Naturally 7 returns to Edmonds Center for the Arts on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 pm.
More than just your average singing group, the members of Naturally 7 have perfected an intriguing a cappella style they’ve branded “Vocal Play” — singing as instruments. In its quest to celebrate the voice, this seven-man crew not only sings, but creates every backing instrument heard on its songs, including drums, bass, guitars, horns, flutes and turntables.
Stepping beyond R&B and pop, Naturally 7 taps into various genres, from traditional gospel and rock to 17th century baroque, which on the surface don’t seem to mesh. But in the hands of musical director/first baritone/rapper Roger Thomas and his six enterprising cohorts — brother Warren Thomas (drums, third tenor), Rod Eldridge (first tenor, turntables, trumpet), Lee Ricardo “Ricky” Cort (fourth tenor, guitar), Dwight Stewart (second baritone, trombone), Sean Simmonds (second tenor, harmonica) and Kelvin “Kelz” Mitchell (bass) — the impossible becomes possible. The diversity of the group’s music reflects the depth of Naturally 7’s influences, which range from a cappella predecessors Take Six and Bobby McFerrin to hip-hop’s Doug E. Fresh, the Fat Boys and OutKast, as well as ‘40s R&B quartet the Ink Spots, the Carpenters, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Bee Gees, and the Beatles.
With rich harmonies and a stage presence that can be felt in every seat of the house, Naturally 7 has performed for over 8 million people worldwide. As special guests of Canadian superstar Michael Bublé during three world tours, Naturally 7 has been met with standing ovations in the US, Europe, the UK, Canada, Australia, China, Southeast Asia, South America, South Africa, and many other countries on five continents. The group’s resumé also includes an opening stint with hitmakers Coldplay, headlining the Playboy Jazz Festival, playing London’s Royal Albert Hall, performing at the BET Honors for Herbie Hancock and singing at Quincy Jones’ 75th birthday party in Montreux, Switzerland.
Having met in school and gospel choir where they discovered their perfect hyper-vocal capabilities, Naturally 7 first rose to prominence in 2007. Jumpstarting their exposure: a video of the group on a Paris subway train singing Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” that went viral—the video received over six million hits on YouTube alone, and the song turned into a Top 3 chart success in France, Belgium, and South Africa and made the singles charts in other European countries, such as Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Portugal.
The group has since released 10 studio albums; performed on various TV shows including Ellen, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The View, and The Arsenio Hall Show; partnered with the General Mills Corporation on two Honey Nut Cheerios commercials; performed at the prestigious Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference; served as performance guests during the Winter Olympic Games; and most recently were named Group Music Champions on CBS’ new reality talent competition World’s Best, which aired from February to April 2019.
Tickets to ECA Presents Naturally 7: $24-$59, with 10% discount for seniors and military. Please call the ECA Box Office at 425-275-9595, go online at www.ec4arts.org, or visit us in person at the ECA Box Office, located at 410 Fourth Avenue North. ECA is a proud member of TeenTix, and offers $5 tickets to teens at the Box Office on the day of the performance, pending availability. To become a TeenTix member, register at www.teentix.org.