@ the Love Supreme Jazz Festival
6 July 2013
Click an image to enlarge.
For Naturally 7, the turning point came in the fall of 2007. From
quiet success all over Europe they have been propelled onto the
world stage, performing before millions of people.
As the special guest of internationally acclaimed singer Michael
Buble, Naturally 7 have been met with standing ovations nightly
in Europe, the U.K., Canada, Australia and the U.S!
It was 2009 when the group truly hit the ground running. In January
they played to a packed house at London’s Pigalle, which included
a number of famous faces
– Coldplay’s Chris Martin, legendary musician and producer
Brian Eno. The next day, by invitation the group joined Coldplay
and Eno in the studio. From the UK, Naturally 7 travelled to California,
where they performed at the prestigious TED (Technology, Entertainment,
Design) Conference, receiving a standing ovation.
While the road ahead looks brilliant – to truly understand
Naturally 7’s meteoric rise, one must first look at the whirlwind,
that has been, the last 3 years.
2008 was nothing short of remarkable and the highlight reel, one
to take note of. In May they made their national U.S. Television
debut on Ellen and joined Bublé for a guest appearance on
The Today Show. More recently, they opened for Jay Leno in Las Vegas
and performed at his ‘Tonight Show’, were guests on
Tavis Smiley, performed at NARM, helped celebrate Quincy Jones’
75th Birthday in Montreux and greeted a hometown crowd at Madison
Square Garden. Following that show, they travelled to London to
play the renowned Royal Variety Television show, capping the evening
off, by meeting His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
With their rich harmonies, an unbelievable ability to replicate
instruments and a stage presence that can be felt in every seat
of the house, Naturally 7, the first vocal play group ever, are
amazing, charming fans where ever they perform.
Today Naturally 7 are Roger Thomas (musical director, arranger,
1st Baritone, Rap), Warren Thomas (percussion, guitar, clarinet,
3rd tenor) Rod Eldridge (1st tenor, scratching, trumpet), Napoleon
(Polo) Cummings (4th Tenor, guitar), Dwight Stewart (2nd baritone,
vocals, trumpet), Garfield Buckley (2nd Tenor, Harmonica) and “Hops”
The origins of the group date back to New York City in 1999 when
Roger Thomas started the group with his brother, Warren, and five
other talented singers they had come to know over the years from
singing around the city. Having been in and out of several traditional
male groups over the years, Thomas developed an affinity for a cappella
sounds and a unique ability to create distinct harmony arrangements.
When invited to sing at a major a cappella competition in New York,
they won the competition, moved onto the nationals and took away
two more wins.
Riding the wave of this newfound success and still unable to decide
if Naturally 7 were going to be an a cappella group or a traditional
band, Thomas had a novel idea: they could be both.
He remembered as a child, his brother Warren always wanted a drum
set but their mother always told him no because it was just too
noisy. So Warren learned to make true drum sounds, with different
ways of making the kick, toms, snare, cymbals, and other drum sounds,
to compensate for not having real drums to play. Roger approached
Warren with the idea from their childhood, and asked if he could
become the band’s drummer, so to speak, to accompany Naturally
7 on up-tempo songs.
The idea evolved, and the other band members found unique aspects
of their own voices to determine which members would BE which instrument.
After all, Thomas, if the human voice truly was an instrument, it
should not matter which instrument it needed to be. And for Naturally
7, it really didn’t matter; “VOCAL PLAY” was born.
What is the difference between Vocal Play and a cappella? A cappella
is defined as singing without instruments. Vocal Play is singing
AS instruments, and BECOMING an instrument with the voice.
What makes Naturally 7 special, is that every instrument sound
that they sing is created from the human voice. There are no actual
drums, guitars, horns, flutes, or any other instrument that is heard
when listening to them perform; it’s the band members playing
each of their vocal instruments.
The group has recorded a number of CD’s over the years –
“Non Fiction” (2000) the aptly titled “What Is
It” (2003), “Christmas …It’s A Love Story”
(2004) and “Ready II Fly” (2006). The latter contains
the YouTube-hit “Feel It (In the Air Tonight”). Naturally
7’s now famous Paris subway performance of the song, has received
over four and a half million hits on YouTube alone and the number
of people discovering the group, adds to that figure daily. The
song turned into a Top 3-chart-success in France, Belgium and South
Africa and made the single charts in other European countries, such
as Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Portugal.
In January 2009, the group released a special album, ‘Wall
Of Sound’ exclusively for the UK and Ireland, to commemorate
their participation at the ‘Royal Variety Performance’.
The album contained known material from previous albums, as well
as 5 brand-new tracks and entered the British Album-Charts in the
first week after release at #29.
They have appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, performing
“Stardust” with Michael Bublé. In November 09,
the group travelled to Bermuda, taking part in Quincy Jones’
2009 Bermuda Music Festival performing before an enthusiastic crowd!
February of 2010 saw Naturally 7 spend three weeks in Vancouver
as performance guests during the Olympic Winter Games and in March
they returned as Special Guests on Bublé’s ‘Crazy
Love’-Tour around the World!
In the fall of 2010 Naturally 7 along with Ludacris were featured
on the title track of Quincy Jones’ new CD – Soul Bossa
Nostra that led to a performance on The View in November.
They continued to tour the world with Michael Buble, receiving
standing ovations nightly and rave reviews.
In February 2011, Naturally 7 performed at the BET Honours, receiving
a standing ovation for “Rockit” their Herbie Hancock
tribute song. Another stand out moment came in August when they
were invited to take part in the Martin Luther King Jr. National
Memorial Week Celebrations.
“Silver Bells” became their next collaboration with
Michael Bublé, appearing on his multi-million selling and
chart topping Christmas album. They also made a guest appearance
on his first NBC special and joined him for a performance on The
In the spring of 2012 Naturally 7 recorded a DVD in Hamburg “All
Natural Live”, which will be released this spring. In June
the group made a return appearance at the Playboy Jazz Festival
at the Hollywood Bowl, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd
of 18 thousand! They will return for their third consecutive appearance,
In 2012 Naturally 7 continued touring Europe, South America, South
Africa, Australia, Canada and the U.S. Two further highlights created
a perfect ending for 2012. The group were special guests on Coldplay’s
Mylo Xyloto Tour at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and they performed
32 shows at Europe’s most successful Arena-event “Night
Of The Proms”, along with Mick Hucknall and The Jacksons.
In June of 2013 they are thrilled to be returning as Special Guests
for superstar Michael Buble’s record-breaking, 10-show performances
at London’s O2 Arena.