Down 4 The Count is a five-voice, mostly a cappella vocal jazz ensemble comprised of two baritones and three sopranos. Their specialty is swing, and boy, do they swing! Taken individually, the genres of jazz and a cappella are challenging enough; the combination of jazz harmony and a cappella singing keeps these singers on their toes – and their audiences on the edge of their seats. Down 4 The Count performs mostly original arrangements that tend towards being very high and very fast. Few audiences forget the lush voicings of Turn Out The Stars, the self-deprecating humor of Four Sopranos, or the clever lyrics of Whirlybird (if they can understand them at a tempo of approximately 260!).
Down 4 The Count’s beginnings can be traced back to the spring of 2003, when the vocal jazz director at California State University Northridge abruptly decided to quit teaching the class on the first day of the semester. Seven students, ardent lovers of the genre of ensemble jazz singing, decided to keep the ensemble going even if it wasn’t a class. Three of the current members of Down 4 The Count met and became friends in that unique ensemble: Colleen Keene, Francesca Delfin, and Genevieve Artadi. Down 4 The Count officially started rehearsing as a separate ensemble in September of 2003, immediately after they met foreign exchange student Andreas Preponis and asked him to join the ensemble – without ever having heard him sing! Fortunately, the gamble paid off; he is a terrific baritone and a talented vocal percussionist. Matt Reynolds, after a zealous recruitment period, completed the quintet in December of 2003.
Most groups have a set delineation of voice-parts: not so with D4TC. Their parts cannot be defined as easily as soprano, second soprano, alto, etc, because the voices cross as the arranger (almost always a member of the ensemble) sees fit. Both Andreas and Matt can walk a mean bassline; any of the ladies can sing lead or any voice part with ease. Sometimes we pull straws.
We hope you like the album!!