The Swingles

Special Ensemble, Shows and Attractions, Symphony Pops

Biography

For more than half a century, The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music. The seven young singers that make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has defined the five-time Grammy® winners since they first made waves in the 1960s. At a time when a cappella music is more popular than ever, The Swingles are recognised as masters of their craft.

In 1963, American-born Ward Swingle first assembled a group of Parisian session singers to sing Bach’s keyboard music. The resulting album, Jazz Sebastian Bach, launched the Swingle Singers to fame. Since then, they have won five Grammy® awards and appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks, including Sex and the City, Milk, Grey’s Anatomy and Glee. Their repertoire has grown to include a huge variety of music, including new original songs, and they have released more than 50 recordings – most recently the audacious Deep End and holiday album Yule Songs vol. II.

Launching in early 2017, The Swingles’ next project is a diverse collection of folk music from around the world, inspired by their international travels and featuring collaborations with traditional artists. With creative arrangements that transport these well-loved songs into the group’s unique and rich sound world, the results are powerful and surprising.

The group’s versatility has led to collaborations with artists as diverse as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jamie Cullum and Labrinth. Luciano Berio was one of the first composers to explore the sound of the Swingles’ amplified voices in an orchestral setting with his groundbreaking Sinfonia. The group continue to perform the piece to great acclaim around the world, with recent performances at San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall and Milan’s La Scala; they look forward to bringing it to new audiences for its 50th anniversary in 2018-19.

In addition to a busy touring schedule that regularly takes them to North and South America, Europe and Asia, The Swingles present their own London A Cappella Festival at Kings Place each January in partnership with Ikon Arts Management. The festival is the first of its kind in the capital, welcoming the finest vocal talent from around the world.

Reviews

“Stunning reinventions of songs by the likes of John Martyn, Elbow and Mumford & Sons, with subtle beatboxing and audacious harmonies… superhero singing to truly raise goosebumps.”

The Guardian

“The orchestra and the Swingle Singers…gave a stellar performance, full of color, vitality, and drama.”

BachTrack

More Reviews

“Stunning reinventions of songs by the likes of John Martyn, Elbow and Mumford & Sons, with subtle beatboxing and audacious harmonies… superhero singing to truly raise goosebumps.”

The Guardian 

“The orchestra and the Swingle Singers…gave a stellar performance, full of color, vitality, and drama.”

BachTrack 

““The vocal and choral world has changed considerably in the last 50 years… But The Swingles have managed to hold onto to their distinctive niche and continue to thrive.” ”

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

““Whether performing with the National Symphony Orchestra or in a cappella settings, The Swingle Singers were never less than dazzling” ”

WASHINGTON POST

““Talented, talented people””

JAMIE CULLUM

Available in 2017

The Swingles Present An International Folk Programme:

“Folklore”

(Title TBC)

U.S. Tour March 2017 Dates still available

Where there’s life, there is song. Every culture has its lullabies, laments, serenades, work and war songs – songs for life’s defining moments and daily rituals. Inspired by their experiences touring the world, The Swingles have been digging through the musical crates and traditions of countries as diverse as Afghanistan, Portugal, China and the Philippines. From choral polyphony to instrumental reels and ragas, they have found stories and melodies that speak loudly to them, and woven innovative arrangements around them, transporting them to the distinctive world of sound that sets the five-time Grammy winners apart from any other vocal group on the planet. This is music both exotic and universal, surprising and comforting. It is, in the truest sense, folk music: music that gets to the heart of what it means to be human.

  • Unmade – Original
  • Ili-Ili – Phillipines
  • Hard Times – USA
  • Lovers Desire – Afghanistan
  • Malaika – Kenya/Tanzania
  • Mo Li Hua – China
  • Sina – Original/in Finnish
  • Bučimiš – Bulgaria
  • Nem As Paredes Confesso – Portugal

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