The Pacific Northwest has played a big part in the evolution of vocal jazz. The first attempt to transcribe Big Band instrumental music for a vocal choir was done in 1967 by Portland’s Hal Malcomb. Malcomb’s group, Genesis, began hosting what is now the oldest vocal jazz festival in the country, The Northwest Vocal Jazz Festival. Carrying on that tradition is the Bellevue High School vocal ensemble, The Bellairs—8 fine young singers, accompanied by piano, bass and drums and mentored by Kirk Marcy who was once a member of one of the world’s most famous vocal jazz groups, The Four Freshman. In this studio session, the Bellairs cover a lot of musical ground from Bebop to Brazilian—and they make it all sound so easy.
Basses: Gene Pak , Andrew Oh
Sopranos: Christina McMillan, Erica Major
Tenors: Riley McGinn, Wesley Anderson
Altos: Iva Dedijer, Madison Ives
Bass: Ryan O’Hara
Piano: Amine Khalfallah
Drums: Joseph Madigan (also congas), Shai Mahajan