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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Jazz A Capella




"Four Stars"

Four Stars! Countermeasure are a very likeable group with great personality and beautifully layered harmonies, they deserve to do well in Edinburgh. Dressed smartly in coordinating outfits and taking the stage like they mean business, they certainly look the professional outfit.
Overall their style is very modern, and, dare I say it, trendy, with lots of complex layering, mixing, and blending of tones. Midway through the set the male members of the choir were left alone on stage to sing Fox in the Field – a beautifully stripped back song with simple harmony and a real focus on the lyrics, and for me, this was the real highlight of the show. Later on, a slightly more traditional rendition of The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles gave a glimpse of different styles the group can turn their voices to, and this was a very enjoyable and intelligent song choice for their run in Edinburgh. It’s not just the prepared and rehearsed numbers that Countermeasure excel at. Partway through the show they venture into the audience to find out more about who’s at their show, before constructing songs on the spot about what they’ve learned – impressive stuff. Add that to the substantial choreography the group deliver and this really is a show with everything. - Edinburgh 49 plus 3

"5 Stars"

I'm not normally stuck for words when it comes to writing reviews for theatre plays, music groups, film reviews etc, but on this occasion it's safe to say that they have me on this one!

If you aren't aware of this award winning singing group from Canada then I suggest you should check them out - they SERIOUSLY are the best guys I have ever heard - and I've only seen one of their performances!

Everything about the talented group of guys and girls is faultless; the way they dress coordinately, the harmonies of the entire group are seamless, cover versions of songs you love anyway from the original artist, but you are able to see and hear in a different light - all in all a very worthwhile trip to The Space UK (Surgeons hall opposite Festival Theatre) - 55 minutes of pure gold!

They have two albums out as well: One entitled '14 Characters' and the other entitled 'Made to Measure' - during there performance they do a whole mixture of songs from both albums - plus they throw in some well known songs loved by everyone for good measure!

If there was more than a five star rating, I would give it to these guys as they are literally superb - groups as great as this don't come along very often, and when they do you cannot seem to keep up with them due to the huge success they have!

Credit where it's due, these guys are faultless in all their music works - well done to ALL - 5 stars go to you. You literally would be mad to miss this show! - East Coast 107.6 FM Scotland

"Countermeasure: 14 Characters Edinburgh Fringe Festival - 5 Stars"

There are thousands of different shows at the Edinburgh Fringe festival. However, there are very few shows where the audience is moved from delighted laughter to genuine tears in the course of a song.
Countermeasure: 14 Characters is a gem of a show, featuring some of Canada’s strongesta cappella talent. The songs include clever arrangements to several popular songs, as well as original music inspired by Jazz standards. The group is seamless in its transition between musical styles, and the songs chosen for the concert are punctuated with clever dialogue that allows the audience to feel a closeness with several of the singers.
Each member of Countermeasure is given a chance to shine, and several of the voices are outstanding. In particular, John-Michael Erlendson (who displays a stunning ability to beatbox that segues beautifully into lyrical singing during an all-male ballad), Gianna Antonacci (whose rap solo is both hilarious and adept), and Aaron Jensen (who not only has a wonderful voice, but who, we learn, arranged all of the songs in the concert).
This was a stunning hour of world-class a cappella music. If singing at the Edinburgh Fringe were an Olympic sport, Countermeasure would be a hands-down gold medal winner. -


This CD ought to be viewed as one of the most valuable additions to vocal a cappella repertory. CounterMeasure presents vocal harmony in a pristine incarnation by fourteen singers who can make any note hummed, whistled, scatted and sung come alive – as if by magic – with exceptional finesse and urgency. Think Singers Unlimited, The Swingle Singers, and The New York Voices on a collision course with Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6… and then think again. This vocal consort brings to the ten pieces on this recording a priceless musical language that ranges far beyond the familiar. Everything on the recording seizes the ear with fresh and noble discernment. Sopranos and mezzos are profoundly beautiful and evocative; countertenors, tenors, baritones and basses are deep and emphatic. Together the group creates choral textures and adventurous harmonies, worthy of anyone of the aforementioned groups and then some. Each song is a master-class in the art of vocalastics. The vocal performances could hardly be more captivating than on Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Take the A Train’ and the Beatles’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’; each is a silken account of how a memorable original could be made impossibly more memorable. And every other song is filled with gleaming contributions from the singers, who take up their harmonic assignments or melding of faux-instrumental and interweaving voices in ensemble pieces with a sophistication that hasn’t been heard in a very long time. Just as electrifying is the quality of this recording. - Jazz Da Gama

"Countermeasure : 14 Characters - Highly Recommended"

The Fringe is awash with a cappella groups, or so it seems. I can’t emerge from my reviewer’s lair at Fringe Central without being assailed by absolutely charming young people thrusting flyers into my hands, imploring me to come and here something by In and Out, Upside Down, Back To Front or some other cutely entitled ensemble.

Don’t get me wrong, there is some fantastic music to be had from what are always well-drilled, well-presented four part harmony groups. But it’s all a bit, well, beige. The comfortable and the familiar pleasantly repackaged to the point where many of the tunes start to sound the same.

But do your research and you can find ensemble offering music more interesting than a common time rehash of a tune that wasn’t that memorable in the first place. And in Countermeasure I hit the jackpot. Six men and eight ladies provided an hour of music that was innovative, harmonically testing and, at times, wonderfully daring.

