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UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles


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.

Vocal Jazz at UNC has a long tradition of national and international acclaim, and UNC's Vocal Jazz I was the first college vocal group to ever receive a Grammy nomination. Over the years, UNC groups including the Axidentals, Sus4, and Et Cetera have toured the U.S. and Europe, released multiple albums, commissioned and debuted pieces that have become standard repertoire, and have won numerous awards and accolades. Alumni of UNC's VJ groups are successful professional and studio singers, arrangers, educators, clinicians, and industry professionals. Northern Colorado Voices, UNC's current flagship group directed by Dana Landry, was named a regional finalist in the Harmony Sweepstakes, a national competition for professional a cappella groups.

In addition to the Northern Colorado Voices, there are three other Vocal Jazz Ensembles that vary in size and composition based on the strengths of the students involved. Groups perform diverse repertoire of jazz, Latin, and pop/rock/R&B styles including pieces by New York Voices, The Idea of North, The Real Group, Take Six, and other professional vocal groups. Vocal Jazz Ensembles rehearse twice a week and present one concert every semester. Each group enjoys a featured appearance at the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival in April. UNC also produces the Jazz Singers Showcase, giving VJ Ensemble members a chance to shine by being featured on a solo song with a top rhythm section.


Displaying 1-5 of 5 items.

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot IX: United Jazz Artists : 1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : VJ1947

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot IX: United Jazz Artists

Review: Master director and educator Gene Aitken of the famed University of Northern Colorado's Jazz Studies Program shows off three of his best groups on "Hot IX," mixed-voice jazz quintet the Axidentals, who are accompanied by a hot jazz band on 8 songs like Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" and Kurt Weil's "Mack the Knife," also perform one nice a cappella cut, "Quiet Now." 3-men, 3-women a cappella ensemble Et Cetera then gives us nice covers of "Singing In The Rain," Harold Arlen's "If I Only Had a Brain" and Randy Crenshaw's "Scat Blues in C." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 finishes with a hot accompanied cover of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia," a moody a cappella cover of "For All We Know," and accompanied covers of "We" and Gloria Estefan's "Get On Your Feet." This is another strong, spirited collection from these 3 great UNC jazz ensembles.

Songlist: Bam Bam Bam, Caravan, A Sleeping Bee, Quiet Now, You're Nobody, Got to Get You Into My Life, You Can Call Me Al, Mack the Knife, Ray Idea, Singin' In The Rain, If I Only Had A Brain, Scat Blues in C, A Night In Tunisia, For All We Know, We, Get On Your Feet

7644c | 1 CD | $14.95 | Primarily a cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot V : 1 CD :  : 1943

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot V

Review: "Hot V" is a mostly accompanied collection of 10 tunes by the award-winning University of Northern Colorado's 2-man, 2-woman Jazz quartet, the Axidentals. Three very nice a cappella selections, Jeremy Lubbock's "Goodbye Love" and "Not Like This," and "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" are standouts. Accompanied favorites are Richie Cole's "New York Afternoon," Gene Puerling's "Gotcha," Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad," Al Jarreau's "Easy" and a powerful live cover of "Waitin' For the Robert E. Lee." Every one of these Roman numeral-numbered collections from Aitken's UNC program has been a spirited, entertaining, beautifully-recorded winner, some of the best Collegiate Jazz we've heard!

Songlist: I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good), Epainos, Goodbye Love, New York Afternoon, A Night in Tunisia, Gotcha, Not Like This, Easy, How Do You Keep the Music Playing?, Waitin For the Robert E. Lee

7643c | 1 CD | $14.95 | Primarily a cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XI: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered : 1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : 1949

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XI: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

Review: Renowned director Gene Aitken is considered one of the most exciting and energetic educators and clinicians today, and his Jazz Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado has received a Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. The 3-man, 2-women Axidentals perform with a very hot 5-piece jazz ensemble, but they also have several fine a cappella cuts on "Hot XI," including Rodgers & Hart's "My Heart Stood Still," Mark Murphy's "Gone," "It Don't Mean a Thing," and Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 also perform "Invitation" and "Love for Sale" with 5-piece jazz accompaniment. Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "Paradise," "Old Man River" and a cover of the Average White Band's "Pick Up The Pieces" are other favorites. An excellent collection from some of the best Collegiate jazz groups in the country!

Songlist: Somethin's Coming, My Heart Stood Still, Gone, Lazy River, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Yatra Ta, Teach Me Tonight, Come Sunday, Night and Day, Invitation, Love for Sale, Paradise, Old Man River, Pick Up the Pieces

7642c | 1 CD | $14.95 | Primarily a cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XII: Dancing Particles : 1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : 1950

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XII: Dancing Particles

Review: The University of North Colorado in Greeley's choice of renowned educator and clinician Gene Aitken as Director of their Jazz Studies Program was a very, very good move, leading to an unprecedented Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. Featured here are his 3-man, 2-woman Axidentals, performing here with some jazz ensemble accompaniment on P. Winter's title tune (arranged by Randy Crenshaw), "Soul With a Capital "S," and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things;" but also a cappella on the traditional "Shenandoah," Anders Edenroth's "Chile Con Carne" and the scattish "There'll Never Be Another You." Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "For the Beauty of the Earth," which soars into surprising directions, and a cover of Sting's "Seven Days" follow. All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 close with B. Dorough's upbeat, accompanied "I've Got Just About Everything" and the moody, a cappella "You Don't Know What Love Is." "Hot XII" is everything we've come to expect fro the UNC Jazz Studies Program, top-quality, well-chosen, beautifully performed and directed, Collegiate Jazz!

Songlist: Dancing Particles, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Shenandoah, Chili Con Carne, There'll Never Be Another You, Soul With a Capital"S", My Favorite Things, For the Beauty of the Earth, Seven Days, I've Got Just About Everything, You Don't Know What Love is

7641c | 1 CD | $14.95 | Primarily a cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XIII: It Ain't Necessarily So : 1 CD : Gene Aitken :  : 1951

UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XIII: It Ain't Necessarily So

Review: The University of Northern Colorado is one of the most well respected educational centers for vocal jazz studies thanks to the efforts of Gene Aitken, the director of the program since 1976. You will not believe that these are all "students" for their singing is so good and the arrangements so sophisticated it doesn't seem possible, even though it is true. The bulk of the album, 14 of the 17 tracks, is sung by Et Cetera a mixed sextet. Though jazz predominates with such selections as "For The One I Love" and "As Rain" by Anders Edenroth of the Real Group or "One More Time Chuck Corea" by Gene Puerling, there is a strong rock 'n roll presence. The final three tunes were recorded live by a larger jazz chorus, Vocal Jazz I. Discover this one! It's a sleeper.

Songlist: It Ain't Necessarily So, Episode: Prelude, For The One I Love, Every Breath You Take, Kiss From A Rose, Kite, Out Of Town, Shambala, Gone With The Wind, I'll Be There For You, As Rain, Won't You Be My Neighbor, One More Time Chuck Corea, Unchained Melody, Vocal Jazz I, Brasilia, Move On Over, Harvest

4797c | 1 CD | $14.98 | Primarily a cappella Vocal Jazz CDs

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