16th Annual

The Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Festival, the premier American showcase for vocal harmony music, celebrates its 16th year in 2000. The annual national competition draws from hundreds of vocal groups from around the country with regional competitions in eight cities. The winning group from each festival is flown to perform in front of celebrity judges and a sold out house of enthusiastic a cappella fans at the National Finals.

1999 Los Angeles Champions

Ja'a

When you think of Ja'a, think deep, "funkafied" harmonies. These six gentlemen give you the power and the blend of soulful music that settles into the heart. Their vocal sounds give a smooth and sophisticated flow to all the songs that they touch. These brothers of harmony have continued to move beyond the boundaries of contemporary sound displaying their musical influences from jazz, R&B, contemporary a cappella, funk, pop, and gospel. The members of Jaıa share the vision of transcending the conventional barriers in music and are prepared for "Just About Anything," the operative theme which characterizes their music, attitudes, personalities, and the essence of Jaıa. Since their origin at UCLA back in 1995, Jaıa has been acclaimed for their complex harmonies, a knack for vocal instrumentation, and a flair for appealing original arrangements. Their sophisticated sound is a testament to the heart and soul that they invest in their music and performances. Showcasing their versatile style, this sextet has performed from Vegas to LA, San Diego to the Bay and Asia soon on the way. Their spirit and belief in their dream has led to the release of their second CD "Outside the Lines". This group of friends looks forward to sharing their gifts with all who will listen.

Francis AJ Alcantara, Roger Mationg, Lars Sahanaja, Paul Santos, Mike Trias, and Mikey Whitfield

1999 Results

1st
Ja'a
2nd
Inner Voices
3rd
Primitive Soul
Audience Favorite
Inner Voices

1998 results

1999 Participating Groups

allright is a men's a cappella sextet from the University of Southern California. The group was founded by Michael Landau and Jonathan Redford in the fall of 1998. Bringing East Coast menıs a cappella style to Southern California, they added the spice and intensity of r&b harmonies. Inspired by groups like Take 6 and Boyz II Men, allright is about singing to and from the soul. allrightıs first concert was at an a cappella festival on December 11th, 1998 at Bovard Auditorium. An instant hit, a vision suddenly became a reality. Things fell into place from there as allright quickly emerged into the a cappella community.

Adrian Fontanilla, George Artope, Nikhi Korula, Michael Landau, Tyan Bolger, Rob Powell, Rob Ruiz.

Diva Complex: What do you do with four women who crave constant attention? Diva Complex started in 1995 when these not-exactly-demure women realized the mere adulation they received as professional choral conductors was not sufficient - they wished to be revered as singers also. (And to be perfectly honest, they wanted to spend more quality time together discussing men, massages and M&Ms.) From the moment the Divas take the stage, audiences realize this is no typical girl group. With repertoire ranging from Renaissance to rock and roll, the controlled chaos of the show swings from sensuous to sublime to saucy. You wouldn't expect a group like this to agree on everything; however, they do confess a collective susceptibility to gorgeous harmony, and have been known to weep ecstatically at a really good chord progression (a highly technical phrase learned in their many years of schooling). Diva Complex's exuberant appearances on radio, TV and in sold-out concerts continue to amaze and delight audiences all over California. As expressed by one audience member, "This group brings impeccable musicianship and an irreverent sense of humor together in a performance which can't be missed! Wait a minute? that's the King Singers. Well, Diva Complex is pretty good, too. Great dresses!"

Dreamtimers: They started together as a group in Octover of last year. The Dreamtimers take you back to the era of The Pied Pipers, The Modernaires, and the Four Freshmen. With many years of combined experience, including solo work, vocal jazz, and barbershop, Ron Adrienne, Dean, and Bonnie come together for their debut performance with a dreamy new sound.

