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June 8, 2009

A Cappella Group Jukebox Make Good on Own

Moscow Times (Russia):

Like all popular music groups, the Jukebox Trio has its own successful formula. Presenting a rich mix of classic covers and original material in an open, friendly, accessible style — with two singers and a human beatbox — it's hard not to enjoy the experience of seeing them play.

"I don't know any other a cappella bands with only three people," said lead singer Vladimir Ivanov. "Usually, they have six, but we cut it down to the main things: bass, rhythm and melody. And actually, that's all you really need in music." Clever live sampling techniques are also often used to create layered, harmonized soundscapes that give the impression of more voices.

The group formed in 2004 in Kazan, when brothers Vladimir and Ilya Ivanov met Kirill Sharafutdinov at the vocal studio where they learned jazz and funk fundamentals. "We had mutual interests, we were listening to a lot of the same music — Bobby McFerrin, Take 6, Queen, The Beatles. It's different music, but we like it all," explains Vladimir.

At live shows, this diversity is evident. Reworked Elvis Presley hits, silky Bossa Nova ballads and sermonising soulful serenades are all on the agenda. The penultimate track on the Trio's debut album "Acappellipsis" features a list of influential artists — names as varied as Ozzy Ozbourne, John Coltrane, Jimi Hendrix and the Chemical Brothers are recited in comically exaggerated Russian accents.

However, copies of the CD are somewhat hard to come by. "We decided not to sell the album in shops; it's only available at our concerts," said Vladimir. Why? "It's a big problem to make a good production with Russian record labels. They are really down now." He also cites the mercenary nature of the country's music industry as something the group wants to avoid. "Radio stations and TV channels play everything just for money, apart from maybe Western musicians — mainstream stuff. If you want to be big in Russia, you have to pay.

"The most important thing with Jukebox Trio is that, at first, it wasn't for money — simply for pleasure. When we started to earn money with the music, it was a bonus. And that's still the order of priorities," Vladimir said. Read more.

Posted by acapnews at June 8, 2009 9:42 PM

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