the world's attention all those years ago.
The Boston Globe calls Syncopation "the 21st Century Manhattan Transfer or Lambert, Hendricks and Ross" and it is easy to see why. Like those legendary vocal groups, Syncopation performs jazz and pop music in four-part harmony with a style that is both timeless and up-to-the-minute. As an added treat each of the singers also plays an instrument or two like trumpet, trombone piano and percussion providing the excitement of a band much larger in size.
You may have seen Syncopation on WBZ-TV singing with the Boston Pops on their 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (2009). The group often performs with instrumental accompaniment of piano, bass and drums, but they are equally renowned for their a cappella singing, which has earned them regional and national awards from Harmony Sweepstakes.
The Puppini Sisters have earned quite the celebrity following - from Sharon and Kelly Osbourne to Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss and Stella McCartney to members of The Royal Family, including Prince Charles, Camilla The Duchess of Cornwall, and Prince William.
This UK-based vocal trio brings three-part harmony into the modern age with a repertoire that includes everything from 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" to 'I Will Survive." Inspired by the Oscar-nominated film The Triplets of Belleville (a French animated movie which features a '40s-style harmony group), The Puppini Sisters - Marcella Puppini, Kate Mullins, and Stephanie O'Brien - formed in London. Dressed in 1940's-style wardrobe, the three sing like The Andrews Sisters with inspiring harmonies, and perform classics such as 'Mr. Sandman," 'In The Mood," and 'Jeepers Creepers." But what makes The Puppini Sisters truly stand out are their show-stopping interpretations of more current tunes: Blondie's 'Heart of Glass," Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights," and The Smith's 'Panic," among others.
A multi-talented quartet of vocalists and musicians, THREE HITS AND A MISS is a nationally recognized vocal group having performed in top venues throughout the United States and abroad. Collectively they sing, write, arrange and play a variety of instruments, showcasing their critically acclaimed "Amazingly Tight Harmonies."
Their current concert show, AMERICAN POP features billboard hits from the mid 1950's through the mid-80's with a musical heartbeat inspired by such stellar groups as The Beatles, The Fifth Dimension, The Temptations, Simon and Garfunkle, The Beach Boys, The Association, The Mamas and the Papas, Fleetwood Mac, The Carpenters, Three Dog Night, Van Morrison, Queen, Abba, Blondie, The Bee Gees and more.
The history goes way back. When small Correa, even if small, were a scene of a box and a stick a microphone in the back yard family in the neighborhood of Gavea in Rio, imitating their three older brothers, whose group " Golden Boys "beat the records of the public hearing of the" Jovem Guarda "version of Brazil yeyes. To so and so, the singer, Eva and Regina eventually blow an idea to Roberto, the eldest of the family: why do not they would form a group too. There was still a little brother available, Mario.
Thus was born the Trio Esperanca, in the 60s. Body and brush remaining available to the baby of the tribe, Mariza .... waiting for better days, she could barely speak but sang like a lark. The Trio's first album. "Menino do Amendoim" goes unnoticed, the second "Filme Triste" true compilation of Portuguese international hits of the time (Like a Bridge Over Trouble Water has, Down Town, Gorgy Girl ...) is a triumph. Trio Esperanca followed suit with "Golden Boys". Suddenly, Dad Correa decides it is time to take care of her smala and exchange office to the bank to that of manager.
The award-winning jazz ensembles at the University of Northern Colorado offer students performance opportunities in big bands, combos, vocal jazz groups, and Latin jazz. With over 30 years of history, UNC's jazz ensembles have earned numerous accolades, including: More than 90 Downbeat Student Music Awards, GRAMMY nomination for the album Hot IV by Vocal Jazz Iand Numerous performances at national and international conferences including IAJE, Midwest Band, and others. More than 150 students participate in jazz ensembles. Although the groups are comprised primarily of music majors, they are open to all students by audition. Placement auditions are held at the beginning of the fall semester.
Velvet Voices, founded in 2002 women's a cappella group, impresses with his vocal virtuosity, feminine charm and artistic creativity.
Her name is Velvet Voices. But one must not too long sense of security, for among the vocal "soft paws" to the singers lurks a second texture of the extraordinary! Founded in 2002, Austria's women's a cappella group has for many years been among the main highlights of the local a cappella scene.
They won two gold rankings at the international "Ward Swingle Award", opened in 2003 Voice Mania (Vienna Festival of Voices), completed countless concerts in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary and Belgium and, in 2005 with Louis Martini in the Viennese popular theater production "Pantyhose, Swing & Chesterfield 'to see and hear.
Coming from different vocal and musical experiences, the original components of the vocal band "Vocalica" (Alberto, Andrea and Fabio) decided in 1994 to begin a new artistic way after several years of activity in one of the best-known Italian choirs, "Coro Tre Pini" of Padua, directed by Gianni Malatesta, who brought them on the stages of the most important Italian theatres and in prestigious tours abroad. Taking inspiration from the most important vocal groups (Swingle Singers, Take 6, King's Singers, Manhattan Transfer, Real Group, etc.) the band has developed a repertory of "cover" songs for voices only based on pieces of pop music, rock, blues and jazz, both Italian and foreign. This wide range of musical sorts is the reflection of the personality and of the musical roots of the different members of the group, who, with great versatility, pass from scat to swing and be bop, without forgetting rock, pop and Italian music, even composed by themselves. Nevertheless they always try to maintain their originality both in the arrangement and in the interpretation.
Vocalogy is a vocal jazz quintet which brings an exciting and distinctive sound to the world of vocal music. Vocalogy has delighted audiences internationally in festivals, concerts, clinics and clubs since the groups formation in 1998.