Infusion: This phenomenal Gospel Ensemble was established in January of 1989 at the North Pasadena Church of Christ in Pasadena, California. The two Brothers whose input was instrumental in establishment of the group are Dwyane Lundy and Marcus Jerome Lundy. The age range of the group members are 19 ñ 40 and over. Infusion consists of 6 uniquely talented young Christians and they were joined together by mutual inner desire to share the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Ministry of Song. The group has made a tremendous impact on all kinds of audiences, with their rare blend of synchronized A Cappella harmony. Infusionıs self-produced studio recording projects included: ³Infused by the Word of God² and their recent project ³Infusion Live!² They overwhelm audiences both young and old with their authentic style and breathtaking presentation. Their outstanding, multi-talented lead vocalists bringing the roof down every time they touch the microphone. They are prolific and unexhausted with constantly new and upcoming appearances in various lcations and on a variety of settings - private and public, including their radio shows and live performances.

Inner Voices are four top Los Angeles-based session singers led by vocal arranger/founder Morgan Ames. Their new CD is titled "Christmas In My Dreams" on Laurel Record. They have been profiled by Billy Taylor on CBS Sunday Morning, have toured Japan, performed on KCET (Christmas Eve 1998), KTLA Morning News, ABC Home Show, been featured on the innovative TV series My So Called Life. They have performed for President Reagan, the Betty Ford Foundation, have sung and/or recorded with Kenny Loggins, David Benoit, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, and Carol King. Each Christmas season, they perform their highly acclaimed, sold out a cappella show at Los Angeles' famed Jazz Bakery in Culver City.

Morgan Ames, Shelby Flint, Melissa Mackay, Michael Mishaw.

Ja'a When you think of Ja'a, think deep, "findkafied" harmonies. These six gentlemen give you the power and the blend of soulful music that settles into the heart. Their vocal sounds give a smooth and sophisticated flow to all the songs that they touch. These brothers of harmony have continued to move beyond the boundaries of contemporary sound displaying their musical influences from jazz, R&B, contemporary a cappella, funk, pop, and gospel. The members of Jaıa share the vision of transcending the conventional barriers in music and are prepared for "Just About Anything," the operative theme which characterizes their music, attitudes, personalities, and the essence of Jaıa. Since their origin at UCLA back in 1995, Jaıa has been acclaimed for their complex harmonies, a knack for vocal instrumentation, and a flair for appealing original arrangements. Their sophisticated sound is a testament to the heart and soul that they invest in their music and performances. Showcasing their versatile style, this sextet has performed from Vegas to LA, San Diego to the Bay and Asia soon on the way. Their spirit and belief in their dream has led to the release of their second CD "Outside the Lines". This group of friends looks forward to sharing their gifts with all who will listen.

Francis AJ Alcantara, Roger Mationg, Lars Sahanaja, Paul Santos, Mike Trias, and Mikey Whitfield

Naked Voices have been singing since September 1998 and they offer "no excuses" a Cappella music. They sing whatever they want to. Their six members' tastes are so eclectic that they pick a song on a whim. They do their arranging and stretch each other's imagination to the limit. No Excuses - they just sing!!

Leslie Andrew, Cynthia Colbert, Mark Israel, Marie Johnson, Andy Oliver, David Silva

Primitive Soul, (formerly Pandora's Vox) blends R&B with World Beat and mixes in jazzy harmonies to create original a cappella music that has gotten the attention of AL's live music scene. They've done the Sunset Strip, appearing at The Whiskey-A-Go-Go, The Roxy and The Key Club, as well as Hollywood's Genghis Cohen, and Highland Grounds. Come hear what happens when five people with diverse backgrounds and musical tastes get together!

Emile Hassan Dyer, Carla Bellefeuille, Malayna Khalid, Byron Torres, Even Dorn.

Sons of Anacreon are the ultimate devotees to the esteemed personage of Anacreon, possibly the first poet to write of Wine, Women, and Song. They are an a cappella, Victorian themed, plaid-encrusted, rowdy and rousing comedy team which has played a variety of venues in the LA area ranging from English and Irish pubs and Horse-Drawn Carriages to the Santa Monica Pier and Dickens and Renaissance Festivals.

