HomeBaltimore Vocal Jazz Ensemble

26 W. Hanover St.
Hanover, PA

Baltimore Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The founding of the BVJE was bittersweet.

In April of 2005, "Pappa Joe" Mannherz, Sr., an avid singer and barbershopper passed away. Traditionally, after a barbershop rehearsal, he and other members of the group would adjourn to a local “watering hole” for an "afterglow." Pappa Joe's wish was that his death would not be mourned, but rather be celebrated; so after the funeral, four of the charter members of the BVJE (his son Joe Mannherz, Diane Paul, Renee Walsh, and Lamar Bortner) met for a memorial "afterglow."

As drink flowed, the four discussed jazz singing and Renee suggested that Joe start his own group in Baltimore. Joe had been wanting to get a larger ensemble together for a while, and the right people seemed to meet at the right time! They went looking for a place to rehearse and found Brightview at Whitemarsh. Everyone brought friends or family along to join the ensemble, and weekly rehearsals began. This group also gave Joe an incentive to create arrangements for a larger group of people. A few months later, the BVJE had their first official performance at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Since then the group has developed and changed, growing into the fine ensemble that it is today!


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