Walton Arts Center is pleased to announce the eight finalists chosen for the 2017 VoiceJam Competition. Over a period of several months, groups from around the world submitted audition videos for a chance to compete at the 3rd Annual VoiceJam A Cappella Festival. The selected finalists include high school, collegiate and community a cappella groups from around the U.S. and two international ensembles. See below for a complete list.
The VoiceJam Festival, produced by Walton Arts Center, features regional and international contemporary a cappella ensembles that will compete for the title of VoiceJam Champion and an opportunity to travel to Hong Kong for the 2017 Vocal Asia Festival. Hosted by Deke Sharon who was dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as "the father of contemporary a cappella," VoiceJam will light up Northwest Arkansas with the excitement of a cappella. In addition to the competition, the festival includes fun and engaging opportunities for the community to learn about contemporary a cappella with events like a headliner concert featuring Naturally 7, a full day of workshops and performances in local schools. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting waltonartscenter.org/voicejam, by calling 479.443.5600 or in person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office. 
The festival is now in it’s third year and continues to grow, attracting talent from around the world. Learn more about last year's VoiceJam Festival here, and about the 2016 VoiceJam award winners here.

VOICEJAM A CAPPELLA FESTIVAL
March 31 – April 1, 2017

VoiceJam Headliner Concert
Featuring internationally renowned act Naturally 7
Friday, March 31 at 8 pm
Tickets start at $20, plus applicable fees

VoiceJam Competition
Hosted by Deke Sharon
Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 pm
Tickets are $15-25, plus applicable fees

VoiceJam Weekend Pass
Includes access to the full weekend of events, including performances, competition, workshops and VoiceJam swag


THE 2017 COMPETITORS

Beauties and the Beat – University of Texas at Austin
Fermata Town – U.S. Contemporary A Cappella League
WOW Voice Group – South China University of Technology
Lark – University of Colorado Denver
Mind the Gap – University of Oregon
UC Vocaholics – University of Cincinnati
JHS Vocal Jazz – Jacksonville High School, AR
Vocal Noisy – Xinghai Conservatory of Music

VOICEJAM GUEST BIOS

Deke Sharon– Heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A Cappella,” Deke Sharon is responsible for the current sound of modern a cappella, having created the dense vocal-instrumental sound in college, subsequently spreading it around the world. Deke produces NBC’s “The Sing-Off” worldwide (USA, Netherlands, China, South Africa), which had the highest ratings of any new, unscripted television show in the U.S. in 2009, and was the third highest rated show on NBC in 2010. In addition, Deke served as arranger, onsite music director and vocal producer for Universal Picture’s "Pitch Perfect" and “Pitch Perfect 2” starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. Deke has shared the stage with countless music legends including Ray Charles, James Brown, Crosby Stills and Nash, Run DMC, The Temptations, LL Cool J and the Four Tops, and has performed for luminaries including former President Bill Clinton. He is the founder, director and arranger for The House Jacks, who have eight albums and dozens of international tours, including multiple appearances at Carnegie Hall and a performance at the Monday Night Football Theme with Hank Williams Jr. in 2011.

Naturally 7 – In a music world rife with technological tricks of the trade, Naturally 7 is here to celebrate the beauty of the human voice. This seven-man crew is more than your average singing group. Its members have perfected an intriguing a cappella style they've branded as "Vocal Play" – in other words, singing as instruments. Tapping into various genres from pop to traditional gospel and rock to 17th century baroque, this top a cappella group is known for their mash-ups (or what they call “hybrids”) that take the essence of a well-known song and meld it with their own melodies and lyrics, letting their voices shine.

The 3rd annual VoiceJam A Cappella Festival will soar to new heights with its most aca-famous headliner to date.
VoiceJam is supported by Vocal Asia, Cheyenne Products, CJCHT, Popcorn Indiana, KNWA and Kelli & Marti Sudduth. To learn more, visit waltonartscenter.org/voicejam.