Inga enchanted me. She inspired me to play more, hum more, grow my daring in private, and my aha! moment in her class about “juicing” the lyrics was an exciting next step…
In 2003, she began to study with the acclaimed jazz singer Susanne Abbuehl (ECM Records), which was a transformative experience.In her first competition, after her six month experience with Susanne, Inga won first place at the Montreux Jazz Festival Shure Vocal Competition.
Inga finished her masters in choral conducting at Florida State University in 2005. During that time, she received her first invitation to appear on Garrison Keillor’s renowned radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, an opportunity that has led to over a dozen appearances on the show.
Inga relates, “Garrison spins a story just like jazz musicians improvise. It’s a thrill to witness live.” While continuing to be rooted in jazz, Inga is now revisiting her folk and classical influences and creating a sound all her own.
“My favorite things were I“My favorite things were Inga Swearingen’s song circles! They seemed capable of creating altered states of consciousness, resulting in blissful, effortless creativity… all of her classes were a joy.”
I am grateful and stunned by the quality of teaching/facilitating. Sam in particular knocked me out. His method of ‘not saying now we’ll learn this’, or ‘what are your goals’, let things grow in a way…particular to our group. It… led elegantly to the next lesson created on the spot to address… issues. Wow!
– Vocàli student
He has 3 solo a cappella albums to his credit, was a finalist in the 1st US Beatboxing Championships, has recorded/toured/performed with a diverse array of artists and theatrical projects, and helped found several music groups and expressive arts communities. He loves igniting music in audiences everywhere he goes, and his passion is exploring “100% Organic Human Music” with curious folk the world over.
Sam is also a million other things, including a professional Learning Strategy Consultant (it pays the bills), and writer/director/producer/composer for stage and screen. He is very excited to be returning to Vocáli 2017.
Sam Rogers classes were great! …terrific. I appreciated his positive, affirming approach… And he does beat-boxing… by far the best I’ve heard.
BZ Smith – Spoken Word
BZ’s Presence stays with us. Fun to think we were making an entire story of the weekend. – Vocali Student
“I was THERE when America’s Storytelling Renaissance began in the early 1970’s”. Working in my small rural county in the children’s library, I started to ‘put down the book, and tell it with my face,’ as one child requested. That one moment changed my life.
BZ has helped me think differently about how to say just about anything thing I say! – Vocali Student
BRAVO to Margo! Thanks for reminding me of the goodness and resilience that exists when people have dreams that can be shared with one another…
Margo has had the great fortune to work in the music business as a lead and backup singer for the past 20 years. During that time, teaching people to sing emerged as her passion and gift with the opportunity to help people fulfill their deepest yearnings to sing, and to do so successfully with confidence and clarity.
Margo works regularly across the globe with students and artists of all musical genres. She taught at our sister camp, RiverTunes, last summer. Her one on one coaching was a game changer for students as she is adept at providing direct, effective and supportive approaches to vocal coaching tailored to each student. We’re delighted to have her join this year’s Vocáli Faculty.
BEVERLY BRITTS ~ SIGN LANGUAGE
While attending UC Berkeley decades ago, Beverly Britt’s introduction to the world of the deaf was working part-time at the Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco, for a deaf boss, and deaf-blind clients. She also volunteered at the School for the Deaf-Blind in Berkeley. It was there that she discovered her passion. Beverly went on to SFSU to get her Masters In Special Education and a teaching credential in Deaf Ed. After teaching 3 years at the Berkeley School for the Deaf, Beverly moved to Sonora, where she taught deaf students, as well as sign language at Columbia College. After a 25-year teaching career, Beverly finds her skills, once again, being useful in La Ventana, Baja, for a young deaf man and the community that wants to learn to communicate with him.
The beauty, expressive power and confidence of sign language: it’s about pictures, about setting up a scene, and placing objects (via signs) in that scene. It’s about facial expression, as the person who is deaf is looking at your face, not your hands. Moving of the hands combined with facial expressions and various postures of the body create an intention. It’s an amazing three-dimensional language in motion. Beverly will show how handshapes and placement and motion create the sign whether in spoken word or song.
Signing also makes us more physical in our emotional and visual selves which empowers and enhances our expression in our audible language of song and spoken word.
It’s really fun and thrilling to be around people wanting to learn to sign. I look forward to my first
Vocáli Voice Camp!
Magnolia Rhythm Trio
Bringing a diversity of music from Gospel hymns, Americana and Bluegrass to traditional folk, this trio of women were each raised in the central valley of California. They found musical soul mates in each other when coming together in the picturesque big trees of Calaveras. Each member being immersed in their families’ passion for music seemed to be the catalyst that joined them. Admiring each others’ talents during musical jams, all three realized they were destined play together. Debbie and Sammy garnered the MAMA (Modesto Area Music Award) as a duet while living in the same town.
Debbie Patterson captures the essence of the Carter family style with her lead and
harmony vocals. This stems from her background where country bluegrass music was part
of everyday life. She plays guitar and mandolin.
Tonja Peterson brings her soulful lead vocals and her ability to interweave melodic
harmony vocals while keeping the trio in sync with her percussion artistry. Tonja’s mom
was a professional big band singer. Raised in that environment, made it a natural path and
passion for Tonja to pursue music.
Sammy Leverone brings a pop rock/ Linda Ronstadt spirit to her vocal style. Enjoying
diverse music performance background, Sammy also enjoys performing with a 14-piece
big band and a country rock group. Her enjoyment of moving between belting to gentle
ballads has carried her on a path from rock to swing – and everything in between –
throughout her continuing musical journey.
Your Improvisation class introduced and connected me to many ideas; spontaneity as movement without “thinking”… all of us already improvisers in speech and ways to connect that to improvised music, hearing music in speech, (that was way cool), metronomic rhythm in our walk … The value of vocal scatting … I know there was more. This is an onion with a lot of layers. More please and thank you!
– Vocàli student
Award winning educator, former museum curator, visual artist, actor/storyteller, and event emcee, Joe has so enjoyed making richly diverse music over 30 years with many folks whose music you may well know and many whose amazing music you may never know.Whether with corporate heads in Contra Costa, CA, Goodwill Industries, The United Way, young men in a juvenile detention center, families in homeless shelters, a university lecture in Washington, jamming with Gnawa musicians in Morocco, on stage at Carnegie Hall with Stephane Grappelli, or on a ladder with an angel food cake pan in front of thousands of school kids in Scotland… no matter who and what Joe’s connected with, he’s at home and loving every minute.
A multi-instrumentalist in the world of strings and percussion, Joe’s favorite instrument is the human voice. Vocáli is a longtime dream and community he’s finally being able to see and hear with the help of some extraordinary people.
Joe Craven is Magical