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On a Turquoise Cloud: Debut Album of Rare Ellington Songs

On a Turquoise Cloud marks the alluring debut album of Candice Hoyes, a vocalist of powerful versatility, with an exceptional octet. For her first album, Hoyes interprets the rare songs of Duke Ellington which she reclaimed through extended research at the National Archives.  Many of these divine melodies have not been  recorded since Ellington’s originals.

Hoyes was inspired by her research on the composer, and recognized her own musical voice and identity in these works.  Ellington created these distinctive works to showcase classically-trained jazz vocalists with a facility for soaring into the stratosphere. Down Beat Magazine writes, “Uncovering the brilliance and importance of the soprano Ellington voices of Hall, Davis, and Babs brought about Hoyes’ most crucial revelation.”

Innovative and soulful, these are the songs where swing first met classical, and they were a blueprint for much of today’s best musical theater, opera, and art song.  The gifted ensemble on this album reimagines them with a distinctly contemporary sound.

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  • DROPBOX Artist Spotlight: Candice Hoyes in concert
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“Magnificent soprano vocalist….Sublime yet bluesy, Hoyes proves the ideal vehicle for this material, a singing instrumentalist.”

– Bob Weinberg, Jazziz Magazine

“One of the finest recordings, jazz or otherwise, of the last several years. The result transcends anything produced by any new jazz artist recently, and gives birth to a new sound, something uniquely her own.”

– James Land, Irish Film Critic

“For her first CD, Hoyes dove into the National Archives to retrieve rare works by Duke Ellington written specifically for female vocalists.”

– Robin Givhan, The Washington Post

About Candice Hoyes

“She’s intentional about making music that reflects the world she lives in as well as sounding great and grooving….Her debut album, On a Turquoise Cloud, showcases Hoyes’ operatic voice and soulful style. It also celebrates the [jazz] genre’s roots.” (NPR)

Candice is a debut recording artist who draws deeply from the jazz and classical traditions with a clarity that is rare among today’s vocalists. With a voice that Jazziz Magazine calls “bluesy yet sublime,” Candice sings with commanding presence and an intimate familiarity with the musical icons who precede her. Her recent debut album “On a Turquoise Cloud” reached #10 on the American jazz charts. Also, SoulTrain named On a Turquoise Cloud “one of the best albums of 2015.” With “one of the finest recordings, jazz or otherwise, of the last several years,” Candice has “started her career with a challenge to every other young artist out there.” (Irish Film Critic)

On a Turquoise Cloud features rare songs spanning Duke Ellington’s career with new arrangements and performances by several of this generation’s jazz luminaries. Hoyes teamed with GRAMMY-winning producer Ulysses Owens Jr. to celebrate the timeless beauty and innovation of Ellington’s music. Every arrangement on the album was tailor-made for her by distinguished artists, a list that includes Owens, Ted Nash, Vincent Gardner, and Wycliffe Gordon. She also wrote lyrics for two of the songs.

As a classically-trained vocalist, she has performed in six languages, and has sung as a classical soloist at international festivals as well as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Candice appears at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center as the featured vocalist with Ulysses Owens Jr. Quintet in “Celebrating Ellington and Beyond.” She will return to Jazz at Lincoln Center in Fall 2016 to present a new program for which she is vocalist and co-producer. Candice was one of the featured vocalists for the live broadcast of WNYC’s “Sinatra at 100.”

Candice has a fresh sensibility and style that has led to opportunities in new arenas beyond music. She was named in BET’s  2016 “Black Girl Power” article as they celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Black Girls Rock. She was invited by Google to perform her debut album as part of their 2016 Talks@Google series, joining the ranks of Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Harold Mabern, Philip Glass and Pharrell. Hoyes appeared at Spring/Summer 2016 New York Fashion Week when designer Charles Harbison used music from “On a Turquoise Cloud” for his runway presentation. She was dubbed “a smart girl…who can inspire, inform, and critique” major designers by The Washington Post’s Robin Givhan. She was also recently honored to perform for Sec. Hillary Clinton on the trail for her 2016 presidential campaign.

Upcoming engagements include New York SUMMERSTAGE, Bard College SummerScape Spielgeltent, North Carolina Opera, and the Catskill Jazz Factory. Hoyes has made recent debuts at the main stage of Exit Zero International Jazz Festival as a featured vocalist with Harlem Sessions, and she kicked off the 2015 BET Experience, as the opening act for Deborah Cox, Chrisette Michele and Jordin Sparks in Los Angeles, CA.

Hoyes is an Earthworks Audio Endorsed Artist.

“Uncovering the brilliance and importance of the soprano Ellington voices of Hall, Davis, and Babs brought about Hoyes’ most crucial revelation.”

– Angelika Beener, Down Beat Magazine