Project Description

The Swingles

The Swingles are one of the world’s most admired and loved vocal groups. With a natural flair as entertainers, their stylish shows take them to concert halls, arenas and festival stages across the world. Praised for their “stunning reinventions… audacious harmonies… and superhero singing to truly raise goosebumps” (The Guardian), The Swingles have earned five Grammy Awards and receive prestigious international accolades year-on-year. Also appearing on film and TV soundtracks, The Swingles’ musical evolution and creative genius has made them as relevant today as when Ward Swingle started the group nearly six decades ago.

Receiving standing ovations for their solos and seamless blend, the seven singers in The Swingles create their trademark sound combining vocal and musical versatility with well-crafted amplification. Known for brilliantly reimagined jazz tunes, classical, folk and world music, an ever-increasing seam of new, original material written by members of the group has become hugely popular.

American-born Ward Swingle first assembled a group of Parisian session singers (originally named The Swingle Singers) to sing Bach’s music for the keyboard in 1962. A bold, musically ground-breaking idea at the time, the resulting album ‘Jazz Sebastian Bach’ was a huge hit and launched The Swingles to fame. Since then, the group has released more than 50 albums with a repertoire that has grown to include a huge variety of music, fuelled by Ward Swingle’s pioneering spirit and omnivorous musical tastes. Carrying forward this legacy, today’s Swingles are Federica Basile (Italy), Joanna Goldsmith-Eteson (UK), Imogen Parry (UK), Oliver Griffiths (UK), Jamie Wright (UK), Jon Smith (US) and Edward Randell (UK).

Revered experimental composer, Luciano Berio, was one of the first composers to explore the sound of the Swingles’ amplified voices in an orchestral setting with his ground-breaking Sinfonia. Recent performances include those with San Francisco Symphony (with Michael Tilson Thomas), ORF Vienna Radio (with Marin Alsop), London Philharmonic Orchestra (with Vladimir Jurowski), and the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan (with John Axelrod). Collaborations with artists from Labrinth to The King’s Singers, Peter Hollens and Jamie Cullum add to The Swingles creative output. In recent years The Swingles founded the hugely successful London A Cappella Festival and launched an online education programme to support their extensive in-person work in education.