From the Soul to the Voice to the Song - SoVoSo is a award winning vocal band who's trademark is their exceptional ability to transform themselves into a believeable "full band orchestra" highlighted by spontaneous musical inventions.
SoVoSó is a highly visual and imaginative a cappella vocal band that sings a compelling mix of rhythm and blues, world-jazz, pop, gospel, and improvisational music. Culturally diverse, each member of the quintet is a skilled soloist and composer in his or her own right, trained in widely varying musical genres that equally enrich and strengthen the group as a whole.
Originally assembled in 1986 by renowned vocalist Bobby McFerrin, members of SoVoSó performed with McFerrin in his a cappella group Voicestra until 1993. Voicestra toured extensively in the United States, as well as in Brazil and Japan, and appeared on in "An Evening with the Boston Pops, "The Arsenio Hall Show," Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show," NBC's "The Today Show," VH-1 to One, and Arts and Entertainment Review. They recorded the soundtrack for the Oscar award-winning documentary "Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt," and were featured on Bobby McFerrin's CD "Medicine Music." Two members of SoVoSó sang on the 1997 McFerrin release "Circlesongs" and continue to tour with Mcferrrin as part of this ensemble.
The group has evolved and shaped its own musical style since then, renaming themselves SoVoSó ("from the Soul to the Voice to the Song") in 1994. Their innovative sound can be heard on their critically acclaimed CD’s. "World Jazz A Cappella" won "Best Studio Album" from the 1997 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards as well as "Best Original Pop Song" ("Say") and "Best Pop Cover Song" ("Thank You"). Their 1998 release, "Truth and Other Stories" has garnered CARA nominations in the jazz album, jazz song ('Gift of Music") and world beat song ("Be of Love") categories. As evident on these recordings, SoVoSó's trademark is their exceptional ability to transform themselves into a vocal orchestra, highlighted by spontaneous musical inventions. The singers further explore the extended capability of the human voice with such elements as groove-oriented bass lines, syncopated guitar or horn-like vocal riffs, and compelling vocal percussion, all of which support exquisite harmonies and intricate melodies. These elements are captured on the band’s two most recently released albums “Bridges” (2000) and their long awaited holiday album “Seasonings” (2002).
The ensemble's foundation is rooted in the art of circle singing, in which ensemble support for improvised solos is created through inter-locking patterns that are spontaneously composed. In addition to its own style of free-form, collective improvisation. In concert, SoVoSó captivates audiences with their natural playfulness, humor, and unpredictability.
SoVoSó's repertoire consists of original compositions and other songs that present a global perspective: African-American spirituals, blues, R & B, gospel, Afro-Latin idioms, pop, world beat, reggae, and jazz.
SoVoSó also collaborates with a wide range of artists. The group was commissioned to compose music to Maya Angelou's inaugural poem, "On the Pulse of Morning," for San Francisco's City of Poets Celebration. In 1998 San Francisco choreographer Robert Moses commissioned SoVoSó to compose music for his dance "Mother May I." The score won a 1999 Isadora Duncan Award. SoVoSó also performs in “SongCircus” – a thrilling circus and music show produced by Tandy Beal. The group co-wrote and performed with McFerrin the music for "Dirt," a part of the Oberlin Dance Company's "Western Women" Trilogy. Another dynamic collaboration and highlight of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, was SoVoSó's on-stage improvisations with groups from Africa, Russia and Brazil.
First Prize winners and "Audience Favorites" of the 1997 National Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, SoVoSó has shared the stage with Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, Maya Angelou, Lyle Lovett, Tracy Chapman, Poncho Sanchez, Diane Reeves, Take Six, Jack De Johnette, Joe Henderson, and the Manhattan Transfer. Noted SoVoSó engagements include the Monterey Jazz Festival, New York’s Bottom Line, Villa Montalvo and the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival.
SoVoSó is a living study in how gifted musicians can come together to make a wholly original sound without compromising any member's individual approach to the music. This closely-knit ensemble creates a transcendent magic where each voice contributes to a higher musical purpose. The result is a spiritual expression with an emotional range that fills the heart and frees the soul.
Written By: Sunshine Becker
BOOM BABY THERE YOU ARE
GOTTA TELL YOU HOW GLAD I AM THAT YOU ARRIVED
CUZ YOU BROUGHT BACK INTO MY WORLD
ALL THE JOY I TRIED FOR YEARS IN VAIN TO HIDE
(MAYBE YOU CAME TO REMIND ME
MAYBE YOU CAME TO LET IT SHOW
THAT LOVE LIVES AND FLOWS WITHIN ME
AND ALLOWS THIS GARDEN TO GROW…
BOOM BABY CAN’T YOU SEE
THE WAY MY BODY MOVES
WHEN YOU COME ‘ROUND
LIKE A HAND INSIDE A WARM GLOVE
OR TWO SILVER SPOONS LAYIN’ DOWN
SO GLAD MY BABY, THAT YOU ARRIVED...
ON PRIMARILY ACAPPELLA RECORDS:
SoVoSo World Jazz Acappella
Truth & other Stories
It's Just Live @ Yoshi's (August 2004)
Crack the Nut! (November 2004)
Then & Now (August 2005)
Precious (German Release)
SoVoSo's set list if different for every performance and is written right before the band goes onstage. The set includes mostly original material from previously released records, new material, some cover songs and spontaneous improvisational pieces never sung before.
COVER SONGS PERFORMED:
Use Me Up
How High the Moon
Fight the Power
Yah Mo be there
People Get Ready