HomeBlogsDekeSharon's blogSome of the Best 2006

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Best Solo Performer: Kid Beyond

To call Kid Beyond (or Andrew Chaikin as he's better known in our circles, as he was the founding vocal percussionist and baritone with the House Jacks) a beatboxer is to call Jimi Hendrix a guitarist. Both artists use their instrument to pioneer new sounds and electrify audiences. With a debut EP and worldwide tour with Imogene Heap this past year, he has proven to countless listeners that the human voice remains the most powerful instrument of all.

Best A Cappella Advocate: The Pope

When Pope Benedict XVI urged the preservation of traditional sacred musical forms, specifically the "Roman school" of polyphony, what he was really saying was "dump the instruments, folks, and bring back the old school a cappella." We couldn't agree more.

Best Theatrical A Cappella Show: The Magnets

2005 was the year of Toxic Audio's Loudmouth, with an off-Broadway run that made new a cappella fans by the thousands nightly. In 2006, Britain's Magnets followed suit with a superlative a cappella show produced by the people behind "Stomp" and "Tap Dogs." Alas, the show has since closed, but that's not unusual for many a theatrical production. However, there are hoards of new a cappella fans on the other side of the pond, thanks to this magnetic sextet.

Best Technological Advance: YouTube

2006 was certainly not the first year that YouTube was in use, but it was the year that it broke the "tipping point" and became a household word. And it also was the year that a cappella went from a few scattered videos to being represented in the hundreds and even thousands. From whimsical vocal percussion snippets to live collegiate concerts, it's responsible for introducing millions of people to the sound of contemporary a cappella.

Best Satirists: Kinsey Sicks

With themed shows like "Condoleezzapalooza" and "Oy Vey in a Manger," the Kinsey Sicks break tradition with most a cappella groups and declare no subject too sacred for satire: politics, sexuality, religion, racism, and hair style. You might not agree with them, but you'll most likely laugh until your lungs hurt from their opening chords through their encore ("We Arm The World," sung to the tune of "We Are The World:" as lyrically clever as it is barbed).

Who did you think made major waves in a cappella last year?