Singing together in this combination since 1998, Quintessence is an Ottawa-based group specialising in a cappella performances of repertoire from a variety of genres and decades, and ranging from vocal jazz arrangements to hits of recent years, as well as some original material. Their first CD was released in 2006, and is called: "The Joy of Six". They have started recording for a new CD of Christmas songs, and one of those songs is provided as a bonus track with the purchase of this album.
The group was originally formed in 1985 and has developed a distinctive style to create melody, harmony, accompaniment and even percussion, all from only six voices. Many of the vocal arrangements they perform are tailor-made to their voices by arrangers from within the group. Their influences include Singers Unlimited, The Real Group, Take Six, Rajaton, and Bobby McFerrin.
They have performed at a variety of venues in Canada, as well as overseas (in Geneva, Switzerland, and Sacramento, California) and at airports in between! They have occasionally sung with major artists such as Rosemary Clooney and Carol Welsman.
The members of Quintessence are:
Jean-François Fauteux (baritone), Paul Jay (bass), Barbara Jovaisas (alto), Susan Mayo (mezzo-soprano), Paul Melsness (tenor) and Marion Xhignesse (soprano).