Where does the song end and improvisation begin? What’s the same and what will change? Challenging conventions and returning “jazz” to the jazz choir, Broulala, uses collective improvisation and variation as its guiding aesthetic, resulting in refreshing performances of standards within the vocal ensemble setting.
Broulala features up to 7 a cappella voices and is led by Andrea Kuzmich, a PhD student in Ethnomusicology at York University. Drawing from different improvising and choral traditions, Kuzmich devised a method of arranging and charting that empowers the singers with choice. In almost every bar, each and every singer has choices to make – be it as simple as choosing one of two notes to sing or choosing a rhythmic pattern to perform, to more complex decisions in order to contribute to group improvised solos or soundscapes. Broulala literally composes parts of the song as it’s performed.
Whether reinterpreting a jazz standard or exotic song styles from Central Eurasia (the region in which Kuzmich specializes) Broulala shows remarkable diversity and originality in performance. Improvising off of the groove, the singers realize a dynamic not often heard in jazz choirs.
Click on the open music book to have a listen.