This musical style has been part of the American musical scene since the early part of the century when the improvisations of black performers began to come to national attention. Vocal interpretations of the jazz instrumental groups of the twenties and thirties were made popular by singers like Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald. As the forties approached, vocal jazz groups, emulating the brass and reed sections of the swing bands, became a standard part of the music of the day, giving birth to groups such as the Modernaires, the Skylarks, and later, the Hi-Lo’sand the Four Freshmen.
The Grunyons are the Society’s musical alter ego. They have been singing vocal jazz since 1949. The members, alumni of eight or ten fine university music ensembles, possess an enthusiasm for life and music which go hand in hand with the sentiment of vocal jazz.
Now with the institutionalization of jazz as “the American musical art form” and the growing prominence of groups such as the Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, vocal jazz is gaining an important place in music education and appreciation. The Society and the Grunyons wish to promote this development and focus attention on its finest expressions. We look for your support and involvement.