The Idea of North
Fossano, Piazza XXVII Marzo 1861
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The Idea of North is Australia’s premier contemporary a cappella ensemble, and has been thus since 1998. Formed originally in 1993, four friends from the Canberra School of Music jazz department (Australian National University) got together and started creating their enviably imaginative arrangements of classic songs from the pop, jazz, folk, gospel and comedy genres. The group moved from strength to strength in the early 2000s, winning awards the world over and capturing the imagination of audiences everywhere with their enigmatic performances. The Idea of North won the 2003 ‘Harmony Sweepstakes’ open a cappella competition in the USA, and was the first non-US group to win it its then 19-year history.
This is a group that takes its music very seriously, in the most entertaining way. The Idea of North took out the 2010 ‘Best Jazz Album’ ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Award (Australian Grammys) with their collaborative release ‘Feels Like Spring’, and then independently won the 2013 ‘Best Jazz Album’ ARIA Award for their 10th album ‘Smile’ – the first ever a cappella album to win an ARIA Award (and the only one to date). A few years later the group won the ‘Best Live Music’ Award at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, from a field of over 300 live music acts.
In 2017, after several years of collaboration, The Idea of North welcomed famed Japanese vocal percussionist Kai Kitamura into their ranks, becoming a quintet for the first time. With TION’s vocal artistry and Kai’s rhythmic mastery, this combination of artists is a match made in music heaven – Kai’s ability to sound like an entire acoustic drum kit is an astounding addition to TION’s impeccable jazz and pop arrangements, and is not easily forgotten. This quintet’s incredible musical dynamism is something that needs to be heard to be believed.