The most awarded a cappella group in history, heralded by Quincy Jones as the “Baddest vocal cats on the planet!” are the quintessential a cappella model for vocal genius.
With 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, a Soul Train Award, and more, Take 6 (Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joel Kibble, Dave Thomas, Alvin Chea and Khristian Dentley) continues to bring extraordinary vocals to their worldwide audiences. April 2018 marks the release of their sixteenth album, aptly titled ICONIC (SRG/Universal) and the debut of a PBS special, The Summit, alongside The Manhattan Transfer.
The new recording, ICONIC, is composed of the songs the sextet loves to perform both on stage and for the pure joy of lending their voices to songs that have taken on a greater meaning to them and to their audiences over their career of nearly four decades. They pay homage to their friend Al Jarreau, with their rendition of Roof Garden, and are true to their gospel roots with the hymn Nothing But the Blood. Change The World (Eric Clapton), the first single, was the most-added tune in Smooth Jazz upon its release. Take 6’s last release, in 2016, Believe (SRG/Universal) landed on six Billboard charts simultaneously.
Take 6 has admirably and adeptly crossed most musical genres, from straight-ahead Jazz to Pop to adult R&B, doo wop to blues. Like a fine-tuned vocal orchestra (Alvin, bass; Khristian, baritone; Claude, Mark and Joel, tenors), the group continues to push the boundaries of creativity and musical genius with every new release, and with their ever-evolving live performances.
Any singer who aspires for vocal excellence cannot overlook the contributions these men have made to music. Take 6 has performed with and won praise from such luminaries as Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Ben E. King, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, and Whitney Houston, to name a very few.
Some of the honors Take 6 has enjoyed over the past few years include being chosen as the first musical group to perform in Cuba at the normalization of relations between our two countries, and their induction into The Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
What makes the music and the group last this long? The answers are direct and simple: faith, friendship, respect, and love of music. The multi-platinum selling sextet says of their longevity, “We are family in the sense that we care deeply about each other, which helps keep us together. We have times when it gets tough, but we pull together because of the love and respect we have for one another. The group’s willingness to let members do other projects also adds to the brand and the cohesiveness of the group,” says Joey Kibble. Kibble is a motivational speaker and Alvin Chea does voiceover work session-singing on dozens of TV shows, feature films and commercials with his uniquely recognizable bass vocals. Two of the members have solo projects in the works, others produce outside acts, Mark Kibble arranges for A list artists and McKnight is working on a documentary. “It adds even more credibility and depth to the group as a whole, enriched by each of our outside skills and experiences,” Kibble adds.