Press Release

VocalEssence and the Avant Garde Host Soul Sing


Jennifer Weismann


Audience participation welcome as local soul vocalists perform in fusion event featuring music, dance, and visual arts —at Icehouse MPLS February 7

            MINNEAPOLIS — January XX, 2019 — VocalEssence, in partnership with pioneering Minneapolis record label and production company The Avant Garde, invites fans of soul music to Icehouse MPLS for a night of singing favorites with local soul artists this February.

Everyone is invited to lend a voice to the groove and enjoy special multidisciplinary performances in a program led by VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. Experiences on stage, created by Niles, neo soul artist and NBC’s The Voice contestant Ashley DuBose, and premiere jazz vocalist Ginger Commodore fuse live music and singing for an immersive and unique experience.  Soul Sing will also make room for the artistry of its audience, who are invited to sing along and make the night a collaboration that can’t be recreated anywhere else.

Images are available here.

VocalEssence & The Avant Garde: Soul Sing will take place at Icehouse MPLS on Thursday February 7, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Advance tickets are available online for $12, and tickets at the door are $15.

“One the most exciting aspects of vocal music is the creativity needed for it to evolve can come from almost anywhere, since we’re carrying our instruments with us at all times,” says VocalEssence Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III. “VocalEssence may be in its 50th year, but we’re always finding new ways to get people to sing together. It’s a thrill to collaborate with impresarios like Niles, Ashley DuBose, and Ginger Commodore because they reach out to artists in other mediums, using other methods of expression—and that creates something more than an expected vocal performance. It gives events like our Soul Sing an experimental energy that we hope will stick with audiences.”

VocalEssence, called “one of the irreplaceable music ensembles of our time” by Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, impacts thousands of students, singers, and composers each year through its initiative programs, contests, and support for innovative art. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and has debuted more than 300 commissions and 500 world premieres. For more information, visit