FLORENCE — The University of North Alabama Distinguished Events Series for 2013-14 continues with a special Valentine’s weekend performance by the crowd-pleasing, critically acclaimed New York Voices.
The Grammy Award-winning group – hailed for its close-knit harmonies, inspired arrangements and unparalleled vocal blend – will perform a free public concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at Norton Auditorium on the UNA campus.
The deep and diverse musical roots of New York Voices encompass the sounds of jazz, Brazilian, rhythm-and-blues, classical and pop. The group’s breathtaking, exhilarating recordings and live performances have earned favorable comparisons to a long and distinguished line of jazz vocal groups that helped establish that tradition – from Lambert, Hendricks and Ross to Singers Unlimited and Manhattan Transfer.
“They’re one of the best groups in the country for what they do,” noted Dr. Ian Loeppky, UNA’s director of choral activities and an associate professor of music at the university. “We’re really, really lucky to get them.”
While visiting UNA for the concert, the four members of New York Voices – Kim Nazarian, Peter Eldridge, Darmon Meader and Lauren Kinhan – will present a Vocal Jazz Workshop from 4-5 p.m. the day of the concert. The special outreach program will take place in the Choral Rehearsal Room of the UNA Music Building.
“They’ll be working with our a cappella jazz ensemble,” explained Loeppky, who recommended the group for the series, “but the workshop is not restricted to students. It’s open to anyone and everyone and will be offered free of charge.”
New York Voices began in 1988 as an alumni vocal group from Ithaca College in New York. The group earned a Grammy Award for Count Basie Orchestra with New York Voices and a Latin Grammy Award for Brazilian Dreams with Paquito D’Rivera. Over the years the singers have performed with jazz artists ranging from Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson and George Benson to the Count Basie Orchestra and Manhattan Transfer. The group commemorated its silver anniversary in 2013 with the release of the Palmetto Records album New York Voices Live with the WDR Big Band Cologne.