Northwest Arkansas will celebrate a cappella music at VoiceJam, a new pop music a cappella festival produced by Walton Arts Center on Fri., April 10 and Sat., April 11. Collegiate/Community competitions, performances, workshops, masterclasses and special guests, award-winning a cappella quintets, The House Jacks and Voco Novo will showcase the best of a cappella talent. Deke Sharon, producer of NBC’s “The Sing Off” and recently dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as “the father of contemporary a cappella,” will host the festival that will bring the hottest new art form to Northwest Arkansas. Tickets go on sale today at waltonartscenter.org or by calling the Walton Arts Box Office at 479.443.5600.

VoiceJam Festival’s main event is the Friday night competition. This vocal contest is the first of its kind in Arkansas. Organizers are currently recruiting a cappella ensembles from around the country to audition for the six allowed entries. These ensembles can consist of 3-20 members and need to submit a video to the selection committee by February 1. There is detailed information about the registration process at voicejamfestival.org. Local audiences are encouraged to come watch the selected finalists perform their competition pieces and will see the first-ever VoiceJam champion crowned.

Scheduled Events Include:

“Pitch Perfect” Sing-along
Saturday, Feb. 28 at 8 pm
Tickets are $12

VoiceJam Competition
Friday, April10 at 8 pm
Tickets are $15-25

VoiceJam Red Carpet Showcase
Saturday, April 11 at 7 pm
Tickets are $30-50

Voice Jam Festival Weekend Pass
Includes entrance to competition, all workshops and red carpet showcase for the weekend.
Tickets are $70-100

Bios
Deke Sharon- Heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A Cappella,” he 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. In addition to his work with the House Jacks, Deke produces NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” which had the highest ratings of any new, unscripted television show in the US in 2009, and was the third highest rated show on NBC in 2010. In addition, Deke served as music director for Universal’s “Pitch Perfect” starring Anna Kendrick (2012).

He is also contemporary cappella’s most prolific arranger, having arranged over 2,000 songs, with many of them in print worldwide with Hal Leonard/Contemporary A Cappella Publishing. His first book, “Acappella Arranging” was published in 2012. He has produced dozens of award winning a cappella albums and created a cappella groups for Disneyland and Disney World, and frequently tours the world teaching a variety of topics to students and professional singers.

The House Jacks- includes members Deke Sharon, Austin Willacy, Elliott Robinson, John Pointer and Nick Girard. They have inspired live audiences across North America, South America, Europe and Asia with over 3,000 performances. They feature amazing instrument imitations (drums, flute, guitar, bass, trumpet, muted trumpet, even synthesizers) that are woven into their songs to create a full and varied experience for audiences of all ages.

Voco Novo- At the end of 2009, five singers with different musical background came together and started Voco Novo A Cappella Group, with goals to create a new sound and collaborate with different art forms in Taiwan. Voco Novo not only tours around Taiwan, but also has performed abroad, including Korea, Hong Kong, China, Austria, Germany, and Sweden. With only a few years of experience, Voco Novo has already won many awards, among which includes “Best Solo” Award at the “2010 Seoul International A Cappella Competition”; “Gold Diploma” and “Han-Guang Best Performance” and “Han-Guang Best Arrangement” in “2011 Taiwan International A Cappella Festival”. “Gold Diploma 3rd prize” in Pop category, “Gold Diploma 2nd prize” in Jazz category, and “Best Arrangement” in 2012 vokal.total. International A Cappella Competition, Graz, Austria.

VoiceJam is supported by Universal and the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission.

VoiceJam registration, submission and festival components can be found at www.waltonartscenter.org/voicejam-a-cappella-festival.