Duwende
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Duwende

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Band Pop A Capella

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Mar
11
Duwende @ Crossroads Coffeehouse

North Andover, Massachusetts, USA

North Andover, Massachusetts, USA

Oct
30
Duwende @ The Center for the Arts (TCAN)

Natick, Massachusetts, USA

Natick, Massachusetts, USA

Oct
28
Duwende @ Kenny's Castaways

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


2007 Favorite Female Vocalist
Winner: Abbey Janes

http://www.casa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=773&Itemid=117 - The Contemporary A Cappella Society (www.casa.org)



Selected as one of the top six unsigned bands in the northeastern U.S. out of 1200 competing acts. - Judged by the editors of Billboard Magazine



[It's] easy to forget the album is a cappella -- in fact, it makes less sense to compare Radio Screaming to other a cappella albums than it does to compare it to the work of Top 40 groups. The most exciting a cappella album I've heard to date (and one of the better albums, period)... To say I can't wait for their next release is a bit of an understatement. -- Trey Harris on RADIO SCREAMING (2004)

A stunningly professional album of original music, snazzy sound and all-around terrific execution. Anyone interested in the development of a cappella as an art form ought to own this disc and revel in its ascendency. Lots of other people should buy this record too, because it's damn good. -- Rebecca Christie on RADIO SCREAMING

Boost[s] the NYC-based sextet to the top echelon of professional a cappella bands in the United States. -- Corey Slutsky on RADIO SCREAMING

The band's sound and creative concepts are bold, brave and gritty. Duwende is a rare beast... they are unquestionably cool, hip, and intelligent... With this release they vault themselves right over the heads of the a cappella obsessive into a space where people know what's really important -- making intense, fantastic music. -- Eric Skalinder on SOUNDS LIKE THIS (2003)

I've never seen another a cappella group -- heck, I've rarely seen a band of any kind -- captivate an audience with unfamiliar original songs the way Duwende did that night... It's unfair that such gifted vocalists also write such good songs. Forget the usual complaints about a cappella being undanceable. When Duwende's duende starts to flow, the challenge is to sit still. -- Hanna Stotland on DUWENDE (2001) - The Recorded A Cappella Review Board (www.rarb.org)


by Denise Taylor, 7/21/05

At first, some people think Edward Chung is a liar. And they don't trust the other five dubious characters that make up the band, Duwende, either.

You see, when this group from New York whips up a crowd with their exuberant funk-pop tunes, guitars wail, bass strings thump, and drums snap through soulful beats, but all six musicians perform empty-handed. Aside from their microphones, it's just them up there and empty air.

Their explanation? It's all vocal, from each perfectly metallic symbol crash to every uncannily electronic-sounding guitar riff. Time and again, though, they have to prove this is no Milli Vanilli-style stunt.

''We get a lot of people asking what kind of tracks we're singing to or what drum machine we're using, and it takes a bit of time to convince them that there was nothing; that every sound they heard was done at the moment with just the six of us and our microphones. Nothing more. Nothing less," says Chung, whose lungs and lips serve as the group's drum kit.

''We often have to do demos off-mike to prove it," he says. ''I've even done demonstrations for little kids looking right into my mouth, and afterward they look up at me innocently, but in all seriousness, and ask if I'm a robot."

Duwende, which appears in Natick Saturday, is part of the new wave in a cappella that has wandered right out of the barbershop and into the dance club. The group rocks and raps through bar and concert hall gigs along the East Coast, including clubs like Manhattan's CBGB's. Their fan base in Japan is growing as well.

''The youthful movement in a cappella is all geared toward pop rock," says Chung, explaining that since the early 1990s, when the full-band sound took hold, ''there's been an explosion in the number of collegiate a cappella groups that focus exclusively on pop music."

Most contemporary a cappella ensembles, however, stick to existing popular tunes. ''We don't fit into that category," Chung says. ''We're known for our original songwriting, and in a cappella it's a bit of a rarity to live and die on the strength of your writing."

