In the increasingly popular world of a cappella singing groups, Accent has carved out its own niche. Inspired by the wizardly jazz harmonies of TAKE 6 and, before them, The Hi-Los, the six men of Accent, all of them accomplished arrangers and instrumentalists in their own right, decided to take their love of close-harmony jazz singing the denser and more intricate the better as far as it could go. https://accentvocal.com/music
ART BATTLE CANADA has held more than 650 events with 6,000+ artist-competitors across Canada since 2009. With thousands of artists represented in competitions across dozens of Canadian cities, the Art Battle community is deeply connected to art in Canada. https://artbattle.com/ca/
THE AULT SISTERS (on Sunday, May 24 in the SING! Salutes Vegas production)
The Ault Sisters are a Toronto-based vocal jazz trio composed of 3 sisters Amanda, Alicia, and Alanna Ault. They are known for their signature close harmonies, reminiscent of such past vocal groups as The Manhattan Transfer, The Andrew Sisters and The McGuire Sisters. They are extremely versatile singers, with a genre-defying repertoire that draws from jazz, pop, r&b, blues, funk, folk, and even classic rock. An Ault Sisters show is normally comprised of a mix of standards and original tunes, carefully chosen to cater to the tastes of the venue and audience where they will be performing.
This vocal trio has been producing music together for over a decade, with their first CD, Christmas Feelings, being released back in 2006. On disc and in performance, different sisters take the lead on different tracks, adding to the vocal variety, while their intricately interwoven harmonies form a central part of the songs which they perform. In 2010, The Ault Sisters began working with Toronto producer, Greg Kavanagh, and released their second CD, Butterflies, which contained a mix of jazz and pop songs, reimagined to feature the girls 3-part close harmonies. This was followed up by their most recent CD, Timeless, again produced by Kavanagh and released in 2014, which included the girls take on such classics as Boy From New York City, When I Fall In Love, Moondance, and For Once In My Life. www.aultsisters.com
Micah Barnes Born in Vienna and raised in Canada, Micah cut his teeth in the cabarets and jazz clubs of Toronto while still a teenager before joining A Capella Vocal group The Nylons in 1989. Recording & Touring with the guys brought Micah into the global music scene and a busy concert, TV and Media schedule throughout Europe, Asia and North America, introducing Micahs rich soulful baritone voice to music fans around the world.
Post Nylons has seen Micah launch a busy solo career touring the U.S.A. with his #1 international club hit Welcome To My Head and a return to a jazz-oriented style of his earlier years resulting in a series of critically acclaimed recordings including his most recent chart topping New York Stories (eOne Music).
Micah is currently recording a new album Vegas Breeze which will transport the listener back to the days of legendary Vegas showrooms when the worlds top entertainers worked the strip: featuring songs first recorded by Tony Bennet, Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee & Lena Horne.
Micah is also a highly respected vocal coach and counts Emmy award winning actress Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) among his many top level clients. For further coaching information please check http://www.singersplayground.com
BEATSYNC is a new nine-piece a cappella ensemble from Toronto, Ontario combining eclectic repertoire with dynamic beats and sophisticated arrangements. From pop to electronic to classic soul, Beatsync draws upon diverse influences to craft their unique contemporary sound, interpreting modern hits and deep cuts alike via the creative lens of co-directors Daniel Boyle and Nick Kotoulas.
Having crossed paths in various fixtures of Torontos fast-growing a cappella scene, these nine dynamic vocalists came together as Beatsync with one goal in mind: to get the party started, no instruments necessary. United as they may be by this love of music, Beatsyncs members each come from unique backgrounds: from Nick, a chemist, to Elana, an archaeologistand from Cailleah, a filmmaker, to Hailey, a marketing professional, and beyond. Beatsync aimsto be as eclectic and versatile as its members, spanning repertoire from Björk to Frankie Valli to Jessie J and even a detour into Chinese folksong.
Beatsync is already making waves internationally, having been recently featured as part of Fairchild Televisions 2016 Mandarin Profile Awards, in which the group performed a tailor-made set of English- and Mandarin-language songs beloved to Eastern and Western audiences alike. They will soon make their public debut with an appearance at Sing! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival. Moving forward, Beatsync aims to continue to explore the boundaries of their genre and bring even more energetic, beat-oriented a cappella music to the masses. www.beatsyncmusic.com.
