The Swingle Singers
Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 7:30 P.M.
OCCC Visual and Performing Arts Center Theater
For half a century, the Swingle Singers have pushed the boundaries of what the human voice can achieve. Their effortless agility and blend, combined with captivating showmanship, have thrilled audiences around the globe. Today’s Swingle Singers are an international a cappella phenomenon. These seven extraordinary voices deliver folk ballads, funk jams and fugues with equal precision and passion – keeping the classic Swingle sound alive while fearlessly exploring new styles and approaches.
The history of the Swingle Singers is a remarkable tale of renewal. In 1963, American-born Ward Swingle assembled a group of Parisian session singers to sing some of Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, Jazz Sebastian Bach, launched the group to fame. Now based in London, the group has sustained a level of international renown beyond its founder’s wildest dreams, as each new singer brings something fresh to the group’s sound. The Swingles have sung at the world’s most famous stages from La Scala to Ronnie Scotts; featured on the soundtracks of ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Glee’; won 5 Grammy Awards and made over 50 recordings. Recent releases include ‘Ferris Wheels’ (featuring unique versions of songs by Björk, Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake) and the winter EP ‘Yule Songs’.
The current line-up has never been stronger, with singers trained in a multiplicity of styles from opera to jazz to pop, and featuring a dynamite vocal rhythm section. For the first time in many years, their repertoire also includes original songs.
The Swingle Singers offer a variety of shows, from their a cappella programmes ‘Voice Fusions’ and ‘Classic Reinventions’ to programmes with orchestra. This versatility has given rise to collaborations across the musical spectrum, from the Modern Jazz Quartet to Jarvis Cocker. Luciano Berio was one of the first composers to explore the sound of the Swingles’ amplified voices combined with acoustic instruments, and the group continues to perform his ‘Sinfonia’ with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras. John Dankworth, Michael Nyman, Pascal Zavaro and Azio Corghi have also written for the group.
In 2013, their 50th anniversary year, the group’s concert schedule will take them to North and South America, Russia, China and Dubai in addition to extensive touring throughout Europe and the UK. In their home town, the Swingle Singers curate the London A Cappella Festival at Kings Place each January. The festival is the first of its kind in the capital, and welcomes the finest international talent from the world of vocal music.
As they enter their sixth decade, the Swingle Singers invite you to join them for the next stage of their extraordinary journey.