Using a breathtaking vocal range that makes seamless links between musical cultures, Three Times Wire/Guardian award-winning vocalist Cleveland Watkiss blends improvisation/Counter point harmony, electronics, breakbeat loops and basslines (all live and from his mouth) to stunning effect, creating a unique, orchestral vocal soundscape.VocalSuite is an elusive Acappella vocal improvisation performance that uses the atmosphere of venue, mood and interactivity of audience to present a performance of the moment; Seemless links between musical cultures from Africa to Europe go together to create human vocal soundscapes.
It fuses voice and technology, using real-time looping to create live compositions. No two performances are ever the same, Using technology to record, then layer the voice, creating an orchestral piece that is composed right before the audience. Sometimes he use the audience as contributors to the piece, and always reflects the mood and ambience of the space. The collaborations he has made thus far in his career, reflects the diversity of the musical styles in the pieces, ranging from classical to African rhythm, to jazz and choral.
“the purely a cappella opening number of Cleveland Watkiss’s set provided the most beautiful way imaginable of cleansing the palate. Using loops to lay down a beguiling polyphonic web of interlocking vocal lines, Watkiss seemed to take us back to the very fons et origo of music: unadorned melody. It was a magical vignette”….Peter Quinn
” was’nt he awesome? what it takes us six to do he does it all by himself”… Take 6
“Fingers dancing over the keys of an imaginary saxophone or pumping the valves of an invisible trumpet, Cleveland Watkiss’ instrument is his voice. Vocal improvisation is the game”… Arena
“Watkiss can create any of these sounds in live performance..he can be a one man band”.. Time Out
“Cleveland Watkiss earlier on spun some ecstatic variations on a Chopin prelude that had us all spellbound”… Telegraph
“One line good - but six lines just incredible”… The Independent
“An original work from a unique British talent”… Blues & Soul
“He is a genuine virtuoso”….. The Independent