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Jazz Vocals
Jazz singing can be defined by the instrumental approach to the voice, where the singer can match the instruments in their stylistic approach to the lyrics, improvised or otherwise, or through scat singing; that is, the use of nonsensical meaningless non-morphemic syllables to imitate the sound of instruments.

The "roots" of jazz music were very much vocal, with "field hollers" and ceremonial chants, but whilst the blues maintained a strong vocal tradition, with singers such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith heavily influencing the progress of American popular music in general, early jazz bands only featured vocalists periodically, albeit those with a more "bluesy" tone of voice; one of the first "Jazz" recordings, the 1917 Original Dixieland Jass Band recordings featured one Sarah Martin as vocalist.

It was Louis Armstrong who established singing as a distinct art form in jazz, realising that a singer could improvise in the same manner as instrumentalist, and establishing scat singing as a central pillar of the jazz vocal art. (source: wikipedia.org).

While we don't have a Louis Armstrong or a Bessie Smith, our performers bring their own stylings to jazz.

Click on the photos above for an audio sample.

Also see Jazz, Blues & Swing bands.

 
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