In fact, Duwende is a band foremost and an a cappella show second. Most of the members are trained musicians, and all are songwriters. Their bubbly funk and hip-hop-fueled tunes draw fans more for their refreshing, expansive sound than their novelty. In 2002, Billboard Magazine named the group one of the top six unsigned acts in the Northeast.

Instrument mimicry requires a demanding routine of daily mouth stretching and facial exercises as well as the usual rehearsals and practicing.

''If I do my exercises daily, I can do a three-hour concert no problem, but if I miss a day or two, I'll struggle through a 15-minute show," Chung says. ''It's like an endurance race; you have to keep making sure everything is in shape."

The appeal is the purity. ''There's something about doing things all vocally," he says. ''There's nothing to hide behind. It's as honest an interaction as you can have with an audience." - The Boston Globe


by Joshua Olive, 7/24/05  

When you think of a cappella groups, what comes to mind?  There are so many different genres under the blanket of a cappella that it’s really impossible to categorize them all; some people envision a barbershop quartet, some a classical ensemble, others still a gospel choir.  One kind of group you’re unlikely to think of is Duwende .  Like their name, they are a unique group.

Much of today’s a cappella, while energetic and often musically awe-inspiring, consists of creating and arranging songs that are already out there, that have already been recorded by someone else.  Sometimes the a cappella versions of songs leave a me little cold – just not as good as the original – but almost as often, the a cappella version outshines the original, pushes it to new levels, and becomes something greater than the sum of its parts.  I’d like to tell you that Duwende’s latest album, "Radio Screaming" is of the latter persuasion – but I can’t.  Why?  Because, unlike the majority of albums put out by contemporary a cappella groups, this one doesn’t contain a single cover song.  Not one.  As a matter of fact, none of their albums do.

“Lots of groups out there write their own stuff,” you say, and you’re right.  But how many have recorded only their own songs and no one else’s?  Not many.  Not even The House Jacks or Rockapella can boast that.  “Ah,” you reply, “but just because they record original songs doesn’t mean they’re good songs.”  True.  Originality does not necessarily beget greatness.  However, it is clear from the outset of "Radio Screaming" that Duwende is a great band, with a great sound, writing great songs.  The beat is there, the VP is kickin’, the blend is seamless, the melodies are catchy, and the lyrics aren’t irritatingly derivative: “Forget the Hershey’s syrup, girl, and just put me in your milk.”  That one just makes me laugh.  Then there’s the painfully truthful bonus track at the end of the CD, "Blow Smoke" – anyone who has ever been in a band, but particularly an a cappella group, will immediately identify with this song.

These guys do it all, from soulful, melodic ballads to bouncing rap, dance mixes to hard rock.  This six-man band, around since 1997, has a tight sound, each member of the band knowing their jobs and doing them with aplomb.  "Radio Screaming" features enough genre variety that there is something here for everyone. 

Of course, the term "six-man band" might be a bit misleading, considering Duwende’s really a five-man/one-woman band, but the members of the band enjoy their uncommon gender-mix; as they tell it, “Up to 50% of every Duwende rehearsal is spent laughing…often at highly inappropriate things.  If Abbey wasn't as easy going as she is, Duwende would be in big trouble.”  And their sense of humor in rehearsals carries over into their songs; their lyrics are irreverent and witty and, for the most part, just plain fun.

However it works, the point is that it works.  These guys (and gal) know how to make music, and they know how to make their audiences get up on their feet and move.  If you’re looking for a true a cappella original, you don’t have to look any further than Duwende. - The Contemporary A Cappella Society (www.casa.org)


by Gil Kaufman, 9/17/06

If you like a cappella hip-hop funk: Don't miss New York sextet Duwende. They're like Bobby McFerrin on steroids, skittering, skattering, crooning and growling beat-box driven funk, soul and doo-wop, in unison, of course. - The Cincinnati Enquirer


September 20-26, 2006
by Mike Breen

They're the only all "a cappella" band at MidPoint [Music Festival], but this six-member unit isn't doing Doo Wop or Barbershop music. Duwende are a legitimate Pop band, using their voices to make all of the sounds (drums and instruments included) on their albums and during their live shows. The group's CD Radio Screaming sounds as good as anything on Top 40 radio these days, mixing supercharged Hip Hop, funky, melodic Pop and heavenly R&B balladry. If no one told you in advance, you wouldn't notice the all-voice musicality of the band. But knowing makes it a more fascinating listen, and live they should be one of the more interesting acts to catch at MidPoint. Local hook: Duwende's baritone singer Geoffrey Barnes is originally from Cincinnati. Some bands say they rage against the machines; Duwende do it full-on by ignoring machines completely.

