Chicago a cappella Jazz Concerts in Early March
- Chicago a cappella (the vocal group; unrelated to this news group
except by interest) turns its talents to the art of vocal jazz and a
cappella pop in three early March jazz performances titled "Stormy
Weather." Dates and venues are listed below. The nine singers of the
acclaimed group will bring their intimate blend and feel for
sophisticated harmony to standards such as Cole Porter's "Night
and Day," George Gershwin's "Summertime," and Hoagy Carmichael's
"The Nearness of You," as well as pop classics by Stevie Wonder and
Brian Wilson. The finest a cappella arrangers in vocal jazz are
represented, including Ward Swingle, Jennifer Shelton Barnes, and The
Real Group's Anders Edenroth. "Stormy Weather" will be an evening
of pure enjoyment.
In "Stormy Weather," Chicago a cappella will showcase some of the
greatest standards of American song, all sung in beautiful and fresh
a cappella arrangements. The nine singers will wrap their voices
around the sinuous melody of Jerome Kern's "Smoke Gets In Your
Eyes," the jaunty rhythm of Irving Berlin's "Steppin' Out
with My Baby," and the familar strains of Rodgers and Hart's "Blue
Jazz fans will get their due, as the group sings Duke Ellington's
classic "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," and Bill Evans's
"Waltz for Debby." The arrangements for the concert include charts by
Ward Swingle, whose Swingle Singers re-defined jazz singing.
While Chicago a cappella has defined itself as a primarily classical
ensemble, the singers have always displayed remarkable versatility.
The group's arrangements of songs by Paul Simon, Lyle Lovett and
k.d. lang have always been show-stoppers. Founder and artistic
director Jonathan Miller states, "From the start, I always intended
the group to sound convincing, no matter the style: Renaissance
music, spirituals, Gregorian chant, and even vocal jazz. I have
enjoyed the chance to dig deeply into the jazz and pop repertoire for
this concert, and the singers sound terrific." Among the members of
the group with extensive backgrounds in jazz and pop are soprano
Kathleen Dietz, who has toured as backing vocalist for Kenny Rogers
and sung with the adult-contemporary band Soleil Moon. Tenor Harold
Brock and mezzo-soprano Amy Pickering perform regularly with the
80's cover band "high in the lower 80's." Baritone Matthew
Greenberg has appeared with the pop quintet Table for Five, and mezzo-
soprano Susan Lerner sang the world premiere of an original piece by
award-winning Chicago jazz-blues composer Peter Saltzman. In addition
to Jonathan Miller, who sings low bass, "Stormy Weather" will also
feature mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Grizzell, tenor Erik Carlson, and
baritone Aaron Johnson.
The "Stormy Weather" Concerts may be heard at any of three Chicago
area venues and three dates:
** Saturday, March 2, 8:00 p.m., at Unity Temple, 875 Lake Street in
** Saturday, March 9, 8:00 p.m., at The Newberry Library, 60 W.
Walton St. in Chicago
** Sunday, March 10, 7:30 p.m., at Northwestern University's
Lutkin Hall, 700 University Place in Evanston.
Tickets: $25 / $20 senior / $12 student / Group rates available
For tickets, call (773)755-1628 or 1-800-SING-WOW (800/746-4969).
More information and online ticket sales: www.chicagoacappella.org