26/8 h21.00 — Piazza Castello
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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-Lo’s, the six men of ACCENT, all of them accomplished arrangers and instrumentalists in their own right, are taking their love of close-harmony jazz singing – the denser and more intricate the better – as far as it can go.
The improbable meeting of Jean-Baptiste (“JB”) Craipeau (France), Simon Åkesson (Sweden), Danny Fong (Canada), Andrew Kesler (Canada), James Rose (United Kingdom), and Evan Sanders (USA), six self-described “jazz vocal nerds,” could have happened only in the age of social media. After becoming long-distance fans of each other’s multi-tracked videos on YouTube, they joined forces in 2011, collaborating online on songs and videos.
Since then, they have released two albums, performed at the London A Cappella Festival, played dates in Germany, France, Sweden, Mexico and the U.S., and were featured in a sold-out Christmas show at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Their singular blend and arrangements have been acclaimed by a cappella devotees and fellow musicians alike, including Cedric Dent of TAKE 6 and Clark Burroughs of The Hi-Lo’s.
Their latest EP, In This Together, is a milestone for the group: it’s the first time the group has recorded together in the same studio. Far surpassing the usual a cappella group fare of pop covers, the album features six originals, including compositions by James, Simon and JB; a previously unrecorded song by TAKE 6 members Mervyn Warren and Mark Kibble; and contributions by Michael Jackson-collaborator Siedah Garrett and Denmark-based jazz bassist Kristin Korb. As Alan Paul said, “You guys carry on the vocal group legacy.”