We are right in the middle of the festival season when everyone is looking forward to see their favourite artist at their favourite event. At Vocalzone we all share a passion for music which is why enjoy going to festivals. Each year we have a great time working backstage at various events such as Wireless, Sonisphere or Bloodstock Festival where we sponsor a stage for unsigned bands. That’s how we get introduced to a lot of artists and bands and send them vocal care packages when they need them. In this month’s episode of Vocalzone Artist FAQ we are excited to introduce to the legendary acappella group The Swingle Singers. We first met them last year at their own London A Cappella Festival taking place at Kings Place each January.
The Swingle Singers also known as The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music for more than half a century. The seven young singers that make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same pioneering spirit that has defined the five-time Grammy winners since they first made waves in the 1960s. With their latest album Deep End (released on 29 June), The Swingles celebrate that legacy by starting a whole new chapter.
In 1963, American-born Ward Swingle first assembled a group of Parisian session singers to sing Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, Jazz Sebastian Bach, launched the Swingle Singers to fame. Since then their repertoire has grown to include a huge variety of music, as well as new original songs. They have released more than 50 recordings, winning five Grammy awards and appearing on numerous film and TV soundtracks including Sex and the City and Glee. Recent releases include 2013’s Weather To Fly and a winter EP, Yule Songs.
The group’s versatility has led to collaborations with artists as diverse as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jamie Cullum and Labrinth. Luciano Berio was one of the first composers to explore the sound of the Swingles’ amplified voices in an orchestral setting, and the group continues to perform his groundbreaking Sinfonia around the world, including recent performances at the Royal Festival Hall and La Scala.
The seven-piece vocal ensemble is composed of singers Joanna Goldsmith-Eteson (soprano), Sara Brimer (soprano), Clare Wheeler (alto), Oliver Griffiths (tenor), Christopher Jay (tenor), Kevin Fox (baritone) and Edward Randell (bass).
We have recently met up with Sara and Oliver and talked about their music, singing career, influences, vocal style as well as their latest album Deep End.
Piper – The Swingles
Sara Brimmer and Oliver Griffiths from The Swingles talk to Vocalzone
George and Luke
The Vocalzone Team
Here’s what others said about The Swingles:
‘Their precision is awesome, their technique impeccable’ Classic Fm Magazine
‘Whether performing with the National Symphony Orchestra or in a cappella settings, The Swingle Singers were never less than dazzling’ – WASHINGTON POST
‘The Swingle Singers pitched those mysteriously lovely chords with laser-like precision… a triumph’ – THE DAILY TELEGRAPH