New York Voices is the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble renowned for their excellence in jazz and the art of group singing. Like the great groups that have come before, such as Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Singers Unlimited, Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, they have learned from the best and taken the art form to new levels. Their interests are rooted in jazz, but often Brazilian, R and B, classical, and pop influences are included with equal creativity and authenticity.
The group was formed in 1987 by Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, Kim Nazarian, Caprice Fox and Sara Krieger. By way of explanation, Darmon, Peter, Kim and Caprice attended Ithaca College in NY and were part of an invitational alumni group formed to tour the European Jazz Festivals in the summer of '86. As a result of this exciting experience, the idea of forming a professional group was born. In 1989 they would sign their first record deal with GRP Records and release their self titled debut album, New York Voices. The group received rave notices and quickly received domestic and international recognition in the Jazz World. From '89 to '94, they released four total CDs on the GRP Label, Hearts of Fire, What's Inside, and The Collection.
While recording for GRP, they underwent personnel changes. In 1992, Sara Krieger retired her chair, and after auditioning over 60 vocalists from all over the U.S., the group found Lauren Kinhan. There was an immediate chemistry in fit and sound, allowing the group to make a quick transition and fast become the "new" New York Voices. Lauren's first musical contributions can be heard on NYV's third CD, What's Inside, released in May of 1993. In early 1994, Caprice Fox left the group, forever fixing NYV as the quartet it is today.
Besides their own CDs, NYV has made many guest appearances on recordings and live performances that have earned them critical acclaim and demand in a variety of musical settings. You can find their performances on such CDs as their Grammy award winning collaboration, Count Basie Orchestra with New York Voices, Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG Records), the contemporary classical The Ancient Tower (Robert Lepley - EarthBeat Records), Heirs to Jobim (BMG Records), Don Sebesky's I Remember Bill (BMG), Jim Hall's By Arrangement (Telarc), A Love Affair - the Music of Ivan Lins (TELARC), Irving Berlin's Louisiana Purchase (DRG), and many more. They have had the pleasure of performing with a number of influential jazz artists including Ray Brown, Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson, George Benson, and the like.
In early 1997, NYV signed a new record deal with RCA Victor. They traveled down a different road creating their first high concept CD paying tribute to a contemporary composer which produced, New York Voices Sing the Songs of Paul Simon. They explored and used a variety of styles to express new turns on this singer/songwriter's popular songbook.
In late 2000, New York Voices completed their sixth CD entitled Sing, Sing, Sing. After sharing many years and performances with the Count Basie Orchestra, the group wanted to address the Great Big Band Song Book and offer their own version of it. With Darmon doing the lion's share of the vocal and big band arrangements, they hired the producing talents of Elliot Scheiner (Manhattan Transfer, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac) to capture the music and mix it with his exquisite precision and care. Other guest band arrangers are the great Micheal Abene and Rob Mounsey.
Sing, Sing, Sing was released in early 2001. As reviewed by Don Heckman of the LA times, "The title track quickly lays down what to expect from the balance of the program: complex, interwoven vocal lines, interactive improvising and brisk ensemble accompaniment. And revivalist swing fans -- both players and listeners -- would do well to check out the Voices' capacity to bring a contemporary quality to classic material without sacrificing the essence of either."
NYV has traveled the globe with their elegant music, befriending people everywhere they go. They have appeared on the stages of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, The Blue Note (Japan, NYC), The Austria Opera House, The Zurich Opera House, and the list goes on. They have been seen at the many jazz festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz and Blues Heritage Festival.
Along with their extensive concert performances and recording dates, NYV also works in the field of education, giving workshops and clinics to high school and college music students. Individually, the four members are involved in a variety of projects including solo performances and recordings, teaching, writing and arranging. The group hopes to continue to explore all styles of music, and expand their audience for years to come.