Jacob Collier | SFJAZZ

Jacob Collier

From YouTube sensation to global superstar, 22-year-old British singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier has turned the music world on its ear, pairing his bewildering level of musical ability with cutting edge technology to redefine the meaning of “solo performance.” Born to a pair of classical violinists and music educators, Collier was singing and performing from childhood. He first made waves when the homemade video of his stunning a capella version of “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory became a viral phenomenon, introducing the world to his four and a half octave vocal range and staggering approach to harmony, overdubbing his voice over a dozen times to create a densely rich musical tapestry. Collier’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry About a Thing” made an even larger impact, helping his channel rack up nearly nine million views to date and drawing the interest of music legend Quincy Jones, who has since become a mentor and champion of the young artist. Recreating and expanding on the magic of Collier’s multi-dimensional conception in a live setting was a daunting challenge, so engineers from the Media Lab at MIT co-developed the Live Performance Vehicle, which allows Collier to seamlessly layer the multiple instruments that surround him on stage and instantly harmonize his own voice, while integrated live video presents an ingenious visual account of what the audience hears. Collier’s masterful debut album, In My Room, hit #1 on the iTunes jazz chart in 23 countries and debuted at #1 on the Contemporary Jazz Album chart in Billboard, who declared, “Jacob Collier is blowing minds.” To witness Jacob Collier live is to experience a visceral definition of “pure imagination.”

Artist Personnel

Jacob Collier instruments, vocals

Artist Website

"A jazz phenom in the digital age " — Forbes
"A baby-faced Brit who can single-handedly swerve between interpolations of Stevie Wonder, George Gershwin and the Beach Boys while live beatboxing, re-creating a 14-part a cappella group and channeling the improvisational chops of a multitude of jazz greats " — Billboard
"Dazzling exuberance and virtuosity " — The Guardian

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