Cadence: Juggling family life and life on the road

It is their voices that rule at multi-award winning acapella group, Cadence’s concerts.


singing acapella

Cadence’s members Carl Berger, Kurt Sampson, Ross Lynde and Aaron Jensen include both lyrics and vocal instrumental imitation in their performances sounding like a full orchestra or band. Cadence spans the eras with a strong focus on swing music and the jazz era. “We are going for that vintage era look with black fedoras and suits and matching ties, kind of like a Rat Pack, cool kind of look,” says Berger.

In October, Cadence released its third CD, Speak Easy to rave reviews. Speak Easy is an equal mix of traditional jazz standards including songs such as On the Street Where You Live, Ain’t that a Kick in the Head, Just a Gigolo, revamped pop tunes including Black Cars, and all-new, instant-vintage CADENCE originals; Speak Easy. Speak Easy boasts of slick vocal acrobatics, instrumental imitation and infectious energy. The arrangements are by members of the group including nine cover songs, and three originals penned by Berger and Jensen, Good Love, High and Drysville, and The Tramps.

“Good music is good music whatever instrument you play it on, so a song has to sound good on a piano or a guitar with the voice before it can be really successful as an acapella song,” informs Berger on the process of writing an acapella song.

This past year included a celebrated European tour. Cadence’s 2011 appearances will include performances in New Orleans, Boston and Vancouver and a Jazz FM, live-to-air concert on January 20th from their hometown of Toronto.

Cadence has shared the stage with musical greats such as Bobby McFerrin, Quincy Jones, and Gordon Lightfoot. They want their audiences leaving their upbeat and humorous show both entertained and happy. Berger says the music has a serious edge to it, but at the same time, Cadence thrives off of a connection with their audiences and that includes having the crowd joining them in song in parts.

Another highlight for Cadence this year was to be part of the much anticipated Kevin Spacey film, Casino Jack. Cadence sings the original score to the movie’s soundtrack along with fellow Toronto-based, jazz singer, Emilie-Claire Barlow. In fact, it was Barlow who introduced Cadence to the film’s composer, Canadian Jonathan Goldsmith.

Balancing touring and a family life is a big challenge according to Berger. All members are attached; Berger is the only one, however, with a child. Son Marley, with wife Heidi, a logistician for a consulting company, is two years old.

“We are lucky that our significant others are very supportive of what we do. My wife particularly is kind of our number one fan and really wants me to keep pursuing what I am doing, but it is a huge challenge. We try to keep our trips short when possible, but the added responsibility of having a kid at home puts a little stress on the relationship, but it always works out in the end. Sometimes they join me on the road.”

Cadence is in the midst of recording a holiday album to be released in 2011.

Speak Easy is available for download through iTunes, as well as for purchase through and through the CADENCE online store.

Watch a recent video of Cadence:


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