Aaron Jensen is the creative genius behind this Canadian based troupe and their concert showcased a number of his compositions including Fox In The Field, a real stand out with its intriguing harmonies and interesting 9/8 time signature section. Jensen is no slouch either when it comes to arranging covers. A wonderful take on Duke Ellington’s “Take The A Train” formed the backing to a short animated film about, well, a train and there was an engagingly quirky interpretation of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”.

But what on earth were they doing getting three members of the audience up on the stage? Had these guys been auditioned? Could they harmonise? Turned out that this was an excuse for a bit of improv as, given a combination of names, hobbies and work occupation, they improvised lyrics to that Manilow hit, “Copacabana”. Very clever and refreshingly different.

Finishing up with a brief homage to Scotland with, what else, that Proclaimer’s classic, “I Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, this was an hour of uplifting music from a bunch of real characters and very talented singers. - Fringe Review

"Countermeasure, incantato con il loro show"

nel fossato del castello che ha fatto il tutto esaurito di pubblico, - i canadesi Countermeasure, che hanno incantato con il loro show, classe, simpatia, grande presenza scenica e un impasto vocale straordinario che è passato dal pop alle atmosfere swing e soul.

In the moat of the castle that has sold out to the public, Countermeasure, who enchanted with their show, class, charm, great stage presence and an extraordinary vocal mix that has gone from pop the atmospheres of swing and soul. really spectacular start. - La Fedeltà - Fossano, Italy

"Made to Measure"

Toronto a cappella group Countermeasure showcases itself as a musically astute and on-the-edge vocal group. Using only their voices, they create a mind-boggling array of sounds from harmonic lyrical choral to rocking percussive to instrumental sounds. Exciting and groundbreaking to say the least, the 14 young members are led in this energetic band project by composer/arranger Aaron Jensen.
A plethora of styles and influences are technically and convincingly performed. Cole Porter’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin is a funky percussive rendition with lush harmonies, horn and bass sounds supporting soloist Qwyn MacLachlan. Jensen’s ballad Fox in the Field highlights more classic wistful colourful harmonies and phrases. Train the A Take draws on the standard Take the A Train as fragments of melodies are combined and repeated while amazing train-like vocal noises keep it moving. Covers of a Middle Eastern world music-flavoured Bruce Cockburn’s Lovers in A Dangerous Time, and pop, jazz and you-name-it spiced Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There give each song refreshing new aural lives. The title track Made to Measure is an uplifting touch of musical theatre written by member J-M Erlendson. Witty yet never sarcastic, the show goes on with brevity, drama and comedy. Countermeasure is a rising star in the Canadian music and recording scene. - Wholenote Magazine


Made to Measure
14 Characters



Countermeasure is the new sound in vocal music, their genre-defying contemporary sound taking a cappella to the next level. Featuring 13 members of Canada’s top young vocal talent, Countermeasure are renowned for their sophisticated arrangements, seamless harmonies, lively performances and infectious energy. Their dramatically choreographed show, where every song tells a story, has received standing ovations and five star reviews worldwide. Dubbed "The leading a cappella chorus out of Toronto" by the Washington (D.C.) Examiner, the group has won kudos from critics and fans alike. ★★★★★55 minutes of pure gold! "East Coast 107.6 FM (2016) Edinburgh  and “Jawdropping! The most impressive thing I’ve ever seen and heard! Absolutely fantastic! I feel like I’m wearing some invisible coat of joy when I listen to you sing.” Roundhouse Radio, Vancouver

 Their latest video, “Life is Fine”, has nearly 240,000 views!

 With vivacious vocal stylings, where the audience can be moved from delighted laughter to genuine tears in the course of a song, Countermeasure adds their one-of-a-kind jazz/pop innovations to audience favourites from classic compositions to today’s latest hits.

Formed in 2010, Countermeasure is led by award-winning composer/arranger Aaron Jensen. The group performs original songs and reimagined standards from the likes of Cole Porter to the Beatles, with a strong accent on pop and jazz arrangements. It’s a cappella singing at its best, incorporating innovative live looping, vocal percussion, and instrument sounds made by the voice. Their broad-based musical eclecticism has opened doors for the group to headline international contemporary choral concerts, play the main stage at jazz festivals, coerce club-goers onto dance floors and collaborate in esoteric interdisciplinary art projects. They have shared stages with everyone from a cappella giants Naturally 7 and The Swingle Singers to top 40 stars Corey Hart and Blue Rodeo. 

The ensemble won one of two spots in the Best Jazz Album category from the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards in the U.S. for their debut CD, “14 Characters”.  That was followed by the critically-acclaimed CD, “Made to Measure”.

Countermeasure has been featured at high-profile jazz festivals, concert series, and galas, as well as on CBC Radio and TV, Global TV, Rogers TV and City TV, and CP24 TV. They are a founding artist of SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, Canada’s premier a cappella festival. They have wowed audiences on two U.S. and several Canadian tours, and in the UK at London a Cappella Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, London-area theatres, and at the opening concert at the world-renowned Vocalmente Festival in Italy. “Countermeasure's performance was filled with class, charm, phenomenal stage presence, and an extraordinary mix of vocals...Truly spectacular.”La Fedeltà Newspaper - Fossano, Italy

“I have seen 100s of a cappella shows but what these Canadians are doing here at #LACF2015 (London A Cappella Festival) is unheard of. What a joy and a pleasure.”- Florian Statdler, VocalBlog, Germany

Band Members