August 23 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
On Fridays, “Step into the Spotlight” brings to center stage some of those amazing voices that are usually seen (and heard) in the background. Check out the extraordinary lineup of back-up singers or backgrounds vocalists who “step into the spotlight” at the Festival of Arts.
Hailed “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected worldwide as a cutting edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music. Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based ensemble has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature’s “first instrument” – the human voice.
From the beginning, the “pact” of these well-studied masters has been to stay true to Music, regardless of style or genre. Their sophisticated sound and accessible appeal have garnered vast accolades, from Vocal Group of the Year (the LA Music Awards), an Indie nomination (the Independent Grammy), and Artist of the Year (Seattle Music Awards), to Grand National Champs of the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars Sheryl Crow, Boyz II Men, Natasha Bedingfield, and Ray Charles to name a few; as well as with jazz legends Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Maynard Ferguson Big Band, and many others. Over the last 2 decades, their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, and is enjoyed on jazz and pop radio worldwide.
Around the globe, audiences are mesmerized by the thrill of m-pact’s vocal acrobatics, innovative orchestrations, and commanding yet authentic stage presence. Unknowing ears of all ages come expecting entertainment, but leave enriched from an indescribable experience: the musical journey across Technicolor soundscapes produced by this “Cirque du Soleil of Song”. m-pact’s studio recordings (5 full-length albums, 3 EP’s, and several single releases) have received rave reviews and multiple awards, including Best Jazz Album, Best Pop/R&B Song, Best Male Vocalist, and Best Vocal Arrangement (the CARA Awards), Best Seasonal Album (“Indie” awards), and Best Unsigned Band (Billboard Magazine). m-pact recordings are also frequently selected for inclusion on compilations and “best-of” collections.
In the summer of 2016, m-pact announced the retirement of the band’s two founding members, Trist Curless (now with The Manhattan Transfer) and Marco Cassone, prompting a significant “re-boot” and revamping of the m-pact line-up. The result of the ensuing nationwide talent search is a jaw-dropping collection of America’s most exciting vocal talent. Led by m-pact veteran singer, beatboxer, and artistic director Jeff Smith, these young pro’s are not only tremendously gifted, but are deeply committed to continuing the traditions of innovation and excellence which have made m-pact an international sensation.
As m-pact enters their third decade, they are once again breaking new ground with new recording projects, music videos, and awe-inspiring live performances. The guys are hard at work on their 6th album, are booking their new symphony shows, and their multiple fine arts showcases have made them one of the most-requested acts of the year. All of this leaves no doubt that m-pact’s music will continue to reach the ears and hearts of music lovers around the world for many years to come.