Christine Guter (Helferich) is the group's dynamic lead singer; tenors David Thorne Scott and John Knutson, baritone Gerhard Guter, and bass Chris Morey provide rock-solid harmonies and take outstanding solo features. The group utilizes its range of five-and-a-half octaves to execute intricate and vocally demanding material in a way that seems effortless. They thrill audiences with their improvised solos, tight ensemble work, and dazzling harmonies.
Vocalogy arose from an artist-in-residency program under Grammy-Award nominee Phil Mattson. Now self-directed, Vocalogy performs a collection of their own innovative arrangements.
Vocation was formed in 2000 at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. It is not only an a cappella group, but also a group accompanied by either a quartet or a big band. Reviews, given in Swedish newspapers during a tour in Sweden, closely linked Vocation to The Real Group, Take 6, Gals and Pals, as well as to Manhattan Transfer and the New York Voices. Although the group has performed for Swedish radio as well as Swedish television, Vocations main arenas vary from private parties and jazz clubs, to churches and various concert halls. Vocation was given the Choice of the Audience Award at the International Vocal Group Festival in Tilburg, Holland in 2002.
Vocation is today a well-known act in Swedish Jazz, and even though it is a tough business and their career has but started the future of Vocation looks bright, mainly because the singers see the work of the group not only as their occupation but also as their Vocation.
Voice Trek has been thrilling listeners with their impeccable vocal skills since 1987. Their astonishing adaptability and inventive arrangements have defined this vocal quintet as one of the topmost in their genre. Based in Minnesota, the all-original members of Voice Trek are Shelley, Vicki, and Rae Plaster - three sisters who are known for their dazzling vocal mix; the group's tenor, Denis Allaire, specialist in vocal percussion and vocal instrumental sounds; and bringing up the bass is the dynamic Kevin Smith - the irreplaceable bottom line.
A multitalented and prolific group with numerous CD's in their catalog, Voice Trek has appeared in performance venues around the globe. Voice Trek's newly released CD "An A cappella Trek" is already receiving enthusiastic reviews from fans and critics alike.
The line-up has changed slightly over the years, along with the repertoire, but the quality of our singing and the musical values we espouse remain constant as we go from strength to strength. In 2005 our quality was all too much for Simon Cowell on The X-Factor, but in 2007 our album Making Notes was nominated for a CARA award in the USA as A Cappella Jazz Album of the Year and in 2009 we were one of only five finalists in the Good Housekeeping Choir of the Year Competition.
Vox One is an award-winning a cappella jazz quintet that combines elements of blues, funk, gospel, and folk into their own brand of vocal music, which is "most adventurous and distinctive." - San Francisco Examiner. The group, formed in 1988, has since developed a unique style considered to be the cutting edge of a cappella. "This jazz quintet puts all kinds of throat sounds to such funky good use that listeners break into applause and - better - feel like dancing." - Boston Magazine.
Vox One has performed internationally, and has opened for Ray Charles, Chicago, the Persuasions, the Bobs, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Count Basie Orchestra. The group earns wide acclaim for their performances and CDs. Their awards include "Best A cappella Group, Jazz" - Boston Magazine. Vox One's eponymous debut CD was named "Best Album" and awarded "Best Song" by the Contemporary A Cappella Society of America (CASA): "Creative arrangements and soulful spark... fabulous lead vocalists, and exquisite blend, a great vocal percussion sound, and lots of class." Their second US release "Out There," won "Album of the Year," "Best Jazz Song," and "Best R&B song" by CASA. "...as defining an album for vocal jazz as Singers Unlimited "A Capella" and Take 6's debut album...it's that good." - Primarily A Cappella. With their 1998 album "Chameleon," Vox One was named "Artist of the Year," and once again it earned "Best Jazz Album" and "Best Jazz Song."
West Side 5, an award-winning vocal jazz ensemble based in New York City, is known for its refined sound and sophisticated approach to jazz. Inspired by greats like Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, and The Real Group, WS5 has crafted its own unique sound, characterized by highly original arrangements, complex harmonies, and outstanding musicianship.
The group formed in the summer of 2009, bringing together five old college friends on the west side of Manhattan. They immediately garnered acclaim, winning the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweepstakes while being voted Audience Favorite and winning Best Arrangement for "Pure Imagination". They went on to be featured artists at the SingStrong A Cappella Festival, and have performed alongside groups including Blue Jupiter, Streetcorner Symphony, and The Bobs, as well as for Mayor Michael Bloomberg at Gracie Mansion in New York.
Yumiko Matsuoka was born in Tokyo, Japan, and grew up there as well as in London, UK. She started studying piano at an early age, and was quickly drawn to the magic of chords. Yumiko's passion for great harmony was developed further in the high school choir, band for musical "Godspell," encounter with the music of the Singers Unlimited as well as many other composers/arrangers in a wide range of genres. Yumiko came to the US in 1986 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. She founded a cappella ensemble Vox One in 1988 to realize her dream of writing for and singing in such a group. Vox One released five albums, won numerous awards, and established themselves as one of the pioneers in the world of a cappella music. Her arrangements are available through the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press. Yumiko's arrangements are unique - she takes a song and reveals a layer of emotions that may not have been apparent in the original. Fans and performers of her music span the globe from Australia, Europe to the Americas and Japan. Yumiko is a professor in ear training at her alma mater Berklee, and keeps herself busy with workshops/coaching including the Western Wind's summer sessions at Smith College in Northampton, MA.