Sunday, May 22, 2011

Duwende: A Cappella Magic

Sometimes I am really thankful for youtube's existence, because it has hipped me to a number of  great musicians who I would have never known about had it not been around. And I have recently come across an amazing a capella band named Duwende on the popular video-sharing site. Duwende is made up of six very talented vocalists who are known for their singular bass-and-beatbox-driven funk/pop style. The members of the New York-based band are J. Aaron Boykin (baritone/tenor), Derrick L. Hicks (tenor), Abbey Janes (soprano), Neal Mortimer (tenor), Edward Chung (vocal percussion) and Ari Picker (bass).  - ccfldddd

Their vocal work is fluid and inventive, with rich, soulful harmonies. Each member contributes his or her own unique flavor to Duwende's sound. The band covers a wide range of styles, including funk, rock, R&B, folk, hip hop and world beat. The band has released four albums since forming more than ten years ago and first made its mark performing in traditional rock clubs and venues. Duwende has since played at music festivals, colleges and special events all around the U.S., as well as headlining major a cappella shows, including the East Coast Summit, SoJam and AcappellaStock. The band has also performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and recently played on Park City Television during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

And at the 2002 Independent Music World Series, the editors of Billboard Magazine selected Duwende as one of the "Top 6 Indie Acts in the Northeast," and the band's album Radio Screaming (2004) won Best Pop/Rock Album from The annual Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards (CARA) in 2005, with album single "I Fall" winning Best Original Song. And in 2008, Duwende's album Collective (2007) earned the band a second CARA win for Best Pop/Rock Album, as well as Best Original Song for single "Young Leaders of Tomorrow."

On May 24, Duwende will release a Michael Jackson tribute album titled Remember: The Music Of Michael Jackson, which contains covers of some of his biggest hits, including "Billie Jean," "Black or White" and "Rock With You." The members of Duwende, who cite MJ as their biggest inspiration, put their own original spin on his classic songs, showcasing the band's versatility and creativity. The collection is the band's first cover album. You can learn more about Duwende at their websiteThe band is signed to independent label Duwende Music LLC.

Download Remember: The Music Of Michael Jackson at Amazon.

Duwende's cover of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"

Duwende's cover of "Billie Jean"

Duwende performing original song "Sugar" live

Related blog entry: Duwende Performing at Java Jazz Festival

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