DYLAN BELL (SING! Co-Artistic Director). In a word multifaceted. Juno-nominated Bells musical curiosity keeps him effortlessly crossing and blurring musical boundaries. Bell is an international leader in a cappella music, having sung with many of Canadas premiere vocal ensembles such as FreePlay, Retrocity, Cadence, The Watch, and Hampton Avenue. He also freelances as a keyboardist and bassist. Behind the mixing board, Bell has produced several award-winning albums, including a Juno nomination for the Cadence album Twenty For One; Ferris Wheels with the world-renowned Swingles; and the Juno-nominated Skin Tight, by a cappella legends The Nylons. Bells compositions and arrangements have garnered international recognition as winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition and Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards. When it comes to vocal arranging, Bell wrote the book literally. A Cappella Arranging (co-written with Deke Sharon) was published in 2013 to international acclaim. www.dylanbell.ca
CADENCE: Four men. Four microphones. No Instruments! This is the formula for Canadas celebrated vocal band, Cadence. This three-time JUNO Award nominated vocal band has performed across the world, and has delighted audiences across North America, Asia, and Europe. Wherever they go, Cadence delivers its mandate: to explore and demonstrate that the voice has no limits. As the boys like to say: Instruments are for surgeons! www.cadence-unplugged.com
COUNTERMEASURE features 13 of Canadas top vocal talents, performing innovative a cappella covers, and award-winning original songs. Their diverse repertoire and genre-defying sound allows the group to headline international choral concerts, play the main stage at jazz festivals, or coax club-goers onto the dance floor. Incorporating innovative live looping, instrument imitation, and vocal percussion, Countermeasure enthralls their audiences with their dramatically choreographed shows and flawless harmonies. Countermeasure has sold-out theatres across, Canada, the U.S., Italy, Scotland, Japan, and the U.K.
Since forming in 2010, Toronto-based Countermeasure, has earned standing ovations and critical acclaim worldwide. Led by award-winning composer/producer Aaron Jensen, the group has recorded with GRAMMY and JUNO award-winning artists including Randy Brecker, Ron Sexsmith, Alan Doyle, and The Barenaked Ladies; and has performed alongside the likes of Corey Hart, Alan Frew, The Swingle Singers, and Naturally 7. They have won multiple awards from The Contemporary A Cappella Society of America, include Best CAL Album, best video, and best original song.
When theyre not jumping onto countertops for flashmobs, or providing the live soundtrack to National Film Board shorts, Countermeasure can be seen at high-profile jazz festivals, concert series, and galas, as well as on CBC Radio and TV, Global Television, Rogers Television, City TV, and CP24. They are a founding artist of SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, Canadas premier a cappella festival. They have sold out shows through multiple U.S. and Canadian tours, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, across the U.K, Italy and Japan.
Countermeasures music videos for their original and cover music have generated more than 600,000 views on YouTube alone.
Life is Fine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJ4Mm8alM6I
Fox in the Field https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drJQ7SrKdyw
They also released exciting and ear-tweaking covers of beloved music. Ive Got You Under My Skin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RDnbVYqjv0
TANK! (from the anime Cowboy Bebop) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSFDiLf4Duc
FREEPLAY Multifaceted musicians Suba Sankaran and Dylan Bell join forces to create the FreePlay Duo. Described as inspired eclecticism, Dylan and Suba will take you from the concert halls of Europe, to the jazz clubs of Manhattan, to the temples of India, and back to the cultural mosaic of their native Toronto all without leaving your seat. From Bach to Bird to the Beatles, Dylan and Suba effortlessly cross musical boundaries, continually combining and recombining sounds to create a concert of endless variety, with the intimate delivery of two people. Imagine Simon and Garfunkel crossed with a Bach 2-part invention or an acrobatic jazz melody combined with ancient Indian solkattu or an 8-part vocal arrangement created by two singers, using innovative live-looping techniques and youll get a glimpse of what the Duo has to offer.www.freeplayduo.com http://freeplayduo.com/
HAMPTON AVENUE Close-harmony jazz quartet Hampton Avenue dazzles with their unique timbre, impeccable musicianship and jazz chops to boot. From fresh originals to cool standards, theyve been compared to such vocal giants as The New York Voices and Singers Unlimited. Hampton Avenue features founder/director Debbie Fleming, Dylan Bell, Suba Sankaran and Tom Lillington. Last summer they performed at the SING! Toronto and the upcoming SING! Edinburgh show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. www.hamptonavenue.com
Travis Knights (on Sunday, May 24 in the SING! Salutes Vegas production)
Tap Dancer. Performer. Choreographer. Speaker. Believer. Montreal native Travis Knights is realizing his dreams, pounding rhythms on wood floors all over the world. His talent and dedication have earned him audiences in Shanghai, Dusseldorf, Paris, New York, and Vancouver to name a few.
His career started in 2000, when he was cast as a principal dancer in the motion picture biography of Bill Bojangles Robinson with Gregory Hines and Savion Glover. The film, entitled Bojangles was choreographed by the legendary Henry LeTang.