David Springhorn, Patrick Franz, Michael Norris, Damien Elwood, Jonathan Graff.

Three of Hearts: Prepare to be charmed, astonished, amused and entertained by Three of Hearts. Drawn together by the sheer joy of making music, these three talented performers light up any stage or event with their harmonies and off-beat humor. They offer an unusual eclectic mix of music, blended with their own brand of humor and panache. Their repertoire ranges from swing, jazz to popular songs of the ages, plus original material written by members of the group. They have a full interactive Holiday Repertoire for seasonal celebrations. The energy and enthusiasm that Three of Hearts brings to their stage presentations is guaranteed to leave you with smiles on your faces and songs in your hearts.

Kris Kennedy, Terry Lieberstein, Ellen Rand.

1999 Judges

Dan Jordan is an international Gold Medalist and a lead vocalist with the group ³New Tradition² (1985), a four time Bronze Medalist, and lead vocalist with ³The Grand Tradition² (1980, 82, 93), as well as with ³The 139th Street Quartet² (1992). He is well knows for his musical contributions on the multiple Gold and Platinum Records with Neil Diamond, Michael Jackson, and The Simpsonıs. He is an owner and a music producer for Global Entertainment Management Services. Dan co-founded World A Cappella Association, and proved with his long-standing commitment to be an leading member of AFTRA, ASCAP, NARAS, SAG, and SPEBSQSA.

Dave Kapp joined Rhino Records in December 1988. He was the driving force behind the companyıs acclaimed Med Torme box set, as well as the three-CD Poptopia! Power Pop Classics Of the Œ70ıs, 80ıs, and Œ90ıs. series (the upbeat harmonies that fill the Rhino halls Friday nights invariably come from his stereo). Prior to Rhino, Dave had worked at both a distributor (City One Stop) and at retail outlets (Music Plus and Wherehouse). Recently, he has been promoted from a position of National Sales Manager to Associate Director of Sales for Rhino Records, ensuring that all Rhino product is available for purchase everywhere. ³Dave has built the non-WEA side of our business into a very profitable and growing segment of Rhino,² says Bob Carlton - the labelıs Vice President.

Anna Callahan has been singing and arranging for a long time. In college she sang in the University of Michiganís Amazin' Blue, directing the group for two years. The group won two CARA awards during her tenure, one for Sting's "An Englishman in New York", in which Anna sang the saxophone line, and one for her arrangement of Mister Mister's "Kyrie Eleison". These songs can be found on BOCA 1 and BOCA 2 CDs, respectivily. Early in 1996, Anna published her first book, "The Collegiate A Cappella Arranging Manual," the only book out there on the subject. For three years, Anna earned her keep as a self-employed musician by gigging, teaching private lessons and classes, and doing arrangements. She arranged both privately for non-a cappella groups (both vocal and instrumental) and for CASA's Ultimate A Cappella Arranging Service. Anna recently moved to Los Angeles where she is putting together a vocal jazz trio and a vocal big band.

Karl Jacobs (awaiting bio) Warner Brothers Records

Results: 1998

Prizes

Winner represents Los Angeles in the Harmony Sweepstakes National A Cappella Festival

A set of Shure SM 58 microphones

A selection of compact discs from the Primarily A Cappella catalog

Free cassette tape duplication by Discmakers

PREVIOUS LOS ANGELES WINNERS

1998
Metropolis
1997
This Side Up
1996
Kaleidoscope
1995
Heart And Soul
1994
Beachfront Property
1993
Joy Of Six
1992

Alley Cats

1990
Knudsen Brothers

 

Interested in Competing?

We are always seeking groups who would like to compete in our events.

