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Home > Main > Leipzig 2012 Revisited (2): Cadence Interview

Leipzig 2012 Revisited (2): Cadence Interview

via Festival für Vokalmusik Leipzig (GER), from the festival programme book 2012

Leipzig’s a cappella festival is a true work of art – for many years this 10-days event has presented almost every vocal star you can imagine from Bobby McFerrin to The Real Group and The King’s Singers. Hosted by Germany’s pride in classical a cappella, amarcord, the 2013 programme is fantastic as always presenting Sjaella (GER), Graindelavoix (BEL), Postyr Project (DEN), Orlando Consort (UK), The Magnets (UK), Huun-Huur-Tu (Tuwa), Latvian Voices (LAT), Naturally 7 (USA) and as the traditional opening concert, amarcord themselves. Yes, this is only ONE festival…

But before we will introduce you to this year’s line-up, we want to look back to the 2012 edition. Leipzig’s programme book is as premium as the festival and its founders and included interviews with every group performing at the festival. Vocal Blog is happy to present a series of interviews with the 2012 vocal groups who came to Leipzig and haven’t been featured on the blog yet. Thanks to Friederike Frieler and Wolfram Lattke for sharing this with the a cappella community.

The first in this series is an interview with members of the Canadian jazz and swing virtuosi, Cadence.

First, please introduce us to your group: How and when did the group form?

We are Cadence.  Four Men. Four Microphones.  No Instruments!  Our group formed out of Toronto’s York University in 1998.


With only four singers your group is comparatively small, but your goal is to push a cappella music to new heights. Was this the main goal when starting Cadence and did you deliberately decide to go as a four-piece for your mission?

Cadence has always been four men.  When you hear Cadence live, or on CD, you’ll be convinced you’re hearing more than four voices.   This is due to the advanced arrangements the that group write themselves.  Sometimes it is a challenge to fill out the sound of our songs with only four voices, but we are constantly working to push the boundaries of what a quartet of voices can do.


Actually, there’s no doubt about the success of your group since you’ve been entertaining crowds all over the world and received various prizes for your records. From all the things you’ve achieved so far, which are the ones you’re especially proud of? And what are your goals for the future, which boundaries are still to be blown up?

We all value our achievements in different ways.  Whether it’s singing along side 10-time Grammy award winner Bobby McFerrin, singing in Hollywood films featuring actors like Kevin Spacey, Jon Lovitz, Kelley Preston, or playing with 6-week old white Bengal tigers while working with the Discovery Channel, we all enjoy these experiences. Cadence is looking forward to a busy year of travelling where we hope to educate and inspire audiences with the possibilities of the human voice.


Why did Cadence choose a mainly jazz/swing sound outfit? Was it mainly a matter of personal taste or does it simply provide you with a wide musical field to operate in?

Jazz allows Cadence to show that with only four voices, you can still create amazing harmonies.  While performing for over a decade, the group has mastered a variety of genres, but the underlying flavor has primarily been jazz.  Over the recent years, the group has decided to focus more in this direction.


All members of the group do also play at least one instrument (in most cases a lot more…). Hand on heart: Do you prefer singing or playing instruments and why?

One of the great things about vocal music is the connection we get from singing together. We don’t need instruments to make that happen only our own voices so we always have our music with us.

All of the members of Cadence are multi-instrumentalists.   Between us we play the saxophone, trumpet, trombone, drums, guitar, bass, ukulele, and many more.  Even though we can make all these instrument sounds with our voices, we never stop loving to play the actual instruments we imitate.


Which musicians, composers and arrangers do inspire you and why?

People assume that because we sing a cappella, that’s our favorite music to listen to.  But Cadence listens to all kinds of music.  Our inspiration comes from a variety of sources.  People like Bobby McFerrin, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, and styles such as classical, rock, pop, jazz and gospel!

Amarcord’s Wolfram Lattke and Felix Krause with their festival BMW

We’re just curios: Will you prepare some kind of “best of” for the concert in Leipzig or we will hear mainly newer songs, especially from the “Speak Easy” album?

Cadence continues to sing songs from “Frost Free” 2000, “Twenty For One” 2005, and “Speak Easy” 2010, so audiences can expect an eclectic mix of tunes. In this sense we will be performing a collection of our favourites.


You recently also released a holiday album called “Cool Yule”. What was the idea behind it and what meaning does this album have to you?

Fans, friends, and family have been asking for a holiday album for years.  We all chose songs that remind us of that time of year.  Our goal was to create a winter album anyone can play over the holidays for years to come.


What can people expect from a typical Cadence concert?

A typical Cadence concert is an interactive and engaging experience. Rather than just singing at you, expect us to involve the whole audience in the music. You’ll also hear our usual variety of vocal instrument sounds which gives us many musical ingredients to draw from.  We’ll put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye, we’ll get your toes tapping before we say goodbye.


Is there some kind of ritual before going on stage, which is indispensable for your ensemble?

Cadence performs as many as 140 shows a year.  We each prepare for concerts in our own way, but in the end, we all come together to give audiences something to remember!

Have you visited Vocal Blog’s Facebook fanpage and group? Do you follow Vocal Blog on Twitter? Have you been shopping at Acappellazone? And have you ever immersed in the a cappella video pool (600 vocal music and counting) at Let us know what you like most, what’s still missing and what other great sources there are for contemporary, rhythmic a cappella! {FSt}


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