In 2006, he was tapped to be the principal dancer in the video game adaptation of Warner Brothers Happy Feet. In 2007 and 2008, Travis participated extensively as a Tap Dance consultant for Cirque du Soleil. Since then, he has performed in Tandem Act Productions Diary of a Tap Dancer at the Apollo Theatre, and the touring show Wonderland: A Tap Tribute to Stevie Wonder, created by Ayodele Casel and Sarah Savelli.
He was a featured Tap Dancer in the Opening Ceremonies to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. In the same year he toured North America with the raucous and rowdy internationally acclaimed Australian Tap Dance show, Tap Dogs.
From 2010 to 2013, Travis jumped into the dance company world as a principal dancer with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas. During his time there he was awarded the Austin Critics Table Award for best dance artist in 2011 and 2013. In 2014, he embarked on a self-produced world tour, filming his web series entitled The Interviews featuring celebrated pioneers in the tap dance world. He recently debuted new works in Thomas Mareks show NOLA in Hamburg, Germany.
He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario and hosts a weekly podcast (The Tap Love Tour Podcast, subscribe and download on itunes) featuring interviews of a myriad of inspiring artists. Travis is currently developing an original full length work commissioned by Soulpepper as a part of Project Imagination, Canadas largest theatre commissioning project of new work by Canadian artists. Look out for him, because the best is yet to come.
PLANTING PEARL is a new up-and-coming jazz vocal group that pays homage to the everlasting influence of Gene Puerling. Though the group Planting Pearl was just recently established in 2018, the 4 singers have been performing together in various contexts for the last 5 years. Their goal with Planting Pearl is to deliver cutting edge arrangements and covers of impactful groups in the vocal jazz genre, and with each performance, finding a new sense of appreciation for the genre. Planting Pearl is founded by members Megan Vivares, Meagan Luchko, Nathan Martin, and Jackson Welchner, who all bring a unique sense of chemistry not often found in the young members of the Toronto Jazz Scene. The group prides itself on its original arrangements by members Nathan Martin and Jackson Welchner. With a passion for live performance and the strength of their chemistry, Planting Pearl is looking forward to an inaugural season full of vocal depth and entertainment. www.facebook.com/PlantingPearl/
RETROCITY For pure acappellatude, look no further than Retrocity. Eight totally rad singers electric boogaloo their way through your favourite tunes from the 80s and beyond, without a keytar or drum machine in sight.
Retrocity was born in 1998, when a group of graduates from York University in Toronto decided to form an a cappella band devoted to the music of their misspent youth. What started as a onenight- only concert morphed into an established and well-loved vocal band that continues to hit audiences squarely in their nostalgia cortex. Retrocitys repertoire covers musical vintages and styles of all kinds, but their hearts still belong to the Me Decade.
The bold, textured a cappella arrangements capture an astonishing range of instrumental imitation. Righteous guitar riffs, sensual sax solos, dope drum beats and sizzling synths all performed with the human voice. From Sting to Salt n Pepa, nobody delivers a blast of tubular
tuneage like Retrocity.
Retrocitys high calibre musicianship and kinetic performance style are popular with audiences of all kinds.The group offers professional vocal clinics and workshops, and has delivered their high-energy show in venues around the world. http://retrocity.ca/
RUACH SINGERS Creating innovative Hebrew vocal music, Ruach Singers offers a new take on the traditional Jewish choral sound, with style cues from contemporary jazz/pop a cappella and modern world music. The approach is unique and
unprecedented, an evolution of traditional Jewish liturgical music, incorporating new contemporary a cappella choral styles into familiar melodies. Named for the Hebrew word for breath, wind or spirit, it is tradition re-envisioned, with voices creating instrument sounds, beat boxing, and tight harmonies. Their CD, Crossroads, has won accolades from music critics and audiences.
Ruach Singers are conducted by Aaron Jensen, an internationally-published composer, arranger and performer. His works have been performed across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. Aarons music is played on radio stations worldwide. He has performed, toured and recorded with many award-winning ensembles. http://www.ruachsingers.com/
SUBA SANKARAN: DORA award-winning, JUNO-nominated world/fusion vocalist Sankaran effortlessly combines musical worlds, performing across North America, Europe, the UK, Asia, Australia and Africa with Autorickshaw, master drummer Trichy Sankaran, FreePlay and Retrocity. Performance highlights include performing for Peter Gabriel, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and performing with Jane Siberry, Lorraine Segato, Bobby McFerrin and the Swingles. She has composed, recorded and produced music for theatre, film, radio, and for south Indian and modern dance, including collaborations with Oscar-nominee Deepa Mehta. Recently, Sankaran made her acting debut at Stratford Festival where she has served for two seasons as vocal coach/arranger and sound designer. Sankaran is in demand as a private teacher, educator, choral director, arranger, adjudicator and composer and has given numerous workshops to choirs around the world. http://www.subasankaran.com/