Dig It: Bobby McFerrin cloned and dropped smack-dab into the middle of the 2006 Pop landscape. - Cincinnati Citybeat


by Mackenzie McAninch and Scott Wherle, 9/23/06

MM: I’ll let Scott do most of the talking about Duwende, but I’m just going to say that not only will they probably be my favorite act of the entire festival, I can’t think of any other band/artist in the five year history of this festival that I’ve enjoyed live more. For nearly five minutes after their set, about the only words I could speak were: “Holy Shit.”

SW: After previewing the music of most of the acts playing the fest this weekend, the one that stood out most was Duwende. A six-piece act from New York, Duwende is likely the most original group you’ll hear throughout the weekend, and perhaps long after. Like Blue Man Group and Stomp before them, Duwende took a concept that no one was doing and set the standard. The tagline on their site? “No backing tracks. No drum machines. No instruments to hide behind.” Where they differ from what could become a barbershop sextet, however, is that two of the members hold down an actual bass and drum beat, which you’d never know wasn’t the real thing if you didn’t see the voices creating it in front of you, while the other four weave in and out of vocal layers and harmonies that would make any singer (myself included) jealous. But lest one think them a simple novelty act, the songwriting is prime, dancey R&B with elements of hip-hop that gets the bodies moving on the dance floor. Easily the best group I’ll see this weekend, if not all year. I’m amazed some hotshot record company slimeball hasn’t exploited and mined their uniqueness for every penny possible yet. - Randomville.com


Discography

"Collective" (2007)
1. Young Leaders of Tomorrow
2. Electrify
3. Mamahouse
4. Scatter Away
5. Come Back
6. Your Lady
7. Been Lookin'
8. Poor Dan
9. Someone You Don't Know
10. I'll See You Tomorrow

"Radio Screaming" (2005)
1. Spot
2. Amazon
3. What I Need
4. Take You Dancing
5. Temporary Nadia
6. I Fall
7. Movin' On
8. Six-String Crybaby
9. Sugar
10. Dog Days
11. Blow Smoke

"Sounds Like This" (2003)
1. Free Your Mind
2. Walk Away
3. Angel
4. A Moment of Peace (So Shut Up)
5. Pomper 2003

"Duwende" (2001)
1. All Too Good
2. Good Morning Brooklyn
3. Was A Time
4. Take My Money
5. Come Rain
6. Flash Mama
7. Walk Away
8. Your Only One
9. Sister Carmencita
10. Pomper

Photos

Bio

"Whips up a crowd with their exuberant funk-pop tunes... but all six musicians perform empty-handed. Duwende is a band foremost and an a cappella show second. Their bubbly funk and hip-hop-fueled tunes draw fans more for their refreshing, expansive sound than their novelty." - The Boston Globe

Duwende (Doo-WEN-day) is a six-person vocal band best known for its fiercely original, bass-and-beatbox-driven funk/pop style of music. The New York-based band made its mark with shows in traditional rock clubs and venues, but they've also appeared at music festivals, colleges, and special events all around the county. Major a cappella shows they've headlined include the East Coast Summit, SoJam, and AcappellaStock.

In the 2002 Independent Music World Series, the editors of Billboard Magazine chose Duwende as one of the "Top 6 Indie Acts in the Northeast."

In 2005 millions of television viewers saw Duwende performing their own, original music in an ad campaign for 1.800.OKCable.

Duwende's two most recent albums (2004's "Radio Screaming" and 2007's "Collective") won the 2005 and 2008 Best Pop/Rock Album and Best Pop/Rock Original Song CARAs. "Collective" is available as a 100% free download at www.duwende.com/collective.html.