Winner of the College Vocal Ensemble Division at the 2017 Next Generation Jazz Festival
The vocal jazz program at Sacramento State is under the direction of Gaw Vang Williams. The program consists of C-Sus Voices, Sac State Jazz Singers and Vox Now, all of which are groups formed by student auditions. The program recently started a beginning ensemble call Vocal Jazz and Acapella Lab. This beginning ensemble introduces new students to vocal jazz concepts and repertoire and is directed by Sac State graduate students under the supervision of Gaw Vang Williams. The advanced ensembles tour, perform at jazz festivals, and record annually. The sounds of Sac State vocal jazz groups are influenced by the great vocal jazz groups of the past and present: The Hi-Lo's, Singers Unlimited, Take 6, New York Voices, The Real Group, Manhattan Transfer and others. Additionally, the program strives to explore new, innovative approaches to contemporary vocal jazz and often features student compositions and arrangements.
Vox Now took first at the Reno Jazz Festival 2017 and was awarded the 2017 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards for Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble. The Sac State School of Music vocal jazz program has been awarded over 20 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards. The vocal jazz program placed first in 2016 and 2017 at Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival in the collegiate vocal jazz division.