November 23, 2014

Pepperdine Presents ‘Take 6’ Holiday Concert on November 30

 

Take 6, the most awarded vocal group in history, will fill Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre with harmonious sounds of the season when it performs its holiday concert, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 30.

“Instead of faithful, eye-rolling versions of “White Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride” and the title track, Take 6 takes those classics all over the place, delivering surprisingly fresh versions of songs that haven’t sounded fresh in a long time." (SoulTracks review of the Take 6 album “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”).

Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Take 6 is the most award-winning vocal group of all time, with 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, and a Soul Train Award to its credit.

Delivering complex harmonies and arrangements extraordinaire, Christmas and holiday tunes become finely crafted vignettes.

From “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to “You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” to “The Sugarplum Dance,” Take 6 spreads the goodwill and joy that are at the heart of the season.

Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea, and Khristian Dentley) is the quintessential a cappella group, with six virtuosic voices united in crystal-clear harmonies against a backdrop of syncopated rhythms, innovative arrangements and funky grooves that bubble into an intoxicating brew of gospel, jazz, R&B, and pop. The multi-Platinum-selling sextet has toured across the globe, collaborated across genres, and is recognized as the preeminent a cappella group of its kind in the world.

Take 6 has come a long way from its days at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, where McKnight formed the group as the Gentleman's Estate Quartet in 1980. When tenor Mark Kibble heard the group rehearsing in the dorm bathroom, he joined in the harmonies and performed on stage that night. When Mervyn Warren joined shortly afterward, it took the name Alliance. In 1987, when it signed to Reprise Records/Warner Bros., it found that there was another group with the same name, so it became Take 6. Warren left the group in 1991.

Says McKnight: "Take 6 was all about a democratic process of sitting in a room together and throwing a couple of hundred names at each other, and Take 6 was the one that got the most yay votes [laughing]. It pretty much was a play on the 'Take Five' jazz standard and the fact that there are six of us in the group, so it became Take 6."

Its self-titled debut CD won over jazz and pop critics alike, scored two 1988 Grammy Awards and landed in the Top Ten Billboard Contemporary Jazz and Contemporary Christian charts. The group has never slowed down since.

What has made the music and the group last this long? The answers are direct and simple: faith, friendship, respect, and love of music. From its exceptional live performances to its recordings, these qualities remain at the heart of the Take 6 phenomenon.

One, Take 6's recent recording on Shanachie, is notable for three reasons. First, it is the group's return to its spiritual heritage. Second, it is Take 6's first project without Cedric Dent, who retired from the group to go into academia. Third, it introduces Khristian Dentley as a full-time, permanent member of Take 6.

Tickets, priced at $45, $35 and $25 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available by calling (310) 506-4522. They are also available through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787. More information: arts.pepperdine.edu/ or www.take6.com.