Groups of any style are welcome, but you must have between 3 and 7 members. We have a rule book which explains many of the details of the event, which you can see by clicking here. All groups must audition in order to compete. Generally this is done by sending a current tape and photo, although live auditions are sometimes arranged. The purpose of the audition is to make sure the group is appropriate for the Festival and to help the Director determine the performance order. If a group has competed previously, the audition process may be waived. Please send tapes and photos to the regional director :

Peter Neushal: A successful businessman by day Peter was a member of the seven time medalists "139th St Quartet", who also have claim to fame by appearing on two episodes of "Cheers" and an appearance on "Nightcourt" singing barbershop. Peter also sang with Neil Diamond on his Christmas recording.
 
125 South Irena Ave
Rodondo
CA 90277
(310) 543-1902
rdi@rdi-inc.com

The Harmony Sweepstakes National A Cappella Festival
PO Box D
San Anselmo, CA 94979
(415) 455-8602

harmony@singers.com

The Harmony Sweepstakes National Finals '99

This year's program was the most diverse and exciting yet. Filled with emerging groups, as well as Sweepstakes favorites such as Chicago Voice Exchange, the competition was intense indeed. Seven, from New York, garnered top honors, with their intricate and multi-textured voicings, heard to best advantage on "Bridge Over Troubled Water"; the group's arrangements are expanding the universe of sound. Taking second place were the Standards, five brothers whose onstage appeal and energy charmed everyone. Minimum Wage's outrageous humor, as exemplified by "The Last Cowboy Song," had the audience begging for mercy (or more?) Other musical highlights include the ringing tones of last year's champs, Metropolis (a barbershop quartet), the Euphorics, with "Message In A Bottle" and Pickup 6's medley of Beatles favorites.

2999 CD 14.98

The Very Best Of The Harmony Sweepstakes

Founded in 1985 to bring vocal music to the community, the Harmony Sweepstakes has become a recognized and sought-after showcase for professional (and aspiring) a cappella groups. This CD, compiled by Welles Goodrich, features the finest examples of talent and accomplishment that the competition has to offer, and represents a variety of styles: contemporary, as expected, but also pristine barbershop, sultry vocal jazz and classic soul. On the lighter side, "Marooned In A Blizzard Of Lies" and "Yakko's World" tickle the funny bone. "Johnny" (17th Ave. All Stars), "You Win" (Accidentals), "Rawhide" (Trenchcoats) are included, as well as winning tracks from Metropolis, SoVoSo and m-pact; but in addition, Quintessence ("Sign Your Name"), Beachfront Property ("Straighten Up and Fly Right") and "Ladder" from the (sadly) now defunct all so jimmy. Capture all of the excitement and intensity of live performance - this CD is the next best thing to being there!

2995 CD 14.98

National Finals '98

We are fortunate indeed to have assembled such a truly talented group of finalists for the 1998 Harmony Sweeps. Winners Metropolis, the barbershop quartet from Southern California, sing "Some Lucky Day" and the entertaining "Yakko's World." Audience favorite (and second-place finishers) +4dB begin the festivities with "In A Mellow Tone" and also perform the Real Group's "Chile Con Carne." Other groups include Canadians the Heebee-jeebees, catalog favorites Blind Man's Bluff, Ball in the House and Acapelicans (from Australia), Cool Shooz and the third place winners, the Sweet Adelines' quartet City Lights. Bonus performance: An improvised jam by our evening's hosts, SoVoSo. Songlist

Listen to: Metropolis Yakko's World +4db In A Mellow Tone Acappelicans The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

2998 CD 14.98

Directions

El Segundo Auditorium is located at El Segundo High School at Main and Mariposa. Free Parking.

Exit 405 Freeway at El Segundo. Go west to Main Street, Turn right (north) to 640 Main Street.

Yahoo map to El Segundo Auditorium

Festival Background - Year 2000 schedule - Recordings - 1999 Results - Rules - How to enter

Boston - Chicago - Denver - Los Angeles - New York - Pacific North West - San Francisco - Washington DC

For More of The Primarily A Cappella On-Line Catalog . . .