''I think a lot of people weren't even sure what a cappella music was before The Sing Off,'' says Eliza Berkon. Berkon's D.C.-based a cappella group the Afro-Blue Vocal Band ended up placing fourth in NBC's reality vocal competition show last fall.
''It was life-changing and it was all-consuming, overwhelming and amazing,'' says Berkon. ''Prior to that, Afro-Blue was a respected group in the D.C. area, but people weren't really aware of us in other parts of the country.''
Afro-Blue Vocal Band
The 10-member group, which originally formed at Howard University and consists of both students and alumni, has capitalized on that television exposure by increasingly touring the country and performing in celebrated venues, including a debut performance this weekend at Strathmore. The group is also slightly expanding its repertoire, even including the occasional instrumental accompaniment. ''We're really trying to embrace all genres of music,'' says Berkon, including pop. Though, she adds, the group always ''puts a jazz spin on whatever genre we pick.''