For half a century, The Swingle Singers have pushed the boundaries of what the human voice can achieve. Their vocal agility and blend, combined with captivating showmanship, have thrilled audiences across the globe. Celebrating their 50th anniversary in the 201314 season, today’s young and gifted Swingle Singers represent the group’s evolution from baroque jazz pioneers to contemporary a cappella phenomenon.
The group’s history is a remarkable tale of renewal. In 1963, Americanborn Ward Swingle 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. Over five decades the group has sustained a level of international popularity beyond its founder’s wildest dreams, with each new singer bringing something fresh to the Swingle sound.
Now based in London, the group is made up of seven young and versatile voices, driven by the same innovative spirit that defined the original lineup. The Swingle Singers take audiences on a journey through a multitude of musical styles and atmospheres. Their repertoire spans classical, jazz, latin, folk and pop music – and, for the first time in many years, original songs. All are delivered with unflagging passion and precision, using the human voice alone.
The Swingles have sung on the world’s most famous stages, from Ronnie Scott’s to La Scala. They have won 5 Grammy Awards, featured on the soundtracks of Sex and the City and Glee, 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 201314 season will see the release of two new albums to mark their anniversary year.
Their adaptability across the musical spectrum has resulted in many opportunities for collaboration, from the Pierre Boulez to Jamie Cullum. 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 groundbreaking Sinfonia with some of the world’s greatest orchestras. More recent commissions have been penned by British jazz legend John Dankworth, Michael Nyman, French composer Pascal Zavaro, and Berio's protégé Azio Corghi.
The Swingle Singers present their own 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 a cappella world. Through the festival, through their education work and numerous television and radio appearances, they are passionate ambassadors for their craft.
In 2013, their concert schedule takes them to North and South America, Russia, China and Dubai in addition to extensive touring in Europe and the UK. As they enter their sixth decade, The Swingle Singers invite you to join them for the next stage of their extraordinary journey.
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