Quintessence is the musical passion of six singers who specialize in a cappella renderings of a wide variety of repertoire. The ensemble began life as a quartet in 1985 when Paul Jay enlisted three other members of the Cantata Singers of Ottawa to try their hand at vocal jazz. A veteran of the genre from England by way of France, Paul was eager to continue exploring the exciting intricacies of vocal harmony. He expanded the group to a sextet in 1986 to add more depth and complexity to the blend. Taking inspiration from groups such as Lambert, Hendrix and Ross, The Swingle Singers, Les Double Six, The Singers Unlimited, Take Six, Manhattan Transfer, The Real Group and others, we have strived to create our own distinctive sound as we explore styles ranging from bebop to Bach to big band to bossa. Many of our arrangements are tailor-made by members of the group for an exact match with our unique vocal spectrum.
The joy and fun of making music together is our raison d’etre. We have traveled as an ensemble to places like Sacramento, California and Geneva, Switzerland and have shared much more than music as our lives have evolved. This recording represents some of our most cherished repertoire and is the culmination of years of diligent rehearsal and devotion to the music. May it bring you much joy in the listening.